Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! My family kept it pretty low-key this year. My mom and I got through a muggy 6-miler in the morning, but otherwise we pretty much lived in the air-conditioning.
Today was adventure-filled though! I enlisted my friend Ramya and her brother for a climb of Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. While I guess the word, “mountain” should have tipped me off, somehow I was expecting a leisurely, slightly inclined hike through the woods.
To begin with, we chose the steepest, most direct trail- the “White Dot Trail”. We wanted to get to the top to enjoy the views for as long as possible, but this trail was seriously intense. While it began innocently enough (dirt trail, slightly inclined), we soon reached incredibly steep, boulder-filled sections. There was no getting around, the only way was up!
But that wasn’t even the worst part of the trail! The really scary parts were close to the top- all exposed rock at a seeming 90 degree angle. There was one section that probably involved 15 minutes of me trying to determine how to continue without killing myself. I nixed one potential route when a fellow hiker remarked to her husband that one little slip of my foot would result in my falling all the way down the cliff with nothing to break my fall… Yeah, that was really encouraging.
By the end, my legs felt like jelly, and I was not entirely convinced that going all the way to the top would be completely necessary. After all, hadn’t we already seen enough?
Thankfully, my friend and her brother were able to coax me on with a “hey, we’re only 15 minutes from the top now!”- this happened several times, so I think their sense of time may have been slightly fraudulent. Oh well, I’ll forgive them.
The views from the top really were incredible – it was like sitting in the clouds!
And there was a wonderful breeze at the top that cooled us down nicely while we sat and ate lunch (an almond butter and raspberry jam sandwich for me!).
After resting sufficiently, we decided to make our way back down via the “White Cross Trail”, a longer trail, but less steep than the earlier one. (I said a prayer of thanks to the mountain gods that we didn’t have to go back the way we came!) This trail still had challenging parts too, and a few times, I came close to putting an ankle down wrong, which would NOT have been good.
Luckily, after roughly 3 and a half hours, we made it to the bottom. HOORAY!!! My legs felt utterly exhausted- my quads were as quivery and used up as they are after a half-marathon. Still, what an awesome sense of accomplishment I felt from having climbed a mountain today! Definitely something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
AND to round out our adventure, we stopped off on the way home for a little ice cream. I had cookies and creme, and it honestly might’ve been the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Mountain climbing ice cream! Much better than pre-long run ice cream.
Has anyone else ever climbed a mountain or done something that they felt super accomplished after?