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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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!
I threw my empty pack in the back of the car.
Complete set of pics HERE: