Kelly’s in town, so what do we do?  Head out for an after-work hike in the rain.  Camel’s Hump is my home mountain so I really should have climbed it more than I have.  It’s only been three times in the almost two years I’ve lived here, so this makes the fourth.  We headed to the Couching Lion Farm Site trailhead.  I wanted to show her the cemetery first since I love all the fancy dog gravestones there.

Then we headed up the Monroe Trail.  We couldn’t feel the rain much through the trees but I think it did eventually stop.  I couldn’t believe how much water there was on the trail though.  I’ve only done this trail before in the fall and it was much dryer then.

Instead of taking the Monroe Trail all the way to the Long Trail, we turned off on the Alpine Trail so we could find the old plane crash I kept hearing about.  I had explicit instructions on where it was from a former Camel’s Hump caretaker, but I was so paranoid about missing it, I kept going off trail to look too early.  Turns out it was very easy to find and I needn’t have worried.

The plane is a US Army Air Force B-24J Liberator Bomber that crashed on a training mission in 1944, killing nine crewmen aboard and injuring one other.  We saw an undercarriage in one spot, and further up the Alpine Trail, another herd path led to a wing.  It’s interesting to see the forest and moss growing right onto the pieces now.

We continued up the Alpine Trail to the Long Trail, and turned north to hike over the summit.  Once we were above treeline, the wind was very strong and we couldn’t see much since we were in a cloud.  I’ve never been on the summit of Camel’s Hump without strong winds, although these may have been the lightest I’ve experienced.

We didn’t stay the summit long, instead continuing north on the Long Trail to the hut clearing, where there is a little more shelter for a snack and drink.

From there, we went down the Monroe Trail, making it most of the way down before dark.  It’s a good thing we pulled our headlamps out when we did because apparently frogs and toads just love hanging out in the middle of the trail at night.  I can’t count the number of them I almost stepped on.

We made it back down after 7.1 miles and home in time for a not-even-too-late bedtime.