Currently while writing this post: the sun is shining in through my window, I have a new playlist I created on spotify playing in the background, and I’m drinking
my second cup of coffee 😉 Solid start to the day.
Yesterday was another mountain adventure day – shocker, I know. Last week I hiked Mt. Isolation with Dawna who I met on the women’s NH hiking Facebook group and yesterday I hiked with Laurie who I met while hiking last summer. I’m starting to really dig hiking with new and semi-random humans. So far it’s working out really well!
Last summer on a hike I met Laurie along the Lend-a-hand trail between Mt. Hale and Zealand hut and then ran into her again at the hut. We chatted for a bit and exchanged contact info in the event of hiking together in the future. Back in early June we connected about a hike this summer and made it happen yesterday! Originally hoping to do an overnight backpacking trip, we decided to call that off with the thunderstorms Friday night and settled on a Southern Presi adventure day instead!
The route: the hike began at the Crawford Connector trailhead where we first hiked Mt. Pierce via Crawford Path. From the summit of Pierce, we did an out and back to Mt. Eisenhower to then find ourselves back on Mt. Pierce for the second time. At this point, instead of taking Crawford Path back down to the parking lot, we continued along Webster Cliff Trail to Mizpah Hut and then Mt. Jackson summit. From the summit of Jackson, we took the Webster-Jackson Trail to link up with Route 302 and had a short road walk back to the car!
I love the Southern Presis and I’m very very happy to have now hiked Mt. Pierce in July. Pierce will most likely be my first grid summit and I’m totally stoked for this. For those of you reading currently asking yourself “what the heck is a ‘grid'”? The grid is hiking all 48 New Hampshire 4000 footers in each calendar month. So, all 48 in January, all 48 in February, etc. I’ve now hiked Pierce in all except October, so apparently you all know what mountain I’ll surely be hiking in October 😉 Real talk, I’m not sure if I’ll ever complete the grid, but it seems like a fun life goal and I dig hiking so why not see what happens?!
The weather yesterday was legit PERFECT, the bugs weren’t a bother at all (no rocking the headnet like last weeks Isolation hike), and there was plenty of mud for getting super dirty. I’m not sure how but I always manage to get so much mud on me, every hike no matter how much mud there is (well… not winter).
Oh well, #sweatydirtyhappy. Oh so happy.
Another great part of yesterday was hiking a section of trail that was new to me. I had never explored the section of Webster Cliff Trail between the Mizpah Hut and Mt. Jackson, so I’m glad we included Jackson yesterday because that part of the trail might have been my favorite of the day! It was also the muddiest, ha! This section includes lots of bog bridges, dense forest, open rocky areas, and a quick rock scramble to summit Jackson at the end! I think both of our legs appreciated this section being a bit flatter and easy going, too!
There were LOTS of hikers and runners out on the trails yesterday. On the way back to Pierce from Eisenhower a hiker coming from the opposite direction was a staff member I know from UNH! It’s not uncommon to see other Instagram NH hikers on trail, but it’s few and very far between where I run into someone “from real life” on trail!
We came across people hiking single summits, multi-summits, and even the Presidential Traverse. It’s great to see so many people taking advantage of what this little state of New Hampshire has to offer and opting to spend time outdoors! Seeing a group on Jackson wrapping up the the traverse was neat as that’s on my radar for this summer. The bod feels in a good position to take on the miles and elevation which comes with that hike, so I’m uber excited for that upcoming adventure!
One thing I am becoming more and more aware of is how much I dig long mountain days. Shorter hikes are great too, don’t get me wrong. But, there is just something about being in the mountains for 8+ hour hikes that really strikes home for me on such a soul spiritual level. Immersing myself in nature for these chunks of time has created so much space in my being to think, process, connect. One thought that keeps popping into my brain on recent hikes is how grateful I am that my body can handle, and seems to really enjoy, long mountain days. I’m just in constant awe of what our bodies can do and what they are capable of when we really listen to them.
“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” ― Ram Dass