My partner in hiking and fiance, Leigh and I raised money for seek the peak this year.
Seek the Peak is “New England’s premier hiking event” a Hike-A-Thon to support The Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS).
We learned about the event late and were still able to reach $1200.00 for MWOBS.
So a touch of back story, Leigh is a novice hiker through and through but she has drive, determination, a willingness to learn, and the ability to use common sense.
I approached Leigh cold and out of the blue when a friend told me about the Seek the Peak event, told her about it and asked her if she wanted to hike Mount Washington. At first she said “YES!” which quickly turned into (common sense kicking in) “how bad is it?”
Trying to relay the severity of the terrain, we came to a good destination for someone that is just trying their first difficult hike, Hermit Lake.
Hermit lake and the caretakers cabin are 2.8 miles from Pinkham Notch. 2.8 Miles of uphill along broken rocks and in and out of culverts.
Trip planned and our route set we were ready to gather donations and eager to get the trip under way.
We left for New Hampshire on the 16th just ahead of the rain in Connecticut and got there, set up and were bedding down as the rain started. It rained Thursday night and part of the day Friday but that did not stop us from enjoying North Conway, NH and the MWOBS museum. We stayed at Dolly Copp campground which is about 4 miles from the Mount Washington Auto Road and about 8 miles from Pinkham Notch, convenient.
This is the first fundraiser I ever took part in that had sponsors and it was nice as there were prizes for dollars raised. Leigh and I each raised over $550.00 which entitled us to a “goodie bag” and a Hydroflask.
The hydro flask is one of the coolest (literally) drink bottles I have ever used. I have left the bottle in direct sun @ 90° for over an hour and the water inside never got higher than cool room temperature.
The “goodie bag” was a backpack donated by Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) some granola bars and trail mix, pancake mix and Coffee (Good Vibes, great coffee) and a couple other goodies.
Back to the story at hand. Rain fell each night we were there and into each morning. Saturday morning was no exception. The day of the hike Leigh and I each woke up early to find it still raining so our 8:00am trail time turned into 9:00am while waiting for the rain to subside.
With a late start, some fine mist and a good bounce in our step, Leigh and I started out hike.
Having done this exact trail last yeah, I knew what to expect. Leigh did not. I feel as though my explanation of the pitch or the terrain might have been off or maybe she just couldn’t visualize the trail but Leigh, started happy and had to dig in more each time the hill said turn back.
Due to battery restrictions, I did not take a ton of pictures on the trail.
Saying Leigh had to dig in is a great way of putting it as that is exactly what she did. Leigh pulled herself along this trail and vowed that she was going to make it to her destination, no matter how many times I offered her the out of going back.
We made it. More impressive, she made it. Remember that drive and determination I mentioned earlier? She used it to drag her butt up that hill and reach her destination.
We had a great time resting at the care takers cabin while we ate lunch and got ready for our decent.
Thoughts of turkey dinner from Harts Turkey Farm carried us down the mountain like we sprouted wings. We flew down the mountain and may I say we earned that dinner!
We ate at the bottom of the mountain and may I say, the day that started shaky had gotten beautiful!
After the prizes were all doled out and the food was all gone it was time to head back to camp with one well deserved stop along the way.