Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rambling On...

by Mac Griffin

It is with a sad heart that I hiked out of Gray Knob last Monday, August 26th, 2013.

Back in the "real world", time seems to fly by at lightning speed, everyone hustling and bustling downtown, honks and curses from aggravated motorists, people traveling 90 miles an hour on massive five-lane superhighways, strip malls glowing their unearthly neon.  But as Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin once said in the song Ramble On,

"Leaves are falling all around, it's time I was on my way.
Thanks to you I'm much obliged, for such a pleasant stay.
But now it's time for me to go, the autumn moon lights my way..."

Mt. Jefferson at Night from the Quay

I'll be off to hike the Long Trail in Vermont with my girlfriend in the month of September, and then headed up to Baxter State Park (Katahdin) and Acadia National Park, both in Maine, in early October, it seems I just can't get away from the woods and beautiful places.  But when it comes right down to it, I can't really think of better places to be for fall in New England.

A Hazy Sunset, but the burning ball of hydrogen really livened things up!
So, to all who've followed this blog, to all the RMC Trail Crew and fellow caretakers, to the RMC Board and RMC Members, to all those who stopped by Gray Knob and shared their stories with me and listened to mine, to those who shot the breeze at the Quay with me, and to those who listened to my horrible singing, but hopefully better mini-guitar playing, 'Cheers' for an amazing spring and summer!

Quay Gold, perhaps the coveted Aetherium...?

Take care everyone, and if you've never visited the RMC Camps, DON'T MISS OUT, they're the best in the Whites!


Happy Trails,

Mac Griffin

Cormac N. Griffin
Gray Knob Caretaker Spring/Summer 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013


     By Hannah Marshall  


I rest on flat ground, far away from the dramatic landscape of the White Mountains. It has been three days since I walked out of the woods for the last time.  Three painfully long days, in which I've dreamed about when my feet might next carry me home to Randolph.  No matter what I do, no experience compares to the moments at Crag Camp when strangers become family in the frigid glow of sunrise on the ravine. 

I stumbled upon a 1920s-era tourist guide recently which read,

"New Hampshire is a state reclining with its head pillowed on high mountains and its feet washed by the ocean.  These elevated summits are the White Mountains... For beauty and general attractiveness it is believed nothing in our own land can pretend to rival it. There are, it is true, higher mountains, deeper valleys, broader lakes, more stupendous ravines; yet for that rare and exquisite combination of all the most salient and picturesque types of scenery, the travelled and untravelled alike award to the White Mountains an incontestable superiority."

  Until next time, from Hannah "Crag,"

Take Care!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods

The Golden Hours in the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods 

by Mac Griffin

Tangerine Dream
"When the magic hour arrives, my thoughts center on the light rather than the landscape.  I search for the perfect light, then hunt for something earthbound to match with it."
"There is no question that photography has played a major role in the environmental movement."
"The landscape is like being there with a powerful personality and I'm searching for just the right angles to make that portrait come across as meaningfully as possible."

- Galen Rowell

The Quay never ceases to amaze me for its almost unbelievable sunsets, sunrises, and even its daytime views.  Every night when it's clear (and sometimes even when it's not) I go out to the Quay for what the Crag Camp Caretaker and I call the 'Evening Program.'  Every night it's a new show, sometimes the drama is intense, other times an unexpected glow illuminates the clouds rosy pink purple magenta fuchsia grenadine tangerine at the very last minute in an enthralling plot twist.  And there's almost always an encore of the glowing halogen-white moon and the shining beacon of Venus bright as a pearl, both highlighted in the fading light of the cerulean blue upper sky.

So please enjoy some more sunrise and sunset photos from my last stint on the mythical and sublime Nowell Ridge... But please remember, words hardly do this place justice.  Looks like you'll just have to come to the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods for yourself.  Cheers!


Red Grenadine

The elusive Spacecar Narwhal floating by.... 

The sun actually set about two minutes before this,
and the yellow dots are actually reflections of the sun!
Of course, it's not always sunsets, these clouds really impressed me as well!

Thunderheads over the Kilkenny

But as it happened, last Saturday morning 8/3 I managed to drag myself out of the Caretaker's Room at Gray Knob and capture this absolutely stunning sunrise!

Facing East

Above the clouds for the sunrise is hard to beat!
 Thanks to all who took the time to check out these photos!  Happy Trails...


Cormac N. Griffin
Gray Knob Caretaker
Spring/Summer 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Collection of Sunsets

Well, summer at Gray Knob's been great so far!  I thought I'd share with you a collection of sunsets I've taken from one of the most beautiful places in the world, The Quay.  To anyone reading this, I hope to see you up on Nowell Ridge before I head off to hike the Long Trail in September.

Happy Trails,


Cormac N. Griffin
Gray Knob, Spring/Summer 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Alpine Ramblings

Abigail Adams 6.9.2013
I'm headed back into the mountains today, but before I hit the trail, I thought I'd put up share some of my photos from my last stint at Gray Knob.  I hope to see you on the trails in the Northern Presidentials this upcoming week! - Mac

View to the Six Husbands Trail 6.14.2013
Lowe's Path Sunset 6.9.2013
Sunset at the Quay 6.14.2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Perch and The Quay

Perch Path 5.26.2013 after a late-May snowstorm
"... wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure." 
— Paolo Coelho

The Quay 5.21.2013

"Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees." 
— Edwin Way Teale

The Backyard

Crag Camp from Knight's Castle 5.23.2013

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." 
— John Muir
Spur Trail looks more like a stream... 5.23.2013

"Cherish your wilderness." 
— Maxine Kumin
alpine azalea (Loiseleuria procumbens) near Star Lake 5.23.2013
"And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky." 
— Rumi

Diapensia (white) and Lapland rosebay near Star Lake
with Mt. Washington in the distance 5.23.2013

“The earth laughs in flowers.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson