Weather looked great: it was a sunny day, though quite cool mostly in the 40s. The day began with a 30-minute yoga session followed by a hearty breakfast in the Mayflower Lodge.
Ryan Owen, Executive Director of the Monadnock Conservancy, could not lead the Tippin’ Rock walk, but Tiffany did a great job informing us of the history and the flora of the conservation land. Tippin’ Rock is a short hike very near Pilgrim Pines in lovely woods on private land that had a conservation easement. It wended through mixed north-eastern forest where we observed many varieties of pines and spruces, birch and beech trees, as well as other local flora, including an example of a wolf tree – a white pine that had grown multiple new trunks – a defensive response to invading organisms. The Rock at Tippin’ Rock sits on a “fulcrum” and rocks when you push it with a bit of heft!
We headed over to Gap Mountain with a brief stop to view another amazing specimen of wolf tree. Gap Mountain is a lovely, moderate woodsy walk with about 700-800 feet of elevation gain. It’s part of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, a 160-mile trail beginning in Connecticut and ending on Mt. Monadnock. The group did well, and we got to the open North Summit with sunny skies and a view of Monadnock. Lunch was at the top! Hikers were cautious on the way down, as autumn leaves were carpeting the foot path making for slippery conditions.
Another great dinner and my presentation about Monadnock, mountain, culture, and general history rounded out the evening.