Monday we hiked Kearsarge North with Dan, a former colleague of Tyson’s. It wasn’t a strenuous nail biting adventure, just a good old fun hike. We got there early (pretty amazing for us). The trail was worn ten feet wide gnarly roots and bare dirt. That sort of abuse only happens on popular trails. So it was really nice that there were only three other cars in the parking lot when we arrived. And only a couple trail runners passed us on the way up. The peak is on the NH fire towers list and the 52 With a View list, so we weren’t surprised that it could get busy.
Isaac led the way up. It’s wooded most of the way to the top. Isaac was dismayed at how slow the adults were going. He declared we needed to get off our computers and do recess every day like him. We spent the whole hike up the hill talking about software and workplaces. Sounds like Dan has found/made a nice place to work at Joby Aviation. When we weren’t talking software, we switched to talking airplanes. Tyson had fun describing the updates he did to the Bearhawk this summer.
The fire tower at the top is in excellent condition. It has an outer walkway around a glassed in building. The giant multipaned iron windows are still operable. Inside the building is open, save for one desk in a corner. On the desk I found a guest log. It seems families camp up there. Also on the desk was a deck of cards which Isaac promptly pulled out to play solitaire. I think, ever since the 10th mountain hut ski trip, he associates solitaire with quality family time.
Back on the ground, we ate 10:00AM lunch with still practically no one around. Dan pulled out his binoculars to watch the goldfinch in the bushes and survey the farm fields in Maine. He shared the binoculars with Isaac who checked out the minute details of the lichen growing on the ledges around us. Even without binoculars, Tyson and I could enjoy the fall foliage.
On the hike down, Isaac decided to play a game of store clerk. First he set up a store where you could buy one dried leaf with one rock. The next store, he raised prices and offered more variety including a mushroom, several hemlock cones, birch bark, and a shiny stone. Tyson bought the shiny stone with one giant rock which he claimed was worth at least five small stones. Then Isaac enlisted me to find even more interesting things that he could sell for higher prices. I got a stipend of 10 rocks for each sale I helped with. Tyson and Dan traded back their earlier purchases plus more rocks. In th end, most of the earnings and objects got discarded along the trail. Isaac did keep the shiny rock.