“It is only in appearance that time is a river. It is a vast landscape and it is the eye of the beholder that moves.” ~ Thornton Wilder
Saturday. Yes, it’s true, I haven’t started the Great American Road Trip just yet but…me and my twelve-year old niece Allison hiked Mount Monadnock on Saturday so I thought I would share the experience with you. Since I’ll be moving to San Diego soon I wanted to have some bonding time with Alli-gator and since this is the first mountain she’s ever climbed I wanted to share the momentous occasion with her.
First some info on Mount Monadnock for those who have never been…
It’s located in southern New Hampshire and rises 3,165 feet. The word monadnock was derived from an American Indian language and means “isolated hill.” Because it’s an isolated mountain it affords the intrepid climber a 360° reward at the top, which on a clear day you can see all the way to Boston or even up into the White Mountains some two hours away by car. Mount Monadnock is also the third-most-climbed mountain in the world, next to Mount Fuji in Japan and Tai Shan in China. And, Thornton Wilder wrote, and set, his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Our Town, in the presence of Mount Monadnock.
Ready for her first mountain, the beginning of a two mile hike to the top.
With the path before us we began our ascent, she bounding up the mountain like a gazelle, or like the proverbial hare racing ahead, with me being the tortoise, slow and steady, getting there eventually. Coming down the mountain, however, had her complaining that her feet hurt, me walking gingerly on achy, wobbly knees, both of us carefully stepping each rubbery step.
The goal of reaching the summit and the spectacular view from the top was worth the pain and effort. We enjoyed watching the scattered Cumulous clouds, looking like cotton or cauliflower, rolling by, their shadows cascading across the landscape like giant, gentle manta rays skirting the ocean floor.
Our conquest of Mount Monadnock was a pleasurable, rewarding experience. I hope Allison enjoyed it as much as I did and treasures the experience of her first mountain forever. This mountain is a good beginner’s mountain for those who have never hiked vertically, so if you’re ever in the area and aspire to reach new heights, this is a good place to start.
I hope all of you reach whatever goals you set for yourself.
The gam continues…