Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Mountain of Grace

It was a sunny February day. The guidebook said the 1.5-mile climb from trailhead to summit, “should take about an hour, depending on how many times you pause for a rest.” (This blog post should take 2.5 minutes to read, depending on how many times you start daydreaming). Our three mile hike took four and a half hours, they don’t call me dawdler for nothing!

I can’t take all the credit though. Two external forces helped cool my heels: the snow and the child. Though we didn’t have any of the appropriate accouterments strapped to our feet, I have to give the lion's share of the credit to the kid. Nobody can dawdle like a child. She crumpled to her knees, crawled, lay flat on her back and at times was dragged bodily up the hill.

Note to self: next time bring another kid to play with along the trail. Oh and the parents too, in case the other kid needs tending.

Atop the “mountain” (I have to put “mountain” in quotes because I grew up nestled between the Olympics and the Cascades, two mountain ranges whose high peaks remain snow-capped through August and whose treacherous terrain take the lives of several hikers every year.)

Ok, lets start again. Atop the “mountain” (although I use the quotes to denote a smallness, this is out of fondness not meanness. The quaint notion of a New England "mountain" is actually a more reasonable conception as far as I'm concerned.)

Alright, third time’s a charm. Atop the “mountain” we paused for lunch under the shadow of an old fire tower and sat in old snow that had seen the freeze/thaw cycle a few times. Each of us had one perfect hard-boiled egg. The hard-boiled egg, an old-timey travel food, is ready for a comeback. The packaging is strong, light, durable and natural. Plus, unlike a sandwich it doesn’t get soggy while you hike. One egg each wasn't quite enough to slake our appetites, though. At dinner we ate like pigs at the trough.

Funny enough our amazing dawdler became a flier on the way down, her batteries charged from our rest at the summit. She took the trip back down at a run and smiling.

Just like us, the trees were smiling too.

[Headed back down from the summit of Mt. Grace in Warwick, MA. on 2/20/2010 we found this smiling face pictured above. We were northbound on the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. has very thorough information on Mt. Grace. The hiking guidebook quoted was "Hiking the Pioneer Valley" by Bruce Scofield pub 2003.]


  1. Eggs are good. We hike with trail mix, dried fruit and jerky. Forget sandwiches!

    Try Mt. Monadnock sometime.

    I enjoyed your mention of your hometown. We were in Townsend back in 2001 on hiking trip to the Olympic Range. Wonderful journey which began with the aircraft gliding by the mindblowing Mt. Rainier. That is a mountain.

  2. I'm going to have to do a post on food in short order, I can tell! I have a friend who leads trips up Mt. Rainer every few years. He came back with "moldy lips" one time from getting sunburned. It looked pretty bad.

  3. I'm behind on my blog-post reading. I loved this post, especially your reference to our "mountains" in New England. That means I've never actually climbed a mountain before...

  4. I don't know why I'm logged in as my son. Anyway, it's me Tara...

  5. Hill-climbing is a far more sensible pursuit in my not humble opinion.