Jill and I finally got back out and hiked a mountain together. Jill hadn’t been on a real hike since we traversed the Franconia Ridge in September of 2010 because of the pregnancy and having a newborn. So, this Columbus Day, my mother was nice enough to watch Lylah for the day and we headed north.
Jill and I at the trailhead! She's really excited!
Bridge over Dry Brook
We chose South Moat Mountain, because of its size and short trail. We still needed to keep time in mind for this outing since we knew traffic was going to be pretty bad on the way home. Also, I had hiked South Moat back in April and I recall it being rather difficult for me, but I figured that was due to hiking on a really warm day, with full winter gear and rotting, deep snow. I also remember the summit being awesome. It had 360 degree views and not too crowded. I think it is certainly one of the more underrated summits in the Whites!
Some nice colors up on the ledges!
Mount Chocorua popping in the distance from the ledge views
We started out on the trail at 10am and the temperature increased quickly. The bottom portion of the trail is easy and fairly flat. However, the upper portion is pretty steep and I believe you climb close to 1,500 feet of elevation in 1.4 miles or so. So, needless to say, we both thought this trail was pretty tough. The views from the ledge areas to the south are phenomenal. Chocorua dominates the skyline and makes you want to drop your pack and camp there for the day. We didn’t see many people on the summit and the views were pretty good, except for a bit of haziness. Mount Carrigain, the Carter Notch, Mount Kearsarge, the Baldfaces, Mount Passaconaway and many other mountains were all in view. I also found a Benchmark up there, although it was not a USGS or NGS Benchmark, but instead it was a New Hampshire Benchmark…new to me!
Some more nice colors!
What I believe to be Mount Carrigain in the distance. Too bad it was hazy!
The best part of the whole day was that I got my hiking partner back. Since 2009, Jill and I have been hiking and falling in love with New Hampshire’s North Country, together. The two of us are like peas and carrots on the trail. I think our strong points complement each other in a very motivating way. When she needs encouragement, I give it to her and when I need encouragement, she gives it to me. And when we’ve finished laboring on the trail and set foot on the summit, we sit and really appreciate the time we’ve spent together, what we’ve accomplished and enjoy the wonderful views of the mountains before us. I wouldn’t change this for the world. She is by far my favorite hiking companion and always will be.
Carter Notch in the distance. I feel this shot would have had nice color if not for the haze!!!
Jill and I with the NH DPW&H Benchmark at the summit
The traffic on the ride home wasn’t as horrible as we had thought it would be. When we finally made it home, it was nice to see the munchkin (Lylah) greet us at the door with a huge smile. It was obvious that she definitely had a fun day with Grammy. We missed her a lot throughout the day, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love spending the day alone with Jill on South Moat Mountain.