I have been hiking for years. In fact, I vaguely remember my mother trying to drag my sister and I up Mount Washington when I was six or seven years old. And I always have this like… ritual when I hike.
The night before, I pack all my stuff up. I make sure I have all the things I know I shouldn’t leave home without. I make sure my clothing is layered and weather appropriate. I get all my water bottles put into my pack. I listen to Led Zeppelin. I tell my dog the same story about that time I hiked the Bigelows in shorts in late November. He rolls his eyes at me.
And I get so excited. Even though I nearly always hike alone. Well, the dog comes, but in terms of human beings, I rarely am accompanied. My sister works like nine days a week, my cousin has a new baby… no one has the time or really the desire to spend an entire day driving, walking four thousand feet uphill, and feeling sore the next day.
However, Scott and I finally live in the same state, so we can finally do things together. Like hike.
So this past month, I took Scott hiking with me. To Mount Washington. And it was glorious.
The day was terrific. We started out by waking up as early as we could. Coming from two parents who don’t know what sleeping in is like, we do try to take advantage of the weekends we don’t have William in that we try to wake up sometime after six in the morning. I think we were on the road by seven. Which, is pretty decent.
Naturally, we stopped for coffee, and grabbed sandwiches at the amazing Tie-Up in Harrison. (To be precise, we got Gobblers, and if you have never had one, I suggest you get yer rear-end over to the Tie-Up and order one.) Then we high-tailed it to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Border Collie in tow.
It was a perfect day. In fact, in the dozen or so times I’ve hiked Mount Washington, I’d say I have never seen such extraordinary weather. It was chilly at the top, but sunny. So we weren’t freezing, wet, and miserable, but we weren’t sweating to death either. Perfect autumn-like day.
Anyway, we went up the Boott Spur trail and then took the Tuckerman Ravine trail down. Jacks totally outpaced us. I’m not fit. Scott has old-man knees. Jacks literally ran the entire way, (Except the nap he snuck in at the top.)
Actually, we decided to stop at the top of the Boott Spur trail instead of ascend the entire thing. For one, the clouds were rolling in at that time, and our second reason is because of the cars at the top.
It is so disappointing to hike a mountain, only to reach the top and have cars, a train, and a gift shop at the top. We want to hike to be outside away from that, not to hitch a ride down. So we went to the top of the plateau, and pretended that was the end. It was gorgeous anyway.
I think they should stop making those bumper stickers that brag about your car making it up the mountain. Woo-hoo. Try it on your own feet!