Mount Monadnock: Not for Sissies!

A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to one of my three sisters, Joanna, who resides in Concord, MA.  Another one of my sisters, Lee, lives nearby and she joined us for one the hardest four-mile hikes I have ever done!  Mount Monadnock located in Jaffrey, NH, is a 3165-feet granite monster. It is one of the most climbed mountains in the world (who knew) and was a favorite of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Emerson even wrote a poem about the place entitled, “Monadnoc”.

I was excited about our adventure as any time with two of my sisters is always good.  However, at the time, I didn’t realize I would be hiking in a vertical fashion through ice and snow.  I laughed when the park ranger said, “It takes about a mile per hour.”  I scathingly retorted, “A mile an hour? Don’t you mean four miles per hour?”  How the mighty fell that fateful day on Mount Monadnock.  Perhaps my first clue should have been when Joanna obliquely said, “There are a few hard spots on the trail I just can’t remember where they are.”

The Country Kitchen
All good Monadnockers know to stop at the Country Kitchen in Concord, MA for delicious deli sandwiches and the tastiest chocolate chip cookies. Most needed refreshment after scaling the Mount.
Three Sister starting out
With my sisters, Lee (on the left), and Joanna (on the right) at the start of the trail – back when I thought it was going be an easy photography hike.
Starting on the trail 2 the easy part
Starting off on the easy part of the trail.
the beautiful and easy trail
Still easy.
starting along the granite trail
Lee’s and my first steps on the granite roller coaster that is Mount Monadnock. How little we knew.
Climbing 1
Joanna looking good as she conquers the often unstable boulders.
climbing 6
Lee and the CCC climbing.
climbing 7 EM smiling
Still climbing.
Climbing 8
Still climbing.
climbing 4
Still climbing.
climbing 3 when the @#$! is this going to be over!
When the !@#$%! is this hike going to be over!
climbing 2 and still smiling
That’s better! Lee smiling. You can’t keep a Marlow girl down for long (unless of course there’s 3 more miles of hiking in 25 degrees with snow and ice swirling around you!).
the view 2
The view from Mount Monadnock. Yes, it was worth the effort.
Climbing in the snow
Although getting up was challenging, getting down was even more so. We had to cross over granite slippery with snow and ice. The wind was blowing 20 miles an hour too. But hey, it’s not called an “adventure” for nothing!
icey tree
As a California girl, I have no tolerance for cold of any kind. I was surprised I didn’t have a nervous breakdown at the site of all the ice-covered trees.
selfie
Of course, I wasn’t so miserable that I couldn’t take a selfie!
trees
Despite the chilly temps and icey ground, there was always time to appreciate Mount Monadnock’s beauty.
trees on the trail
The trail heading home. It looks so easy!
fall foliage
Gorgeous fall foliage. It’s easy to see why Thoreau and Emerson were so moved by this place.

On finishing the trail we were tired and very proud of ourselves. Although, Lee and I whined (a tiny bit) while traversing Monadnock, we thoroughly enjoyed it and were so glad Joanna brought us there.

Now onto the most important question – what libation would best warm our chilly bones?

Hot spiced cider
Hot spiced cider with Gosling’s Rum, of course! Here, Joanna, clean and relaxed, warms up with a  mug. Could there be a more satisfying end to a most satisfying day. Thanks Ladies! You girls are superlative sisters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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