Sunday, May 8, 2011

Waumbek Was Still There. May 8, 2011

Starr King Trail, 7.2 miles roundtrip.

We didn't plan on Waumbek this morning. Sage's first choice was Hale, as she was curious to see the giant cairn on the summit. When we arrived at Zealand Road, however, we found it gated, so we decided to drive farther north and re-attempt Waumbek.

Back in November, we turned around on Waumbek before reaching the summit because Sage did not want to continue. No biggie, I explained to my youngest. The mountain would still be there whenever we chose to return.

I was right. Mt. Waumbek was indeed still there this morning. We arrived at the Starr King trailhead just before 8am on this bright and beautiful spring day. The girls were full of beans (to use one of my grandmother's expressions) and rarin' to go.

The woods were beautiful. It'd been a while since I'd hiked a 4K trail (Sage and I used the ski slopes for our ascent of Wildcat D last week) -- I had forgotten how peaceful and lovely the New Hampshire mountains can be.

We first ran into what's left of the snow about 1.7 miles into the hike.

The snow cover was sporadic; sometimes it ran the width of the trail and sometimes it was absent altogether.

We arrived at Starr King's (snow-free) summit in what seemed like a short amount of time. The three of us had riddled, joked, and story-told our way up the trail; it'd been an easy and relaxed ascent.

After a short snack break, we continued on to Waumbek.

A mile later, we were there.

Congratulations to Sage (4K #11), Alex (1st 4K since breaking her leg last January), and Max the border terrier (4K #3)!

A few pieces of candy later, we made our way back to Starr King.

The descent was routine. Both girls did well, neither felt like the hike was too much, and Max was a happy puppy all the way to the car.

This was a perfect Mother's Day. We had such a good time; Sage and Alex make an excellent team. They are almost equals in terms of height and strength, and they are best friends as well as sisters. Though I enjoy hiking with each girl individually, I now prefer to hike with both at the same time. Though each is strong on her own, when they are together their strength and happiness multiply. They point things out to each other, they help each other over various obstacles, they play games with each other, they converse about everything under the stars, and they make each other laugh. Hiking with them is a true pleasure; I am grateful for my good fortune.


Don Eidam said...

The story of the first Waumbek attempt was my favorite of all your posts.
Please, more videos! More videos!

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

Thanks, Don! I'll work on including more videos. :)