Sunday, July 15, 2018

Monroe on the Fly

 In my quest to open myself up and find my Tribe, I find I have met quite a few interesting people via the Internet. One of which suggested this spot to catch the sunset last Wednesday night. Being a person who lives in a tourist town I know you should always ask a local for the good spots!!
This one did not disappoint. It was surprisingly chilly as I traveled through 80 degree and was only in shorts, a t-shirt and bare feet.
 I woke up early. I had set an alarm but didn't want to wake anyone else in the room. 5:25 I tiptoed out of the hostel with a breakfast sandwich in my hand. I had a 45 minute drive to the trail and was super worried about time. I love it in the mountains in the morning. Like the sun hasn't reached all the crevices yet. This is Franconia Parkway and the sun was just warming the top of Cannon.
I wanted to park in the same place where we parked in November and when I arrived there were already a few cars there. The top lot cut off about .5 miles. The trailhead is  not so clearly marked on the map I had and I had no memory of where we entered but I remembered a trail sign and kiosk with a map.. As I am aimlessly walking around the Cog Railway lot I am approached by a man driving a Gator who informs me that I need to pay to park. I learned that the lower lot was White Mountain Forest and I could use my parking sticker but up here I was on Cog land and they wanted their $10.
So in true Fooseberry fashion I found the one thing I had forgotten to bring ( there is always 1 thing but it changes every trip). I got back in my car and drove all the way down Base Rd to an ATM for cash. Sure I could have parked in the lower lot but I needed cash for the Hut. They sell the most delicious soup and baked good but you must have cash!!
 So about 45 minutes later I finally get to the trail. The temp when I set out was about 42. Yes, it's July and I am happy and prepared. The Ammonoosuc Ravine trail afforded me a lot of time to waterfalls. I stepped off the trail and took a bazillion photos and hopefully chose the best ones for this post.

 This is the Gem Pool. I was torn between wanting to sit in it and enjoy and thinking I wouldn't want to ruin it. The photo below is the trail as it crosses over the pool.

 I didn't have my usual printed map from the WMGO and I didn't look at my other 4000 footer guide so I didn't have the skinny on sights to be looking for but on a whim I see a side trail with a large tree across it. I figure WTH, let's look.
Holy Falls! This phot is only 1 but there were 2 and they came down into the coolest pool and then proceeded past me. I climbed all over the place trying to get it all into 1 photo but it was too large and the view point too close.
 There are a few side effects of hiking in New Hampshire. Some are good and some are not so good but one is that you are always looking down. The trails are tough sometimes. This time I am still in awe of these falls and I see this little fella. I held him in my hand and he was about the size of a half dollar. I moved him to the side and went on my way.

 I have mixed feelings about this picture. I understand the history of trains, the development of the White Mountains because of them but I also know that today it's more about modern business so I was a little annoyed to see the plumes of black smoke, the noise they generated as they opened for business and the smell as I came back down and it was trapped in the ravine far from the tracks. 
 After the Gem pool this trail becomes all business. The stones may be formed into stairs but they at points don't feel like they are taking you to heaven. I do know it will feel like heaven if I make it to the Hut and then to the Summit. The sky is looking grey and I want to get this done and back to tree line if it turns it's cheek on me. This is my view from the bench outside Lakes of the Clouds. ALmost there.
 Mother Nature has a sense of humor if you pay attention. Like cresting this trail and seeing the real Summit ahead if you keep following the cairns. I didn't mind though. The view was amazing. The trail dotted with tiny white flowers and bees. I was amazed at the bees buzzing around them.
 And here I am atop my 28th mountain. Actually it is way more than that because this is just a stupid list I am working on but I have been to many more before I was so list oriented and I just realized that as I am typing.
God, I've probably hiked 40 mountains.
See I was going to delete this photo that a fellow hiker offered to take of me. "Climb up on that flat rock so we can get the Lakes and Mount Washington in the picture." Self critical of my speed, shape, ability. Instead of the fact that I am on my 28th 4000 foot mountain and I will be on many more. I am forgetting why I do this and it isn't to be the fastest but to stand in awe of the beauty.

 I'm thinking there was a marker but a human did what they do once again.
 The trip back down was slow. The knee injury from last year is coming back slowly but it's there. Running and Mountains are proving to be kicking this old ladies ass this week but I refuse to quit. I have places to go.

I found this memorial cool. A man had died in the area in 1928. As I stand here in full expensive gear imagining what there trails would be like in those conditions I am amazed. The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains tells some of the history of these trails and it is pretty amazing. Get a copy if you can find it.

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Race Results

09/07/07 Main Street Mile 11:44
05/18/08 YPD 5k 52:57 17:05
06/14/08 Walpole Village 5K 35:27 11:26
06/21/08 Mashpee Fun Run 34:21 11:05
07/19/08 Mashpee Woodlands 36.49 11:52
08/10/08 Falmouth Road Race 1:29:31
08/25/08 Women Running Wild 35:40 11:30
10/25/08 Mashpee Firefighters 37:47 12:10
05/02/09 Cape Abilities 5K 34:59 11:17
05/17/09 YPD 5K 36:41 11:50
08/09/09 Falmouth Road Race 7mi 1:37
10/31/09 Mashpee Firefighters 5K 37:15 12:00
09/11/11 Main Street Mile 12:31
10/29/11 Screech to the Beach 5K 39.13 12:20
08/12/12 Falmouth Road Race 1:34:24 13:29
05/18/14 YPD 5k 44.25 14:17
06/1/14 June Jog 4mi 1:04 16:00
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:42:04 14:35
09/27/14 Girly Girl 5K 37:24 12:02
10/26/14 Pell Bridge Run 4mi 48:41 12:10
11/27/14 Turkey Trot in VA 5K 35:22 11:23
12/06/14 Jingle Jog 5K 34:42 11:11
03/29/15 Thomas Guinta Memorial 5K 34:14 11:03
04/19/15 St. Margaret's 5K 31:11 10:21
05/17/15 YPD Blues 5K 34:58 11:17
06/07/15 Newport 10 Miler 1:56:09 11:36
06/20/15 Mackenzie's 5K 33:55 10:54
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:33:51 13:24
10/31/15 Screech at the Beach 36:19 11:40
5/20/18 YPD Run to Remember 37.37 12:08
9/19/18 Falmouth Road Race 1:35:06 13:35