As I sit here on Friday night, writing in my blog, I can't help but feel saddened as October comes to a close. As October ends, it definitely signifies the end of hiking season for me. I'm not saying I won't go on a few hikes this winter, but I know that a bulk of my hiking occurs between late spring and early fall.
Jill and I on Mount Osceola in late May
I feel that the reasons I don't do much hiking in the winter months are pretty common. The first and most obvious reason is the weather. The days in which I wouldn't feel comfortable hiking due to high winds, icing, snow, etc. are much more frequent in these months. The second reason is really due to schedule. During the spring/summer/fall months, I seem to have an easy time procrastinating and ensuring that all my free weekends are spent with nature, out on the trails. In the winter months, I play catch up and work on all the house projects that I have neglected during hiking season!
As I reflect back on my 2010 hiking season, I can honestly say I wouldn't change any part of it. Jill and I hiked many mountains that were goals for us heading into the hiking season. We hiked the difficult Holt Trail on Mount Cardigan, overcoming some true worries and fears while executing the rock scrambles. We traversed the Franconia Ridge and got our first ever views into the beautiful Pemigewasset Wilderness. We climbed the Sugarloafs and had the summits to ourselves for over an hour, just admiring how beautiful New Hampshire really is.
This year, I've hiked with great friends as well. I climbed the intimidating Flume Slide Trail and lived to tell about it with my good friend Matt. I brought my buddy Sean up to his first summit bid ever, to top of Mount Potash in the Sandwich Range Wilderness. And I helped organize an employee hike for my company, which was part of our Wellness Initiative at work.
Aside from the summit and destination objectives, a lot of other great things happened this hiking season too. I've met so many great people in the State who have the same passion for the outdoors that I do. Through forums and blogging, I could say I've networked well, which has resulted in meeting these people, but I feel it is much more than just that. I would gladly call these people my friends, not my network. I would proudly hike with them all and would want to grab a beer with them after to share hiking adventures. Like I said, they're friends to me.
Finally, maybe one of the best things that happened this hiking season was signing onto Blogger and starting my blog, Live Free and Hike New Hampshire. Through a lot of encouragement from Jill and the inspiration of a few blogs I had been reading on a regular basis, I decided to try it. I honestly thought I would write two posts and probably forget about it. After all, I'm an engineer, not a writer. I wrote my first blog posting and I was hooked. I believe that is because I'm writing about what I love...
Now, even though I consider this the end of my hiking season, it does not mean I will stop hiking. It's just that I will not be hiking as frequently. I already have plans to go for a hike or nature walk in the seacoast region this weekend...possibly Stratham Hill Park...who knows. Since I will not have as many up-to-date trip reports to share in the coming months, I plan on writing about other things such as hiking equipment reviews, memorable hikes of mine and the beautiful mountains in general. The hiking season coming to an end isn't all bad, though, because it gives me an excuse to get my snowshoes out :) !