I woke up today with big plans of hiking Mt Monadnock, New Hampshire! I was completely exhausted when I woke up at 8:30, but I got up and headed out by 9:15. Somehow, my computer told me that the drive was 2.5hrs and my phone said 3hrs, both showing the same route. Mmkay.
I had a really sleepy drive out there, but was pretty excited once I arrived! The mountain is in Jaffrey, which is a really cute little town! I loved driving through it! I was also glad that the drive was so direct and the trailhead that I was looking for was right at the parking lot! I’ve been to a few trails where you have no clue which trailhead you’re walking to.
I started the hike and got tired right away. The entire hike is obviously an incline, but I always get tired right when I start any sort of endurance activity. There weren’t many people on the trail, but once I hit the steep rocky incline, there was a couple there that I hiked close to. We made some small talk and it was kind of nice since I would have felt pretty alone out there.
Pretty much the whole beginning of the trail was like this, or steeper. It was also hot and humid and I was literally drenched in sweat. My shirt completely changed colors on me because of the amount of sweat! After about an hour, I finally to the top of the treeline!
I was amazed! It was absolutely beautiful and there was nobody else in sight! I just got to soak all of this in. At this point, I was really loving hiking by myself. I got to go at my own pace and not worry about stopping to take pictures. There’s just something about being outside all alone, climbing up a 3100 foot mountain.
I kept on going and as I got closer to the Summit, I saw a huge group of people up there! At least I knew where the end point was! I was pretty glad (although I was still a good ways away) because I was seriously getting tired of climbing rocks! The temps did cool down at the top though and there was a really nice breeze! Luckily it wasn’t too cold since I forgot to bring along my long sleeved shirt!
An example of some of the rocks I was climbing…
There were so many carins all over the place! I loved them! Once I got above the treeline, I saw probably 20-30 of them!
I sat at the top for about 30 minutes or so, just taking pictures and enjoying the view. I ate some trail mix that I’ve had in my car for the last month and is still only halfway gone. I don’t know what it is about raisins, peanuts, and M&Ms, but trail mix just really tastes amazing when you’ve been hiking! And it does well with my stomach and that’s really important when I’m hiking! (Beef jerky is a no go for hiking.)
My knees were killing me on the way back down. Signs of nearing 30. I was so glad to finally get off all these rocks and get down to more of the flat ground! I ended up running about the last 1/2 mile.
I definitely loved this hike. I would recommend it 100%. I did see quite a few people heading up when I was heading down that were really struggling with the hike. I was really feeling grateful for being as fit as I am when I was hiking down (while I was hiking up, I was a little too miserable to think about anything other than my misery) because it really ended up being a fairly quick hike. And again, I really loved doing it alone. There were the perfect amount of people. I saw them maybe every few hundred yards, so I knew I wasn’t alone, but I didn’t see them enough to take away from the experience (except at the top, and even then it wasn’t too bad- that picture with all the people on the Summit was a camp group that headed down before I got up there). Also, the trail was REALLY well marked! Again, something I appreciated a ton! I have been on so many poorly marked trails and this one was clear as day! The only downside of being alone was that there weren’t great places to stop and pee, so the second person is needed as a lookout. I drank quite a bit early on in my drive to hydrate but still allow enough time to pee it all out before starting the hike, and then I drank two bottles of water on the hike, and didn’t pee until the end of the trail (where I had to peel my clothing off of me).
I had read that this hike was about 2 hours up and 1.5 to 2 hours down. I rested for the 30 minutes at the top and aside from stopping to take a few pictures and maybe resting for 20-30 seconds to drink water occasionally, I was pretty much on the go. Well, I did stop and talk to people a few times to up at the top and on the trail down. So maybe count 10 minutes for that. Start to finish, it was 2hrs and 55 min, which I thought was pretty good, especially since I would estimate that about 2hrs and 15 min of that was actually hiking time. Not bad for a difficult hike.
But my knees are seriously killing me and I’m seriously exhausted. I’m really good at being a passenger and sleeping for the entire drive, so it really sucked having to drive 6 hours today, all alone, especially after hiking. I made a pit stop at Whole Foods and ate and then got home around 6:45.
I was so exhausted that I wanted nothing to do with cooking, but I somehow managed to shower and then throw together my Mexicanish chicken dish again and FaceTime with Jon. I’m about to enjoy some trashy reality TV and then hopefully fall asleep somewhat early tonight! My head is killing me tonight.
(PS- I think treeline is actually two words. I’m making it one.)