The last photo was taken around 20 years ago (the others were taken in the last few weeks) when my son David and I climbed up the front of the mountain. It wasn't all that difficult and I thought I'd try it again, but most of the old trees are now windfalls and the young firs that have replaced them are too thick to walk through. I got close, but finally gave up for that reason.
A couple of days ago, I decided to try to get there from a different direction. After crossing a clearing with many windfalls, I was about to give up when I saw a neon-red blaze on a tree. I thought it was odd, and followed the trail that had been cut with a chain saw. At first I thought it may have been a land survey, but I quickly realized that it wasn't following a straight path. As I walked through the forest, I realized that it was heading towards the mountain. It continued up the side of the steep cliff, then on the steepest part, there was a ladder made of trees. It was quite secure and had a rope that was tied to a tree further up and could be used to make the climb easier. Shortly afterwards I arrived on the top. I felt so grateful to whomever took the time to cut the trail and build the ladder. It started to rain just as I got there, so I turned around and followed the trail back out.
If you look at the first photo you will see a pole line to his left. I entered the forest near the pole and found the trail about 1/3 of the way in. Of course, since I followed it out, I now know were it starts and will make the same, much easier, trip again on a nicer day.
If anyone knows who built this trail, please let me know. The person(s) were very well prepared because they had a chain saw, hammer and nails, rope and found the easiest way up the side of the steep cliffs. My first thought was that it was someone with military training, probably because both my sons have military backgrounds and I know they spent a lot of time in the woods during training exercises.
I will be taking a break from my Photo of the Day for a week or so. I'll be back on line at the end of the month.
Feel free to share these photos with your family and friends.