I was planning to only do Mt. Pierce today, but when I found myself summiting it nearly an hour earlier than planned, and given the indescribably perfect weather, I quickly found myself lumbering towards Eisenhower as well. Zero wind until that peak, not a cloud in the sky, and mid-teens all day. Sitting at the summit and staring up at Mt. Washington just three miles up-trail–it was very hard to turn back. 10 miles / 5 hours.
Lessons I Learned On The Trail Today:
(1) I’m very susceptible to peer pressure on the trials. A mere single hiker saying, “You have to keep going to the next peak” is enough to ensure I do exactly that.
(2) You know that famous Robert Frost poem with the ending: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.” Yeah, that guy never hiked in the winter. Let me tell you, I tried taking the path less traveled, and you know what I got out of it? I probably spent a quarter of my day backtracking my own foot steps.
(3) Give me a cup of coffee before a hike and I will fly up the mountain. I probably wasted a good hour taking pictures across the ridge and I still averaged 2 mph the whole hike. I can only imagine if I didn’t have my camera with me….