I climbed Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire on June 27th and made a fantastic discovery – I am incredibly out of shape! My calves hurt for days after. The mountain is rather steep most of the way up – much worse than Mount Monadnock – especially at the top where smooth rock curves down to become immense cliffs on two sides. Being mostly bare rock on top, the trail is easy to lose and I ended up climbing straight up a wall for the last fifteen feet. The photograph above does not at all do the view justice. In my peripheral vision, I could see that the nearest trees I could see were still very distant, giving the feeling that the view wrapped around underneath my feet and I was floating in the sky. It was a bit like standing in an OMNI theater. Adding to the psychological intimidation, even after walking forever to reach the tree line, one can look to the left and see the top and just how far it is. The trail never seems to end. To the right, one can see this monstrous companion hill:
The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a beautiful place where one can see rotted logs, lichen-encrusted rocks, and twisted trees such as these:
Animal life was not especially common that day, though I did see several chipmunks and one woodpecker. There were only a very few mosquitoes and no larger biting flies. At the trailhead for the Piper Trail, I did see a flock of these strange birds:
Also, while I was passed by several hikers, at least I wasn’t the slowest one climbing the mountain:
Hello, my name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small. I like bacon. I like pizza. I like bacon pizza. I enjoy long walks on the beach, but prefer the mountains. I am a huge fan of Jesus. When I grow up, I want to be just like him and create my own universes.