We had the best intentions for an early morning, waking up before 6:00 so we could eat, pack up, and leave by 6:30. We were only 35 minutes late.
On the drive up into New Hampshire Katie taught me a new game: (I’m Thinking of Something and It’s) Not French Toast. I’m not very good at it but I can see how it’s a great car game. I’ll need to improve my lateral thinking if I want to play it well.
We arrived at Mount Jefferson a bit after 10. I was fooled (Katie and Andy were not) by the small flat stretch at the start. It only took minutes for the uphill to start, then we went up for the next 2.5 miles. At first we had shade and trees with lots of rocks, but after a while hiking and a stop for a snack we left the trees behind.
The rest of the hike was a steep rock scramble. We wedged our feet in tiny cracks, braced our arms, pulled ourselves up along a jagged ridge line for miles. (There was some walking too, of course). By the end, my leg muscles were screaming at me and shaking. I guess that’s because in our 2.5 mile hike we gained about 2700 feet in elevation.
The summit was a windy pile of large rocks with great views of the rest of the mountains. We were high enough that my lungs protested the atmosphere; Katie tells me that the summit is at a higher elevation than Denver, so I guess my lungs weren’t just being whiners. I found a sheltered flat rock to lie on my back for a while, but eventually we had to head back down.
Down went a lot faster than up, but really strained my knees and ankles. I ended up sliding on my butt at times and have nice big holes in my new pants as a result. Several times I looked behind me and thought, “How the hell did I get up there?” I couldn’t understand the physical accomplishment and certainly not the mental one given my fear of heights.
We finally got back to the car around 6:00, and we chowed down Doritos as a reward for our efforts. Poor Andy had to drive the 3 hours back to Boston to cap off a long and tiring day. He did get a break when we picked up some Chinese food to eat on the way home. After I ate, I did what I do best in cars—slept.
Now we’re back at Andy’s apartment, unpacking and unwinding. Tomorrow I have big plans…to be lazy.