We went to Pitcher Mountain in the southwest of New Hampshire for our first hike of the spring. Isaac had not been out hiking since the beginning of January, so I was not sure how much he would remember of the process. Not to worry, as soon as I started packing the kid carrier, he became excited. And he was horribly despondent when I took him back out after resizing it.
We started late and actually ate lunch in the parking lot. A little ways up the trail we stopped to adjust some gear in the packs and put Isaac down while we were busy. He happily grabbed a hiking stick and started walking up the trail. Last year when we were hiking, he was not stable enough to walk on a rough trail. This time he needed to be picked up over the muddy spots and steep sections, but otherwise could walk on his own. At the top of the mountain where it was flatter, he hiked on his own grinning happily and occasionally tilting at bushes with his hiking pole. Eventually he came to a halt, but he did a pretty good job for his first hike.
To me it seemed like the ground was muddy and wet, but the fire tower at the top was staffed due to fire danger. We climbed up the stairs to get a tour. The fire lookout said that while the ground was wet and muddy, the surface was covered with dry dead plant matter from last year. That combined with the high winds had pushed it to a category three day. She pointed out all the peaks in the distance and explained her sighting tool. Meanwhile her radio chattered continuously with reports of brush fires in western Massachusetts.
We completed the short loop around the mountain back to the car. Then we headed south to see if we could find a trail I had looked for as a possible ski route last winter. It was marked as a road on the map and turned out to be a well maintained farm road. It came out right where I expected. There is no parking there, so we had to hike back the highway to the parking lot. On the way back, we were sidetracked by an abandoned causeway and road. The whole area is one large property that is a mix of farm and conservation land. It has obviously seen much use as farmland over the centuries.