Emilie Phillips updated July 31, 2017
We hadn’t hiked much this spring, so we headed up Mt Monadnock one Sunday during a brief break in the rain. The wind forecast was good, so we brought our kites. We saw our first glimpse of the mountain driving west from Jaffrey. It looked bleak. Thick gray clouds engulfed the shoulders and top of the mountain.
The rocks were soaking wet from heavy damp air on top of cold ground. We found a variety of small critters including an ant and a beetle in a life of death struggle for lunch. The beetle escaped and ran away. The spring had been so cold and damp that most of the lady slippers did not bloom. They put out two leaves and stopped there.
A bit after the bend where the Marlboro trail turns to climb steeply uphill, Isaac complained his heels were hurting. This was the second time he had issues with blisters this year. His new lighter-weight socks didn’t seem to have helped. I bandaged his heels and flattened out the socks as much as I could.
Shortly before the intersection with the Marion Trail, the Marlboro trail pokes out of the trees onto open slabs. Here we found the wind we anticipated for flying kites. The ravens soared above us, zooming left and right. The rocks were drier here. I presumed because of the wind. The wind direction wasn’t favorable for flying kites right there. We needed to continue up to the ridge. The weather up top looked milder than when we started. There was now space between the summit and the bottom of the clouds.
From the ridge, Isaac could see up to the summit. He decided reaching the top was more urgent than flying kites. We continued up to the peak. There we found the wind far too strong to fly kites. It was also late enough that we chose to just head back down.
Hiking back down was slow. Isaac had to carefully scramble and climb down the rocks. Thankfully they had all dried off before we descended. Just above the tree line, we saw Tyson’s dad flying a scenic ride around the mountain. We found a few iridescent green beetles on the rocks. Once we reached level ground, Isaac charged off faster than Tyson’s knees could keep up.