Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mt. Monadnock, NH

Just came back from an adventurous & fun weekend camping out at Mt. Monadnock State Park, in Jaffrey, NH. On Friday night I arrived after getting a bit lost, to find my friends (Kathy & Beth, Chris & Kerri, & Ben) already set up and just coming back from a hike. I joined them at their campsite, after setting up my tent, and ate dinner. I tried my new, one-grill propane stove! It worked like a charm. Following this I was treated to a cherry/chocolate birthday mountain pie! It was delicious!

On Saturday morning we all got up and started up Mt. Monadnock (elevation-3,165 ft). Apparently, this mountain is the most hiked mountain in the world, other than Mt. Fuji. The White Dot trail is the route most folks take, so we decided to go elsewhere to avoid the crowds. We started up the Parker trail, then connected to the Cliff Walk trail. It was a beautiful hike, with lots of varied vegetation and panoramic views. The weather was cloudy at times but mostly sunny with a fair temperature. The trail was not as well marked, however, so we veered off course a few times. ------------------------------------> Kathy, Beth, Kerri, Chris, Ben, Carolyn

The hike turned out to be longer than expected, as is usually the case with mountains. After the Cliff Rock trail we ended up at Bald Rock, a huge open rocky area, which was a great view, but not the summit. Despite injuries and fatigue in our party, we continued on to the top of Mt. Monadnock, since we had gone so far. (Chris & Kerri decided to turn back)

The summit was crowded with people, and very windy. I thought it was interesting to read all the carved initials in the rocks. I found B.M.V., 1816, and W.W., 1901, and R.H. & B.T., July 4, 1975.
The views from Mt. Monadnock apparently span 100 miles in all directions. On a clear day (it was fairly clear) lore has it that you can see all the New England states. Of course it's difficult to know exactly what you're looking at. A G.P.S. system might have been helpful.
After our summit we headed down. We foolishly took the White Cross trail, which turned out to be a nightmarish descent. Kathy's knee was bothering her, and she had to go slow. The White Cross trail is a river of rocks, going down very steeply. It's also a long trail. Finally, we connected with the White Dot trail after about two hours, and quickly made our way back to camp.

We were all tired, but felt like a satisfying adventure was under our belt! Today I feel a little sore but quite refreshed!
Ben conquers the mountain

Beth and I scouting the path ---------------------------->

Photos by K. Sunderland

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