I had a bittersweet moment this weekend as I said good-bye to an old pal. And while I’ll miss my friend, the time had come to part ways – it simply could not be avoided any longer. This weekend I traded my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee in for a younger model. And while I’ll miss the car that had been my faithful adventuring companion for the last 10 years, I won’t miss what had become a daily struggle to keep it on the road.
Or my new found freedom. I came home from the grocery store on Sunday, and it was suggested that in order to break in my new Jeep, that we hop in and drive to New Hampshire and find a mountain to hike. What’s this? An unplanned road trip? And we’re taking my car??? Suddenly the impossible was once again possible. My ride was no longer an old, broken down mule used only to get to work and obtain groceries. No, now I was the owner of a sturdy steed capable of covering great distances. So we headed to New Hampshire and ended up at Gap Mountain.
At just under 2000 feet, Gap Mountain seemed like a good prospect for a late afternoon hike on a work night, an hour and a half from home. And it was. Although it started out pretty level and flat, there was a good distance of steep climbing to get to the top. Enough to cause breathlessness and excessive sweating. And although I thought I had learned to always do my research, we went in completely blind. Luckily the path is well marked, because we went in without a map.
The sign at the entrance let us know that we were climbing the South Summit, which had no view. It then went on to boast of the wonderful view the North Summit had of nearby Mount Monadnock. So upon reaching the top after a quick 35 minute hike, we simply kept going, hiking over the top of the mountain, across the Middle Summit until we arrived at the North Summit. And while the view wasn’t all that the sign boasted, it was pretty, and a nice reward for an impromptu hike.