#21 Owl's Head (4,026 ft.)

The reputation of Owl's Head as a dank, wet, miserable slog through the undergrowth of the Pemi Wilderness is only partly deserved. Yes, we hit it in relatively dry conditions and portions were still wet, and yes, one crossing required taking our boots off and donning water socks. But on the whole, the hike was more a trial by distance than either dampness or altitude gain, although in wetter conditions, and with higher water, the first of the five crossings northbound would no doubt have been much hairier, and certainly ill advised.

We met a party of gregarious gents on the way up the slide who had packed up pink champagne and Fireball whiskey. Clem and I wondered why, if you're bothering to schlepp up that much weight, you would bother with such substandard booze, but to each hiker his or her own. On the way down we teamed up with a mother-daughter pair who had trouble with the last two crossings but then smoked us on the flats once we hit the rail section of the Lincoln Woods Trail.

And of course this was Clem's (aka Luncheon Lama's) 48th 4000er in the Whites: an epic achievement. One day that will be me. I don't know who will celebrate with me, but that we be me…

Another side note: As of today, June 28, 2015, I have completed 21 state highpoints and 21 White 4000ers. But what comfort or pleasure can we take in numbers and coincidence when all meaning or context for such accomplishments has passed away?

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