Yesterday we hiked a big hike-- two peaks (3,910' and 4,052'), 6.5 miles, 2,500 feet vertical rise. We went up to the top of Crawford Notch and hiked the Webster-Jackson loop trial.
It was a beautiful day for it and it was a beautiful hike, even though my actual hiking experiences usually go something like this:
First 45 minutes to 1 hour or so: Head is dizzy. Legs feel completely not up to the challenge. Carry on.
First hour to first summit: Quiet yet grumpy. Annoyed at all rest stops because they are not getting us closer to the summit
First Summit: Moment of elation somewhat dampened by how cold and windy summits are. Put on all layers of clothing available. Hunch down behind some sort of wind block and eat gorp, summit cookies and jerky. Realize there's still one more summit and the descent to go.
Ridge to Second Summit: Feel pretty good thanks to sugar buzz and the relative ease of most trails between summits.
Second Summit: Briefly enjoy nice views. Realize it's just as cold and windy here as at previous summit. Carry on.
Descent: The hardest portion of the hike. Complain about how much my knees hurt all way down. Wonder when we can get back to the car already.
Drive Home: Rhapsodize about how excellent the whole hike was and how much fun I had!
Yesterday really was a good hike, the toughest we've ever done. My girl bagged her first 4,000 foot peak and it was my second. The views really were astonishing, big green mountains as far as the eye could see. The peak of Mt. Washington was clear and not too far away from us since we were hiking in the Presidential Range.
And my knees didn't even really start to hurt that much until about the last half mile of the day. As we drove away, wonderful-yet-slightly-devious boyfriend pointed out the one of the mountains we had just climbed to our left. It was HUGE. I had to bend over with my head near my knees to look out the driver's side window in order to see the summit. I found it hard to believe that we had been capable of climbing that massive beast of a mountain. Then I realized we drove past if on our way there as well and he hadn't pointed out that was our destination. He had kept it to himself because we probably would have mutinied if we had realized that was were we were headed.