Mount Major Trail, Alton, New Hampshire On Memorial Day, 2015.
by Anura Guruge
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Attribution MIGHT be sought.
This was actually the first time we have been all the way up to the Summit! It was good. Very rewarding. Wonderful views.
We have, of course, given that we have lived in Alton, N.H., since 2007, ventured on the trail — but we never made it all the way because one or more of the kids would ‘give up’. Not so yesterday, Memorial Day. Devanee, having been to a birthday party in West Alton (and having been driven there, at her request, in her 1968 Green MGB), was having a ‘down day’. So I asked Teischan what she wanted to do. She said she wanted to go on a hike. That was good. Of late, now 9, she is becoming quite the tourist — and I am delighted. Yes, we had hiked the 2.5 mile, 600′ vertical drop, ‘White House Trail‘ when we were at Canyon de Chelly. She had enjoyed that. I was going to go to my old stomping ground, ‘Locke’s Trail‘ in Gilford — which I/we used to hike often, with Ulysses, when we lived in Gilford.
On Sunday, driving Devanee to West Alton, I had seen that Mount Major was packed. Cars parked on the side of Rte 11, about 1/4 in length each way — in both directions. So that was about a mile of parked cars — not counting the 50 or so that can be accommodated in the parking lot. Lot of cars, lot of people.
So as I was driving along, which must have been around 2:30 pm (because I had to do some book work before we set forth), I said “lets do Mount Major if it isn’t full”! It wasn’t. Most people had headed home. There were people. The parking lot was full — though we did find a place. You met a fair number of people and dogs but they were spaced apart. It was DEFINITELY not like being on an escalator — which is what it must have been on Sunday.
Interesting hike — and we only did the Blue, Main Trail to the top. Most of it is a walk in the park. Then towards the end it gets STEEP and you have to scramble up some granite scrabble ledges. A bit tricky. I had already done my 2.5 mile run up and down Prospect Mountain Road that morning! But I need all the exercise I can get. So it was a bit tiring on the ol’ knees. The dogs had gone on the run too. Taking Maya, on a lead, and having the Canon T3i (around the neck), was an impediment. Could have enjoyed it much more if my hands were free. But it was fun. Deanna, despite her bad back and bad leg, made it in the end, though it was a challenge. But she enjoys being able to finish a hike — all her doctors telling her that she must walk and that she must exercise.
Definitely recommend it. It is challenging at the end but rewarding. Give it a spin. You might even see us, given that I get a feeling that we might do this again.
Oh, it was overcast and cloudy and there was always a hint of rain. Would have preferred a brighter day at the top BUT that would have made it hotter. The prospect of getting caught in the rain worried me slightly. The granite ledges, when wet, would be dangerous. Plus the Canon T3i is NOT weatherproof! Must get a weatherproof camera.