Mt Tom – #1LinerWeds

Several weeks ago, our daughter Faith and I decided to go for a day hike during the week she was to be on vacation (last week). I wanted to “hike” the Holyoke, Massachusetts canal system. It’s about 3.5 mi (6 km), paved and flat. Faith has done urban hikes such as this with me before. I also suggested that it might be nice to get an areal view of Holyoke. Faith determined that Mt. Tom was the nearest peak, but it was questionable whether we would be able to see Holyoke from the summit.

It didn’t matter. Hiking with Faith is fun. She’s a very experienced hiker, but she is patient, prepared and informed. Hiking to the summit of Mt. Tom was actually well described in a book of New England hikes that Faith had. On the way to the parking area, she read several key points. The trail is 1.2 mi (2 km) long. The summit is 1,202′ (366m) high. Faith expected an elevation gain for us between 700′ (213m) and 900′ (274m). That didn’t sound so bad. Being in deep lush woods was a wonderful experience.

The first sign that the article in the book was short of accurate was when we passed a “glacial bolder.” The book said we would pass that after about 3/10ths of a mile. Faith estimated that we had already walked 7/10ths of a mile as we passed the bolder.

A while later, we came to a vista where we could look down on the valley below. I jokingly said to Faith,

“We could share a picture from here and say it was the summit – who would know?”

Yes, yes, we would. We continued onward and upward. Reaching the top did feel good. We got a glimpse of Holyoke on the way, but the view in that direction from the summit was obscured by trees. The view of Easthampton, MA was spectacular.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, If you would like to join in on the fun, you can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.


        • Coming down was hard. It was steep and there were long beds of loose rocks. I wear compression braces on both knees whenever I hike or bike. They help keep things in place. Otherwise, I’m done very quickly.

          Liked by 1 person

            • They’re along the lines of the fabric knee braces you’d find in as drugstore, but these are longer and they seemed to be designed better. They are tighter in some places, but not so much to be annoying., I can easily wear them for several hours. If I don’t wear them when biking, my right knee hurts by the time I get to the end of our street, With them on, my knees get tired, but they’re never painful. I’ve ridden over 30 miles with them on. Perhaps it’s mental ;-)


  1. This looks like a beautiful hike! You had me at the glacial boulder. If there is one on the trail, you can be virtually guaranteed to have a great hike :)
    The dabbled light through the trees reminded me of a description I read recently calling it ‘leopard light’. I loved the description so much it comes to mind whenever I see it now.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love how you and Faith thoroughly research and fully prepare for anything you’re going to do. Beautiful views throughout your hike. Impossible to pick a favorite. Bravo on the hike…that was quite an undertaking. I think all the time you spend climbing up and down ladders helped prepare you!

    Me? I’m quite content to hike with you on my iPad going through your wonderful gallery!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do tend to prepare. Some might say over-prepare. Faith always carries a pack that would allow her to stay overnight or administer first aid. She is Wilderness First Aid certified, and on a hike earlier this year, I got to see her help a woman who had broken an ankle. Faith was amazing. I was so proud, and I’ll never kid her about how much stuff she carries.

      It was a great hike. The hard part for me was coming down. It’s always harder on my knees, but this trail had lots of loose rock. Still, definitely worth it.


  3. Hi Dan – beautiful day for the hike … and I see it’s near the Audubon wildlife sanctuary – that must be interesting to visit … wonderful area to live near to. What fun the two of you had … being together father and daughter – lovely to read about and to see – thanks – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the beautiful hike and scenery, Dan. I would have bought the faux summit photo, but I know you couldn’t “fudge” that with your fellow bloggers. Kudos for making it to the top and back down again in one piece. Happy Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure what happened to my reply. I wouldn’t try to fool you guys, Mary, but looking at the last hundred feet of elevation gain made me think about it. Up was easy compared to back down. I need younger knees.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Dan — what fabulous views! I would have been too busy struggling to keep putting one foot in front of the other to think of taking pictures. (LOL, actually I would have been even worse than that!) Too bad about all the graffiti though. Anyhow a great day for you two. Hugs all around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never took any pictures until the ride had come to a complete stop. Otherwise, I was working the trekking poles and hoping not to lose my footing. There was a lot of loose rock, we really had to pay attention. The views were stunning. It was a great day, and it ended with good food and a cold beer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure I will get to that point, Frank. The climb to the summit from that first visit was tough. I’m glad I can still do it, but I have to remember that coming down is harder (and not optional).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not a fan of the graffiti at the top, but what are you going to do? It’s not easy to clean off. I spent a half-day with a group of volunteers up on Mission Peak trying to clean it off the rocks several years back. 😭 Thankfully the views from your faux and real summit are gorgeous and one can quickly put the graffiti out of mind. The sidewalk did look dodgy glad you gave it a pass.

    I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t the real summit! I think your bird in flight is a Turkey Vulture. I call them Buzzards. Great in-flight image!

    I enjoyed your hike and images. It was a piece of cake from here in my desk chair with a cuppa on hand. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You would enjoy hiking in Florida–totally flat!! :D I wish we had closer areas like where you and Faith hiked–it looks really beautiful. The views from the various summits are wonderful. The people who graffiti up the rocks–I don’t know to be angry or envious that they are able to climb up and down to write their stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When did Monty Python take over the signage dept. in CT ? ! ? ! Dogs and Fishing strictly prohibited. Was there a mountain stream next to the trail ? Or does one have to cast down to the pond from the vantage point ? How did they manage to leave chainsaws off of the sign ? Hikes are supposed to be relaxing. Or is it perplexing ? Happy hike hump day Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That is either an osprey or a hawk of some kind I think. What a gorgeous and challenging hike. Hi Faith! Hmmm….I suspected there was a bad boy in there somewhere, Dan. Spray painting rocks in high school eh? 🤭

    Liked by 1 person

    • At this point, I wouldn’t hike without Faith. There were at least two places where I would have missed a turn. The blazes were visible, but I didn’t notice them. I’m not great with things that are obvious 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for these great photos! I can almost smell the earthiness and feel the excitement of “Being in deep lush woods” my favorite kind of place. The tree growing out of the rock is especially inspiring. It sounds like Faith could write those guide books if she wanted to.

    Liked by 1 person

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