Franconia Ridge Loop

Beep Beep Beep!  

It was time to get up, and fuel up (with food and water) for my big hiking debut.  I mean I’d been hiking before but this was an all day event.  It was about 6,000 feet in elevation.  It was part of the Appalachian Trail.  Needless to say I was anxious.

Suntan lotion and bug spray…check.  Layers in case it got cold…check.  Water and Gatorade…check.  Trail mix, Cliff Bars, Goldfish…check.  Toilet paper…check.  It was 8am and we were at the trail head in New Hampshire ready to start.

Off we went.  Up and up and up!

We saw gorgeous waterfalls.  We heard the birds.   We passed a few people, but not many.  We stopped briefly to take some pictures.  We enjoyed quiet.

Wow! This isn’t too bad, I thought to myself.  I can do this.  But then I looked at my watch.  We had been hiking for an hour and still had at least 5 (but probably more) hours to go.  Ut oh!

Around 9:30 we stopped at a rock for a snack and water break.  I enjoyed some beef jerky and Gatorade.  Are you sure you aren’t hungrier?  Maybe eat some more.  I’m having a Cliff Bar.  We’ve burned a lot of calories so far.  Probably our whole breakfast really, Joe stated.

Nope!  I’m fine.  The Gatorade and beef jerky hit the spot, I said getting to my feet.  Let’s keep going or I’m not going to be able to, I joked.

We started our trek up again.  It’s always hard to start up again once you stop, Joe shared.  My legs are feeling tired right now.  I agreed and kept moving.  Up!  Up!  Ugh!

About 20 minutes later though I stumbled on a rock (stayed on my feet) and stopped in the middle of the trail.  You ok? asked Joe.

Nope!  I am very tired.  How and I supposed to get up the rest of this?  I am close to tears.  I’m not liking this, I proclaimed.  We still have so much more to go.  It’s only 9:50am.  

Joe handed me a Cliff Bar giving me an “I told you so look.”  Eat this.  You’re hungry.  It’ll make you feel better and give you more energy.  Besides, we are almost to the first summit.  You can do it.  You can’t quit now.  

Not wanting to admit I was wrong, I blew my nose and I took the bar and continued to hike (shoving the bar in my pocket when I needed 2 hands to climb).  Within minutes of finishing the bar I felt better.  My negative self-talk was gone and I for sure had more energy.

Who knew you could be hangry without knowing you are hungry, I said to Joe still not admitting he was right.

At 10:30, the summit was in view and it was gorgeous.  I made it to the top of Mount Haystack, I was now on part of the Appalachian Trail.

While I still had another 90 minutes across the ridge line, and 2.5 hours back down to our car I was thrilled.  I thought to myself That was totally worth it.  Not everyone would be able to accomplish this.  But I did!  

 

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8 thoughts on “Franconia Ridge Loop

  1. Congratulations! What an accomplishment! We go hiking quite often but we’re the world’s worst hikers–we’re always forgetting the snacks or not bringing quite enough water. I try to keep it under two hours just because I know we aren’t going to be prepared properly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I’ve done a lot of hiking in the Adirondacks, and I’ve always wanted to try the NH mountains. I sometimes think hiking is a great metaphor for what it’s like when I’m writing. It’s really a struggle on the way up, requiring a lot of that positive talk, but when you reach the top, you can see things in a new way. All the small parts seems to fit together.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this slice! It moves slowly – just like the hike. As I read – and reread – I felt the mental struggle was harder than the physical. Yet you persevered over both! Proper fuel – cliff bars and Joe’s cheering and your own self talk got you to the top where you got the gift of that view! Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing your experience with your slice! Again – yay you!

    Liked by 1 person

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