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View Full Version : Kearsarge North (Pequawket) 1/29/11



KD Talbot
01-31-2011, 01:40 PM
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The Firetower Comes Into View

Kearsarge North (Pequawket) 3268'

Kearsarge North Trail

6.2 Miles 2600' Elevation gain

Kevin, Jude and Emma

We haven't gotten to the mountains lately. Through many transitions over the last few months one thing or another has kept us busy at home. For the first time in the 22 years since I bought this home I am sleeping in the "Master Bedroom". With the passing of my mother last September 30th it has freed up the living space that I had always promised my parents would be theirs as long as they could live here. With all the going through, sorting, cleaning, getting rid of, then remodeling, painting etc. it feels as though we have moved, and yet we're in the same home. With great sadness I let go of my mother who all but raised my children while I worked to keep this roof over our heads, but with her passing comes a new era of my life I had not seen coming.

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Clouds Dance Around Us

I find myself now with the time to slow down a bit and start to pay attention to the details of my life that have been set aside because of one responsibility or another. This house is a record of my life, the things that have happened, good, and not so good... joyful and sad, moments of happiness and love, then hot moments of dissent trying to rear three boys with minds of their own on the proper order of things. Through the years this house saw the decline and passing of my father, the coming of age of my three sons, my second marriage, the coming of a grandchild, the passing of a much beloved oldest son, and most recently the decline and passing of the dear, sweet woman who kept this house a home for many, many years...

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Not as Much Winter as We Expected!

I found it difficult to walk away from all of this, but I knew it was time. The thrashing about in the deep snow in the woods near our home we had been doing for the last several weeks was no comparison to hiking up to a mountain perch on a still winter's day. I threw all of the aforementioned memories and emotions into my pack and we set out on the trail. It had been awhile since we had done any serious uphill, lots of trail-breaking in deep snow, but on flat terrain, and our legs reminded us there is no substitutions for hiking uphill, even on the "concrete sidewalk" equivalent, packed trail we followed to the summit.

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Emma Wants Me to Come Inside

As we rose through the trees my pack seemed lighter. There had been the gentlest of snow the night before and the trees which were otherwise bare at this elevation were dusted in the finest of crystals. As we gained some ground and came to the west facing ledges it became very apparent that there was far more snow at home in Kingston than there was on the side of this mountain. Even higher up the trees were covered but not coated. At the summit it almost appeared as though Old Man Winter had pretty much spared Pequawket from his icy grip and just brushed this high place with the most delicate of strokes.

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View Towards the Doubleheads

Beautiful cloud formations danced in front of the sunlight as we took in our surroundings. Glimpses of the fertile plains along the Saco were visible in the valley below, their harrowed fields barren of snow and dull brown in the filtered sunlight. To our north and east blue skies appeared and faded again as clouds moved across the Presidentials. There were no distant views across the White Mountains spread out before you to the west as their would be on a clear day, but it mattered not as the sky and clouds entertained by casting shadow and light at their whim on the frozen landscape.

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Emma Waits for a View

After I had eaten my lunch in the confines of the tower I found that my pack was pretty much empty. I turned my attention to Emma who did not think the cab of the tower was cool at all. "I can't see out!" was her main complaint right after, "What do you mean there's no more ham?" We were a little worried about Emma getting down the icy steps of the tower, but she as usual was down and wondered what was taking us so long before we started. We had been given the summit to ourselves for a quiet lunch and we were thankful for the quiet and solitude as we headed back down into the woods. We passed many on the way down who would ascend and enjoy as we did. As always some would stop to marvel at the "...little dog who climbed such a big mountain!" If they only knew!

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Trailmates

I threw my empty pack in the back of the car.

Complete set of pics HERE: (http://ghostflowers.smugmug.com/White-Mountain-Hikes/Kearsarge-North-Pequawket/15642290_6VSG7#1172123811_rZ5FF)

KDT

Snow Miser
01-31-2011, 02:15 PM
Kevin, that was a beautiful story, accompanied by some very nice photographs! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

ow2010
01-31-2011, 03:54 PM
I agree, great story and great pictures. It's incredible how a hike up a mountain can be so mind-clearing. A great way to just let everything else go and only worry about the trail ahead of you. Thanks for sharing.

Brad
01-31-2011, 08:26 PM
Kevin, you know she was there with you enjoying the hike too. I took my mother up Mt Washington on the Cog once and that was the only time she ever got up there. But, she loved the pictures of it all. With her passing I think of her smile when she stood out there looking at what she called "big sky". Kearsarge North is one of my favorites. Beautiful story and photos.

KSearl
01-31-2011, 08:48 PM
Hi Kevin,

Beautiful pictures. I enjoyed the story too! I'm sorry to about your mom's passing this past September. Like Brad said, I'm sure she was there with you. Looked like a very nice day to be on Kearsarge!

Karl

CHRIS
01-31-2011, 08:48 PM
Wonderful story Kevin. When I read your stories like this one.It brings back so many feelings and emotions and memories that I keep in a safe place in the back of my mind. My Mom and My Dad past guite a while ago and I and the family miss them a great deal. I always wished they were still with us because I never got a chance to bring them to the mountains. A place that I love. I do talk to them when I am hiking and I do believe they are hiking right beside me.Thanks Kevin..

Anna LeBlanc
02-01-2011, 09:30 PM
Thank you Kevin for your moving words and beautiful photographs.Having lost both of my parents too I know how you feel.
Going to the mountains somehow has a way of bringing us closer to those that we have loved and lost.

__________
Anna

surferclimber
02-02-2011, 08:27 PM
nice TR & pics.... thanks for sharing :)

Stets
02-04-2011, 10:54 AM
Kevin, thank you for reminding me what strolling around this planet is all about.

Once again you have shown how lucky I have been.

Your story and the way you present it is life.

I still have my parents (both 85), a terrific son, a wonderful daughter and a beautiful wife.

I still feel like a child myself most of the time and I have the mountains to thank for that.

I am glad that you were able to experience the thrill of climbing again to one of New Hampshire's best spots.

If I keep hiking and shooting photos for the remainder of my life I will never reach what you have already accomplished.

Well done and I look forward to your next trip report.


They are always am inspiration to me.

mtruman
02-04-2011, 06:48 PM
I know that I responded elsewhere on this, but need to do it again here. Doug reminded me of all the things that I'd say - and he said them Ditto. It is truly a gift to take so much back every time we go out - as Doug so well stated it "strolling around this planet". Thanks for sharing these and giving us that frequent reminder.

KD Talbot
02-06-2011, 01:45 PM
It has been asked of me if this trip was cathartic and I have to say that yes, it was, in the sense that it was emotionally purging and I believe that we all to some extent use hiking and our visits to the mountains to purge what may be unwanted baggage we've been carrying around for awhile.

If our minds could be made to focus on our similarities in this concept of using hiking and visiting the high places for the relief from our everyday thoughts and emotions, then hopefully we can begin to understand that we are all really a lot more alike on the inside than what we can see on the outside. It is the kinship we feel in our love of the hills...

KDT