But, doing a stationary, drive-to-your-site camping trip wasn't so bad either. Again, don't get my wrong, it's not like we took advantage of this and brought all kinds of extras we didn't need, heck, we didn't even take showers, but we did have a few perks, like chairs, and a cooler (which contained bacon and sausage). Ultimately, we're still driving our Smart car, so it's not like we can fit much more in it than what our full camping backpacks could carry anyway.
|Our beloved Smart car, packed full.|
Personally, I didn't sleep well on Friday. The noise level (both bird and human) wasn't too bad, but I just couldn't fall asleep. Of course I couldn't sleep-in either. The sun came up around 5:00 am, at which point the avian population surrounding the campsite got rather chatty.
Originally, we'd hope to hike for the morning, then rent a canoe or kayak for the afternoon. Note: although the Mount Monadnock website says they have boat rentals--this is a lie! Gilson pond, where the campsite is locate, is rather small anyway, so I'm sure it wouldn't have been a very exciting (or long) paddle. Instead we decided to hike to Dublin Lake, which started out on the same route as the one to the peak of Mount Monadnock. You take the Birchtoft trail up until you hit the Cascade Link then continue on it, rather than turn off it to the summit. As opposed to our first hike, which felt like we were constantly hiking through mountain streams, the terrain was fairly dry. This made for nicer hiking, although it was much hotter and sunnier than our last visit, so it made for a more sweatier trip too.
|Part of the Birchtoft trail, nice and dry.|
I feel that the hiking in New Hampshire is in someways, more challenging than hiking in the Rockies. These mountains are much older, and the elevation is almost half, I think, of what we were at on the Skyline in Jasper, but the trails seem more rugged. We've encounter several instances where we've had to put aside our hiking poles so we can use our hands to climb up a short, but mostly vertical rock face. Similarly, while descending I came to spots where I had to sit on my butt, while extending one leg to reach the next foot hold. Despite all this, it wasn't a bad day hiking, and provided us with some great views of New Hampshire once we got to the top of our trail.
|The distant peaks as we hiked across the Cascade Link. There's also a little carin in view, pointing us a long the path.|
|Looking out over New Hampshire.|
|One of the hikers we passed mentioned there were wild blueberries on the rail...we couldn't help but stop to pick some.|
|One of the ridges we walked along on our way to Dublin Lake.|
|Dublin Lake. We were able to find a small patch not labelled 'No Trespassing' and relax.|
|The sky on Saturday.|
Dinner that night took advantage of our being able to bring a cooler/heavier/larger food than normal, involving sausages, peppers, onions, corn on the cob and potatoes. Honestly, I was worried we'd have a dinner fail. First, that we wouldn't be able to get a decent fire going in time and we'd wind of ravenous before the food was ready. Or, that the food would either be under or over cooked. Tinfoil dinners were a common (I can't quite say popular) staple of girl guide camping, and typically you either wound up with raw food, or everything would be burnt. Maybe camping cooking karma caught up with me, as we had an excellent, fulfilling meal. By layering in the food according to how much time I predicted they needed to cook (potatoes: 1 hour; peppers, onions, corn: 30 min; sausages: 5-10 min) everything turned out just right.
|Cooking over the fire is hard work--although Andrew did do a lot of poking and adjusting to keep the fire going.|