hike report: Mt. Monadnock, New Hampshire

Last year, we hiked Pack Monadnock, because that park allowed dogs, unlike Monadnock. This year, the dog stayed home so we could hike Monadnock Mountain in Jaffrey, NH. If I had known better, I would not have started from the state park campground, which although providing the shortest route to the top, also has one of the steepest routes, the White Dot trail.

If I can get my wife to go again, I think I'd like to try the gentler, Old Halfway House Trail. Of course, it's longer, but I like the company. A new and nice feature on the White Dot trail is the installation of a spring-fed spigot that some Eagle Scouts set up. The park rangers, recommend 2 L of water per person. We might have had that total between the three of us, as well as three apples. It was a warm day and my daughter was thirsty. Something this steep can do that to you under the hot sun.

We enjoyed the summit, eating our gorp and apples, cooling off in the strong breeze, enjoying the company of several dozen. The sky was blue, the view was fabulous, it made my wife and daughter forget the pain of the inclines.

We needed to make time so we could set up at our tent site, so we tore ourselves away and headed down the White Cross trail, also recommended by the ranger. We did enjoy the wild blueberries above the tree line, both going up and coming down.

We rode on our backsides for some parts of the trail down. There were also muddy, boggy parts that involved hop-scotching across. It was one of those jumps that tripped up my dear wife and left her bruised and sore. The trail reconnects with the White Dot after the spring, which we surely could have used. But we made it back to society without dying of thirst. Unfortunately, the camp store closed at 4, too late for us to buy a patch in honor of our accomplishment.

The view was spectacular. I'm so glad we made it to the top.


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