I hiked to the top of Mount Kearsarge back in January with my friend Pete. (Read the Old Report!) I remember the magnificent views from the top of the 2,900' peak, I knew it was a no brainer when Jen told me she wanted to go hiking Tuesday. There were many options available at first, but after a lazy start to our morning, many of those options quickly disappeared. I was left with two. 1.) Short Hike, minimal views of Manchester (Uncanoonuc) or 2.)Longer hike with 360 degree Views. Jen was quick in deciding where to go, so we loaded up the car and headed west.
We stopped on our way at National PowerSports Distributors to say hello to Nate. I haven't seen Nate since the Run Across New Hampshire. The Healing of his foot has gone slowly thus far just like the sales of raffle tickets for the bike we are raffling off. This is a great time for me to remind you all that we are raffling off a 2007 Honda Shadow 600. We will ship the bike ANYWHERE in the world. Tickets are $20 each and the drawing is around December 15th. The proceeds from raffle ticket sales go directly to The Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire. After planning some runs of our own in the coming weeks and months, Jen and I headed out to the mountain. "Just a little farther..." I should have told her the drive was a bit on the longer side.
After a tasty lunch at a coffee shop in the tiny town of Warner, we made our way to Rollins State Park where our first observation was that of a closed and locked gate of the access road to the trailhead. The trailhead had now changed and our hike was shaping up to be much longer that the .5 miles we anticipated. As we made our way up the, at times steep, road to the state Park, flakes fell from the sky all around us. The small trickling streams and run-offs on the sides of the road are now home to icicles. The high mountain ponds have a thin sheet of ice encasing the top of the water, and the tiny balls of snow bounce off of everything, sticking to only what is all ready frozen. The sky was overcast, gloomy grey and the wind picked up the higher up we went.
Upon finally reaching the summit of the Mountain, we were treated to the 360 degree views I had promised. Snow fell to the valley in the surrounding areas. A chilly wind blew from the west north west. A small group of folks had hiked up from the other side of the mountain, a few kids with a fascination of spitting off the ledge and being far too loud and crazy for the relaxing souls liking. As we explored the summit we overheard one of the mothers/babysitters talking.. what she said "explained it all." We got a good chuckle and headed back down the mountain. As the sun set for the day, the road grew darker and the earth around us more quiet. On the way up AND down the mountain, the road seemed to never end. Our small hike turned into an 8 mile jaunt. Regardless of how long it was or how long it took, it was an amazing time shared between two valued friends.