I picked up the local newspaper when I was in Lincoln on Sunday. In it I read an article by Tom Ryan about hiking with his dog Atticus. Ryan said that hiking is not about bagging a peak and heading back down. Hiking is about the journey of getting to the top and somehow finding your way home. It’s about being somewhere that isn’t as safe as your living room.
The article reminded me that every time I am about 5 minutes from a trailhead I’m scared. As I get closer to the start I get really nervous about getting lost, kidnapped, killed. All the irrational fears appear. Maybe not all irrational because I do watch, listen and read the news. All my outdoor activities take me out of my comfort zone. Not knowing the outcome is hard for a control freak – and let’s be honest – we are all control freaks.
I always forget about that fear as I’m planning the next hike. The feeling is similar to fear I have prior to flying and traveling to a new place; thinking of all the bad things that could happen.
What I like about Tom Ryan’s article is how he loved the end of day when he was simply exhausted and fell asleep getting ready for bed. That is a great feeling.
At the end of Sunday’s hike, that didn’t result in bagging another 4,000 peak, I stopped at the One Love Brewery. I’ve been meaning to go there just because I love the name. They can your choice of beer behind the bar. I chose the Octoberfest beer.
After hiking for 12 miles hike with my dog on a trail that meandered into a wilderness, I got home safely, I enjoyed a One Love beer and fell asleep exhausted. It was a good day.
Our hike on the Starr King trail began around 8am since we stayed in Gorham for the night. The wind was howling and it was only 25 degrees.
The trail meandered through the forest and since all the leaves were off the trees (and covering the trail) the views were nice except but hiking was difficult since the rocks were covered.
It was a steady incline and after hiking Cabot yesterday my quads felt it.
As we got closer to the the summit of Starr King I had to put on my wind breaker and my face was cold from the wind and cold temperatures. I wanted to get there as fast as I could because I was getting nervous about the wind.
We got to the top of Starr King with cool views and the Jay birds flying around.
We saw a few people and decided to run to the top of Waumbek to just get it done and be out of the cold. The ridge run to the top was an amazing forest and a lot of mud!
We made it and hiked/ran most of the way back to the car.
Saturday’s hike was epic. North Twin 4,761, 8.6 miles round trip during peak New Hampshire foliage.
4,000 footer #2 for Winnie and #43 for me!
We had to cross the Little River six times.
After slipping on a rock half way through the first crossing I decided for safety I would just walk through the water and not worry about rock hopping. My Injinji socks and Pearl Izumi trail shoes quickly dried enough to not give me blisters.
The fall foliage was beautiful and the lighting just right:
We saw a few dogs and about 20 people total which isn’t much considering the drive past Lafayette trailhead with cars parked for miles on I-93. I can’t image hiking Lafayette with all those people. One family hiked North Twin with children who looked 5-years-old – amazing! So many smaller groups that loved Winnie and petted her.
She’s getting less scared of people on the trail which is nice.
A great day to be on the trail. I had great conversations with hikers about hiking the 4,000 footers and other trails.
Then after driving home I met my mom to see to movie, A Star is Born.
Saturday dawned with a big list of things to do (all accomplished by the way). I need the list to get things done. I’ve learned that when I have a list when I go to bed the night before everything gets done.
Hike with Winnie
4 Mile run (because it was the plan)
Out of the Darkness Benefit Walk with Jeff & Winnie