I decided on Eisenhower as the opening volley in my goal to hike 3 mountains during the 4th of July holiday week. I went for the direct route since I like to be very direct in my hiking which turned out to be the Edmunds Trail. There were a lot of cars in the small lot at the trail head so I took the last spot and saddled up for the task at hand.
The trail starts out reasonably enough as most trails do with the usual tease that this hike would be an easy one. After a few river crossings and some bug bites, the trail started getting more vertical as the my dreams of any easy one were squashed.
After some grueling hiking, I passed a few large groups who all complimented me on my hiking stick but not my stamina. I knew I was starting to make some progress as I started to question my sanity when I passed a rock that looked strangely like the continent of Africa.
I reached a couple of rocky scrambles before getting above tree line but never did come across the stone archway promised by my handy White Mountain Hiking Guide(ding ding). Once above tree line, it was time to start paying more attention to the skies, especially after passing the sign of no return warning me to turn back if feeling threatened by the skies.
I came across another couple of hikers who pointed me towards Eisenhower which was a good thing since I was heading towards Monroe(or maybe it was Madison). Once back on the right path, I hit the last sprint to the top as I followed the nicely formed cairns that lead to their mother…the mother of all cairns marking the summit.
After a nice long break and some granola bar lunch, I retraced my steps to my car which was now one of the only ones left. 23 down, 25 to go!!