Monadnock via Marlboro Trail

Summit day. Again, I changed the itinerary by choosing a different route than originally planned for hiking the mountain. I chose the Marlboro Trail instead of the White Dot for two reasons: (1) it’s on a quieter side of the mountain and would be more pleasant for the group; and (2) it was not quite as steep. I’m glad we did that route – I think it’s also more beautiful. The White Dot is the most traveled, but I don’t think the best scenically.

The Marlboro still has plenty of difficulty to offer, with ledges and rocks galore. And, views. We had another great day, a bit hazier than Wednesday, but still a good day. We took our time on the steep assent taking breaks now and then for snacks and water or to snap photos. Again, I was impressed with the gung-ho spirit of the hikers: everyone met their particular challenge head-on and all of us got to the top and safely down. And, we had fun doing it. Al came along again as did Joe; both did a great job helping us get up and over the rocks. Al was informing us of features and critters along the way.

At the top, we met people, but it wasn’t terribly crowded as it sometimes can be. Most of us went a bit lower near the junction of the Pumpelly Trail to have lunch. It was a bit protected from the wind and a bit quieter. Mary Lou and Ann opted to stay high on the mountain for their repast.

Try as we might, we could not see Boston—oh, well.  But we could see all of the surrounding valleys, Jaffrey, Gap Mountain, the Packs, Little Monadnock and more. Al met some hiker friends up top, too…small world.

On the way down the mountain, Al found an amazing patch of lady slippers. I have never seen such a large grouping.

We got back to camp late afternoon and got cleaned up for dinner. After dinner was Homespun, a friendly summing up event. I missed it though because I joined Dawn, Joan, and Ann to go see Win in the hospital – it would be my only chance to see her before the trip concluded. She was in great spirits as usual and already feeling better. It was a good decision to seek medical attention. Her son was planning on coming up to pick her up over the weekend. Go, Win!

Back to camp and bed….