Friday, October 3, 2014

Shelburne-Moriah -- Sage's Last 52 With a View! September 27, 2014

Rattle River Trail, Kenduskeag Trail.
11 miles roundtrip with about 3200 feet of elevation gain.

Hooray!  Sage first began hiking the 52 With a View when she was four years old.  I suggested this list to her since, at the time, her big sister was tackling the Four Thousand Footers and Sage wanted to try something of her own.  The 52WAV seemed appropriate since, though some of those hikes are as strenuous as the 4Ks, most require significantly less effort and are therefore ideal for a young/inexperienced hiker.

Here's Sage in 2009 on her first 52WAV, Mt. Willard in Crawford Notch --

June 2009 -- Sage's first 52WAV, Mt. Willard.
Alex and Hugh are in the background.
A few 52WAV peaks later, Sage decided she was ready to follow in her sister's footsteps and go for the Four Thousand Footers.  We therefore temporarily abandoned the 52WAV and concentrated on the 4Ks.  Sage finished the 4Ks at the age of 6, then we got distracted by repeating 4Ks we enjoyed, and then we decided to highpoint, and then we just plain didn't want to be tied down to a list for a while (except for highpointing).  I'd make a note of it whenever we happened to hike a 52WAV, but Sage was in no hurry to finish.  Before we knew it, however, we had hiked most of the list and then, last summer, we decided to incorporate the remaining peaks into our training for the John Muir Trail (which we completed in August).  When we returned to New Hampshire a month ago, we had only two 52 WAV hikes left -- this one, and our Stairs-Resolution-Parker trek.

It's therefore been a long and involved journey between June 2009 and now.  Our time on the 52WAV list has spanned the entirety of Sage's hiking career.  I used to have to be sure I didn't hike too quickly for Sage, and I used to have to be sure she was warm enough/hydrated enough/cool enough/etc.  Now, she has to be sure she doesn't hike too quickly for me, and she's more than capable of tending to her own hydrating/delayering/etc.

This was a big day, but Sage is an introvert and she does not like to be the center of attention.  A week before the hike, I posted a "Come join us!" announcement on Facebook without Sage's permission...that was a mistake...Sage told me to delete the post, that she only wanted family on this one.  So, family it was.  Hugh, Alex, Sage, and I began hiking up Rattle River Trail at 7:15am on Saturday, September 27.

Blurry picture!  Sorry.

The first mile and a half or so is flat-ish and leads to a shelter.

After the shelter (which was occupied), the trail continues its easy grade until about two and a half miles in.  The grade then alternates between moderate and steep.  I was expecting our journey to be much more difficult than it was -- the path never really felt that steep.

Sage found this cool leaf.
The trail flattens as you get close to the Kenduskeag Trail.


From here, there are minor ups and downs to the summit.  We loved this ridge walk -- so many viewpoints, so much open space!

A look back toward Moriah.

Sage "Woo-hoo!"s at reaching treeline.

Sage points to the summit of Shelburne-Moriah.

That's where we're heading.

Oops!  Stuck in the mud.

Alex documents the muddy feet.

Summit!  Congrats, Sage!
Hugh takes a photo.


Happy hiker

We ate all the cake and a slew of other snacks, then we eventually headed back down.  The temperatures were warm and the day was gorgeous, so we didn't rush.

When we got close to the parking lot, Hugh and Alex went ahead so they could film Sage's final 52WAV moments.

About to officially finish.

Now it counts -- done!

Congratulations, Sage!  Nine years old and finished the 52WAV.  

The girls and I hope to hike Alex's final two Trailwrights 72 peaks within the week,  After that, we will be finished with lists for a while...except for highpointing, and except for our own Terrifying 25 list.

Thanks to the Over the Hill Hikers for putting together this list of gorgeous peaks.  Each of those mountains has its own flavor, and Sage and I enjoyed experiencing all 52 of them!


cherelli said...

That is amazing, what an inspiring family you have! And as for hauling an intact cake up, well, that almost tops it! Yum. :)

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Thanks, Cherelli! (I carried that cake up waiter-style, lol).