Today after church one of my friends heard that I was planning to hike up Mount Major after lunch. He and his daughter wanted to join us, and we were more than happy for the company. We both went home to change clothes and eat, and then we met in Tilton. From there, I led the way to the trailhead.

My three companions

My three companions


We got to the trailhead at about 3:00pm. Beth wanted to carry our pack (it had water in it, plus a first aid kit and some snacks), so I let her. It wasn’t long before she asked me to take it, which was just what I expected.
The girls do some boulder scrambling

The girls do some boulder scrambling


Bella saw a rock that she thought looked like New York State. I had to agree.
New York is also a granite state

New York is also a granite state


There was plenty of sheep laurel (same genus as mountain laurel) in bloom. I have a lot of this in my woods, but it never blooms like this.
Sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)

Sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)


There was also a lot of this viburnum in bloom.
Unidentified Viburnum

Unidentified Viburnum


I don’t know which species of Viburnum it is – just that it is one.

When we got to the top there were several people there, and many of them were more than willing to throw sticks for Penny.

Penny at the summit

Penny at the summit


I cautioned them to not throw any sticks over the edge of a cliff, as I’m pretty sure Penny would go after one. She is a smart dog, but she is also single minded when it comes to fetching sticks. To her, it is The Most Important Thing. More so, even than her own well-being.

At the summit there is a little stone hut. It probably had some wooden bits to it once upon a time. I don’t know its story. It’s about ten feet by ten feet, and kids do love climbing around on it.

The girls on the stone hut

The girls on the
stone hut

We stayed on the summit for half an hour I guess, but then it was time to go.

Close to the top of the mountain we came across this little bog. On the way down, Penny dropped her stick in here and looked at me as if I were going to get it out for her. I don’t think so Penny.

Mountain bog

Mountain bog


She abandoned it and found a replacement stick as we went down the trail.

I think we wore Penny out, which is something she desperately needs. I know we wore me out, even if no one else was!

Advertisements

Today after church Beth and I went for a hike with a group of our church members up to the top of Mount Major. It was perfect weather to “mount” such a “major” expedition, ha ha.

Nearing the Summit

Nearing the Summit

We found a lot of blueberries and gobbled them down. Beth seemed to enjoy finding them as much as eating them.

She also found it much easier going up than down. I found it just the opposite.
Here’s a shot from the top, looking at Lake Winnipesaukee.

From the Summit

From the Summit

After all the walking we did last week, one would think we should have stayed home and relaxed a bit. My ankles and calves are screaming at me now, but I have no regrets!

Today after church several members went up to Mount Major in Alton, NH for a hike. My family was among them.

As soon as we headed up the mountain, Va slipped on some mud and injured her knee. So she went back to the car and waited for us. I don’t think she much enjoyed the hike. 😦

There were plenty of wildflowers in bloom, including lots of false lily of the valley, blueberry, clintonia, and striped maple. Plus one that at first I thought was mountain laurel, but after having looked in my books and scouring the internet, the only thing I know for sure is that it is not mountain laurel.

Another flower I don't know

Another flower I don't know Maybe mountain juneberry?


I have emailed “Mr. Smarty Plants,” which is actually a gang of botanists connected to the Native Plant Information Network at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ve asked Mr Smarty Plants questions before, and have never been disappointed. I expect I’ll not hear anything until Tuesday though, what with this being a holiday weekend.

When we reached the summit of Mount Major, we hung out a bit and took in the view of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Lake Winnipesaukee view from the summit of Mount Major

Lake Winnipesaukee view from the summit of Mount Major

Group photo at the summit

Group photo at the summit


Then we got buzzed by an airplane. On his first pass, I think he was easily within 200 feet. Maybe 100, but heights are deceptively difficult to estimate. We could see the pilot an his passenger pretty easily though.

While we were up there, the temperature dropped about ten degrees. I didn’t have a jacket (and I should have known better, but we were hustling to get our stuff together before we left the house this morning, and a jacket was one of those items I forgot). The trail down was shorter than the trail up, and thus… steeper. But it had some interesting rock formations:

Beth, between a rock and a hard place

Beth, between a rock and a hard place

Penny certainly seemed to enjoy the hike. It was one of those rare outings that seemed to wear her out. We hiked three miles, but I don’t know if that was each way or total. Penny, on the other hand, ran up the mountain and back down again at least six times. She’d run ahead, and then run back to us. Then go on a side excursion. Then find us a stick to throw. And if anyone took her up on that proposition, she’d chase the stick and return it post haste. She was one tired dog when we got home.

Penny on the way up the mountain.

Penny on the way up the mountain.


At the bottom of the mountain, I happened to spot another flower I wasn’t sure of. I suspected it might be a lupin, and when I got home to check that out, my suspicion was confirmed. It’s funny the a wildflower enthusiast such as myself, who spends tons of time outdoors snapping photos of flowers had never seen this one before. It’s maybe the most famous flower in the state. Anyhow, here it is.
Lupin

Lupin

Now I need to get to bed. We don’t have anything planned tomorrow (unless I am greatly mistaken), so maybe I’ll get to sleep in a little. My sore legs would sure like that!