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Friday was a high stress day for me. Then I needed to work late. Between working late and just being wired in general, I didnt get to sleep until around midnight - and was pretty restless until the 4.30 am wakeup call to drive to Welch-Dickey for some recreational hiking.

I can be rather cranky when sleep deprived. Saturday morning was no exception. Add in that I missed my Dunkin Donuts breakfast and by the time we got to trailhead I was unfit company. Long before that, truth be told. Still, TLV put up with me and there we were. Hardly any cars in the lot, and a glorious morning, too cool and early for bugs ... eventually the grumpiness wore away in the cool air and bright sun.

We had a nice walk, TLV pointed out some things to me that I missed along the way - one of the most fascinating being the little needle bundles hatching from what all my life I thought were cones on the evergreens. There is such endless detail out there, always something new if you look for it...

Sleep deprivation caught up with me on the descent into the col between Welch & Dickey, a clumsy step and I just narrowly avoided a bad ankle sprain - at the cost of some dignity (of which I have little to spare), and a bang to my thigh. But I was still walk-able so we continued on. For some reason I seem to fall a lot more when hiking with TLV than alone. Perhaps I need to look at my feet more... anyway, I resolved to sleep more before hiking and talk less while hiking in future.

People were starting to show up at this point, and from here on there was a steady headwind of hikers but no problems. A few dogs, all well behaved, including a toy poodle - I think - it looked like a poodle but was only about 8 inches long, little legs cycling furiously on pace with owner. Cute ... but I could never own one, I'd be afraid I'd step on it :O !

Nothing further unusual about the descent, the usual motley crew of seasoned hikers and flipfloppers you see on a popular hike ... all good.

Back to the lot , which at this point was full to overflowing. Lack of sleep was no fun, but it was good to have gotten an early start!

AMC book time is about 3 hrs for this hike. We took six ... but there were two of us so on average we made book time, eh?