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October 2019
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Isaac’s First White Mountain Hike

Isaac and I enjoyed a beautiful clear day on Saturday with our first excursion to the White Mountains.  We got a later start than we’d hoped, but on the plus side we were both well rested and had a good breakfast.  We survived a long traffic  backup on I-93 (accident north of the tolls), found a Tedeschi for their restroom,  took the opportunity for a stretch break and lunch in the car, and made it to the Greeley Ponds trail head on the Kanc at 2pm.  I felt noticeably more relaxed after seeing the sign welcoming me to the White Mountains.  Something about the mountain air, gorgeous views and blue sky just melts the stress away.

Isaac had fallen asleep after lunch, so I had time to change into hiking shoes and load up the pack.  I used the Chicco backpack with the sun cover, which Isaac really enjoyed, and then I strapped my camelback to the pack frame, loaded with water, a first aid kit and a spare diaper.  After hoisting ~30 lbs onto my back, we were off!

Not far into the hike there is a stream crossing.  Anyone who has hiked with me knows that I’m not good at crossings.  My trail shoes are a big improvement over boots, because I have a better feeling for the slippery and uneven rocks, but I was not ready to try to balance or take precariously large steps across a pretty fast moving stream while still getting the hang of shifting the extra weight.  So after surveying the options and watching a couple hikers cross back the other way, I opted to just wade across.  It was up to my knees in places, but luckily for wool socks and shoes with good drainage, the experience was quickly forgotten as we kept tromping up the the trail.  I thought to myself that I should be a better role model, so Isaac avoids that moment of paralysis when encountering a rushing stream, and learns to simply pick his way across the rocks – or splash through – without thinking too much about it.

It was a lovely afternoon, with only a few other hikers and some students doing trail maintenance.  Isaac smiled at all of them. The trail was a bit muddy in places, as it followed a stream, but was cool and shady without any bugs. It took about an hour to get to the pond, where there is a stony beach along the shoreline.  Isaac was happy to get out and walk around, making a bee line to splash in the water.  He was also happy to sit and play with the stones, until I stopped him from eating them, which resulted in tears.  After a half hour break and a snack, it was time to head back.  It only took 40 min to return to the trailhead, where we took off our wet shoes, ate more food, and got ready for the trip home.  Isaac settled down and slept nearly the whole way home.  We arrived in time for dinner and Isaac was ready for an early bedtime after his big day of adventure.

I count this first “dry run” as a success!  Isaac was a good traveler and clearly loved the hike.  He didn’t squirm or kick, and I think we could have done a longer excursion if we got an earlier start (and/or a shorter drive).  The two hours were enough for me to get my mountain “fix” and let go of any nagging issues on my mind -good for both physical and mental exercise.  It was a good hike for me to regroup and rejuvenate, to balance being the old “me” and the new mom “me”.  I imagine it would be easier to have one person carry the baby and another to carry a day pack, (and also the 2nd person could take photos!) but it’s good to know I can handle it myself.  I look forward to more hikes this fall!

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