December Thaw

It had been nearly two months since my last peak. I was care taking at 13 falls at the time.  I dropped my pack to hike the last half mile up to Galehead on my way to my site. I had no idea that I would not hike again for nearly two months.

My time with the AMC was over. I moved back down to southern New Hampshire to started over again. That is the trouble with seasonal work. Always on the move. New job new surroundings, and new problems. Back to the busy southern lifestyle. I suppose I was depressed. Maybe I just needed a break. That had all passed now as I knew I needed to be in the mountains.

I always felt an urge to go out hiking but I held it back in the better interest of my situation. It was for the best. I finally had an opening to take a short trip and I was happy to go. I was a little concerned about my time off the trail affecting my ability, but I calmed my mind from doubt. Lucy and I made the drive up to Carrigain.

Mount Carrigain was the last peak I needed for my fourth complete round of the NH 48. I work breakfast now at a small restaurant so at 1 pm when my shift ended Lucy and I made the trip North to Carrigain parking lot. We got there around 4 to start hiking around 4:30. It had been a while since I had done a night hike. Actually it was coincidentally my last blog post as well.

Right from the start I was happy that I was out in the woods. Almost as quickly I started to pass folks who were finishing up their hike for the day. Nearly all of them had a warning for me about the time of day and the length of the hike. I thanked them all for their concern as Lucy and I continued down the trail. I was out of shape than what I was 2 months earlier, but I feel I was making great time.

Best part about a night hike is that there is little to pull you away from hiking. This means you can finish a hike much quicker than you normally would. A perfect condition for a late night after work hike. I met my good friend Jeremy O’Donnell before the hike, and we had made plans to meet up when I was finished. not only that but there were also plans of doing the Kinsman’s the next day so I was short on time if I wanted to get any kind of sleep at all.

The weather was perfect for December. Mild and no wind. It was too dark for pictures but I did manage to get a couple. I started the hike at 4:20 Pm and finished at 8:30. Not bad for an out and back up the signal ridge trail, but I have definitely lost something over the past two months. I was able to hike the whole trip in only my boots, but added traction should be used near the top.

Lucy and I slept well that night. We woke and had breakfast in North Woodstock before making our way to Lafayette campground parking to start a Kinsman hike. It was a clear a chilly morning, but you knew it was going to be a great hiking day. Jeremy joined me on the 9.8 mile hike of the two peaks. It was a nearly perfect day on the fishin’ Jimmy trail. Again I would recommend traction as you gain elevation on the trail as it is quite slippery.


20 miles in 24 hours. It was great to be back! I was a bit sore in the knees and back from the time off but I know it was worth it. Winter is approaching and it is important to be ready to deal with more than just sore knees. Lucy and I are just warming up…

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