A week has gone by since we climbed Mount Washington and it’s given me a little time to reflect (and to be perfectly honest, finally write). It’s Sunday afternoon, approximately 10,000 degrees out so why not use this time to plunk by butt down by my window A/C, listen to Lorde’s new album on repeat and put into words what I’ve spent the past week thinking about.
1) I can’t hike slowly.
Ok, so I already kinda knew this one going into the trip. Being the girl who grew up playing every sport imaginable, I naturally have a competitive side. Not necessarily with others, but with myself. “I can totally climb this in under ___ hours” is a phrase that has repeatedly been on loop in my brain for… Ever?
Since we were such a large group on Mount Washington, Mary Anne and I decided to have one of us lead and the other stay at the back. Within the first 20 minutes of the hike there was quite a substantial distance between Mary Anne and myself. The fastest hikers were tearing up the mountain and my group was moseying, chatting and taking pics.
Let me clarify something real quick: This is not me complaining. We all hike at different speeds and like to enjoy nature in different ways but in the game plan to all stick together, this just wasn’t working. Eventually, we all met up at a beautiful bridge over a stream to reassess.
Unfortunately one of the girls in our group was getting some nasty blisters and an old knee injury was acting up so we all had the conversation of whether or not she should/could continue.
Spoiler alert: She did end up continuing, summited and absolutely CRUSHED it.
At this point we shook up the groups and I decided to lead with the fast people and Mary Anne would stick back with the rest of the pack. This ended up working out great as we finished up the hike about an hour and a half quicker, which gave us time to grocery shop and prep dinner for everyone.
(Jeremy and Colin making it look easy)
2) I overestimate my physical abilities sometimes.
When Alexa (the girl I mentioned above with the blisters and knee injury) told me early on that she was struggling, my instincts were to 1) Find Moleskin and 2) Determine whether or not I could run the trail. I didn’t want her going back to the parking lot alone so I figured I could hike back down with her then run back up the mountain to catch up with the rest of the group.
About 10 minutes into hiking with the “quick group” my confidence was put back into place and I remember chuckling to myself, thinking “Girrrl, in what world?”.
3) A great way to catch your breath is to pretend you NEED to stop to get a pic.
Totally stole this one from Rachel. Genius. There were only 4 of us in our group: 2 guys and 2 girls (the guys, by the way, are fit AF and didn’t seem to struggle at ALL on the mountain) so I noticed when Rachel was starting to feel it, she’d stop for a picture. WHY HAVE I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS? Or maybe I’ve subconsciously done it, protecting my ego. That sounds more likely.
(This is totally a “You guys go ahead, I’m just need to snag a quick shot here” photo)
4) There’s something a lot less rewarding about a summit with a parking lot and cafeteria full of people (although the coffee and Doritos were HELLA good).
This was a weird one for me.
Every mountain I’ve summited in the past has been peaceful, serene and incredibly rewarding. This one ended with a staircase that lead to the Mount Washington Summit sign, where a crowd of well dressed and non-sweaty people lined up to take their picture. I’m sorry, but DRIVING to the top of a mountain isn’t photo op worthy. Those bumper stickers that say “This car drove to the top of Mt Washington” are a little silly, if you ask me. Know what’s not silly? The bumper sticker I saw in the parking lot at the bottom that read “The person who owns this car ran up Mt Washington”.
Nope, not silly. Insane? Maybe.
(Rachel & I at the summit)
5) The last hour of the hike tends to bring the best conversation.
To be honest, this one I’ve noticed before on previous hikes but it really rang true on this trip. On the way up, we all talked mostly about the difficulty of the hike, the route and other mountain related random things.
The majority of the way down we chit-chatted about food, other trips/adventures and sore joints. In the last hour or so, the conversation turned to relationships, meditation, self help books and overall health. My jaaaam. There’s something about being completely exhausted that tears down walls and brings out the real sh*t.
I’m already looking forward to our next mountain adventure…
Where to next?