It took me about 45 minutes to reach the top of the trail, so I'd guessed correctly on the amount of time I'd need. I was really impressed by my stamina too. I stopped to take pictures along the way up, which was really all I needed to keep my breathing even. The trail was forested, with many roots, pine needles, and flat rocky surfaces for most of the way.
In a few spots there were some tricky rocks to climb.
I did get tired; the last 50 feet of the trail was steep, and a bit tricky and my thighs were complaining, but I did it! The top of the trail was granite covered, and clear with a lovely view of "our" mountain, Mt. Monadnock, to the north. Since I had cell reception, I let people know where I was.
However, I did it,
and reached my car safe and sound.
Things I learned:
- Bring my day pack so that I don't have to carry my water bottle
- Bring a hiking stick -- snowshoe poles --- with me, especially for the descent
- I can do a lot more than I thought I could
- I need to buy some hiking shoes with ankle support. My NB walking shoes had great traction, but I realized how easily I could have twisted my ankle in a few spots. I also need shoes/boots where my feet don't slide forward in the shoe.
- Other hikers are helpful and friendly - great conversations too.
- I love taking pictures of fungi
- I loved it, even with the pesky deer flies and mosquitoes
My big take-away?
I CAN DO THIS. I CAN DO WHATEVER I SET MY MIND TO DO. I AM CAPABLE OF MORE THAN I THINK.
This is different from the past, in that for the first time that I can remember, I am realizing I can do PHYSICAL things. I've always been successful in other areas, but never have I been successful in activities involving my body. I hated PE because I was terrible at everything that involved running, catching, throwing, having stamina. Because I couldn't keep up with other kids, I stopped doing those things, and therefore stopped doing other physical things. NO MORE!
That's why this little hike was so empowering for me. I'm not planning to hike the Appalachian Trail or back country. But I am going to buy some supportive hiking shoes, and hit some other easy trails, and this fall, by golly, I'm going to climb Mt. Monadnock!