On Sunday, I drove 40 minutes to arrive at the trailhead for the Andrew Brook trail for a hike to Mount Sunapee. I’ve done this hike so many times in the last year and thought it would be a good, safe hike with my friend Kendra and her dog.
Kendra needed some mountain time with her dog. I liked the familiarity with the mountain and close to home features.
The first mile of the trail was ice-free with a lot of water flowing. The first water crossing came in the first 10 minutes and we got a bit off trail trying to find the best place to rock hop. The next crossing was about .75 miles later.
The second mile was icy and I knew that coming down wasn’t going to be fun for the dogs. I tried to not let it stress me out but I realized after hiking with Kendra, who is a bit more laid back than I am, that I worry a lot on the trail.
Like Socked In Hikes writes in her article about hiking safe and staying home during the COVID-19, I’ve read all the Search and Rescue books and I don’t ever want to be rescued. I want to be safe, always, when hiking. So today I hike with a friend and stayed close to home.
When I get nervous hiking I tend to hike faster and just want to be done, which is the opposite of what the trail is supposed to do for you. When I get anxious I hurry to the top and hurry back down. I’ve always been this way, so I solo hike more than with others.
But on Sunday, I hiked at Kendra’s speed and comfortability. And, tried to calm down when my anxiety of my dog getting hurt on the ice, made me hike faster.
We arrived at Lake Solitude and it was incredibly beautiful, as always. Since I’ve done this hike so much it was great to hear Kendra saying over and over how gorgeous the lake and views were. Sometimes I forget to look around. Sometimes I forget to stop and really take in the views.
Then we continued on to the summit. We didn’t stop at the rock outcropping because a family was there enjoying the sun. We kept on to the summit. At just about 4 miles we were on the slopes of Mount Sunapee and rested.
On the way back we stopped at the rock and sat in the sun for a bit. Kendra and Toby explored a bit down the rock to amazing views. I stayed and soaked up the sun while Winnie rested.
We got back to the car safe and sound. It was a good day to be outside. We saw about 15 people the entire day and everyone was happy to be outside on the trail. There were a few people without spikes, which I felt we needed for all but the first and last mile. And, many happy, polite dogs.