Today we had company and we decided it was the perfect day to hike Mt Kearsarge. Apart from finding out in the morning that the state park with the easiest trail might still be closed, so we might have to take the harder trail. But it was only 1.9 miles anyway, how hard could it be?
The descriptions were hopeful. Easy trail, great view, walk in the park they said. Well, we found out that this was a very optimistic description. A vertical park it was. Easy was not how I would have described it.
Anyway, first thing we forgot was the camera!!! What a shame. Does a hike to the summit really count if you can't document it? I guess it does, but I decided to dig up pictures from eight years ago when we did the same mountain, but going up on the easy trail
Second thing we forgot was bug spray. Or actually, we had it in the car, but no one remembered to bring it till we were up a way and of course no one wanted to volunteer to get back to the car to get it. The bugs were happy about that decision and proceeded to bug us.
Third thing we realized is that Sylvia had chosen the absolute wrong boots for hiking. Luckily my kids are very used to being barefoot, so Sylvia decided to be a barefoot hiker. Immediately copied by Kate who feels that hiking barefoot is more comfortable anyway.
Fourth thing I realized is that this was the first real hike of the season and that my body is not used to it yet. Especially if the trail goes straight up half of the time. Gah.
I brought up the rear and got farther and farther behind, but have to admit that I tremendously enjoyed the solitude. I took time to meditate (good euphemism for resting, no?) and the smells, sounds and sights were just stunning. I heard the birds sing, the crows call, saw the raptors soar, enjoyed the many cairns, and was totally happy in the perfection of this day. Happy enough to wonder whether I even should make it to the top, or whether it was more about the journey than the destination.
For a short time I thought I would be happy not to make it to the top, but then I found myself going on and on and on and on anyway, even if there was a lot of whining and gnashing of teeth. Of course the top was even better than the journey and life was good, butterflies were chasing each other and we could see the many raptors (we suspected turkeyvultures) from above, which is always cool. Maybe next time I'll bring a camera.
During one of my meditation breaks, I heard a breaking noise. I looked and saw an old rotten tree that was still standing up, but decided to fall down just while I was sitting there and observing. I can tell with certainty now that a tree which falls down in the woods will make a sound.
We decided to take the even harder and steeper, but shorter trail back to the car, and again I took a few meditation breaks. The trail was not always clear, but I found that I managed to feel the trail energy and keep myself on the right track, even when the trail markers were not clear or totally missing.
A good workout we had.
We rewarded ourselves with ice cream and then went home to make pizza. Everyone was quite hungry. And I bet everyone will sleep really well tonight!