Feels good to get back out and start hiking mountains again! In preparation for climbing more 4,000 footers this summer, Aubrey and I have started hiking some smaller mountains this spring to help get our legs back under us and get our endurance up again. On Friday, April 27 we checked off Gap Mountain. This was the 3rd time Aubrey has climbed Gap on her own since she was 2. She’s probably been up this peak at least a half dozen times since we started hiking back when she was just a few months old. It was actually the first mountain we climbed “back in the day”.
Friday was a bit cooler than I was hoping for but it was nice. The bugs were starting to bite but we didn’t need any bug spray this morning. The peepers were so loud as we walked down the trail along the marshy area. It was almost deafening!
I was hosting this hike for Hike it Baby Monadnock and Aubrey and I were joined by 4 other moms and 5 other kids ranging from 1-4 years. For some, this was the first bigger hike, and they all did awesome! We started at 10am and by 11:30 we made it the 1.5 miles to the summit. Which I think was pretty good time considering the group!
The trail was clear of all snow and ice which was very welcome after the hike up Pitcher Mountain the week before. There were some pretty muddy areas, and the kids all had fun stomping through it. The new bridge from last summer was still in great condition and makes crossing the small stream much easier than the old boards. New signage has been added to the trail, particularly at the summit, that helps hikers makes sure they are headed to the right parking area. I also noticed that there might be a possible reroute added to the small scramble section. In all the times I never saw the “easy” way to climb the rocks. This new (maybe just to us), goes straight up the rocks in a much easier fashion than the “old way” which required hikers to climb up rocks and duck under a tree. While most kids and adults wouldn’t struggle with the “old way”, it was a challenge for parents who are carrying kids.
We enjoyed lunch and photo time at the top and dreamed of the blueberries that would be there in a few short months. It started to sprinkle so we decided it would be best to start heading down the mountain before we got caught in the coming rain.
As we hiked down, the rain slowly started to make itself known that it was coming but never really did more than sprinkle for a few minutes. As we closed in on the parking lot I stopped the group and pointed out where the summit was to show them how far they climbed. I didn’t show them on the way up, because I didn’t want to intimidate them, and wanted the view of the mountain to be a reward at the end!