#15 Willard: Excerpt

B & TC at the summit of Mt. Willard.

“Come on, Steve, let’s see what’s here!”

Our friend Steve has joined us for our hike up Mt. Willard and Janelle is leading him into the forest. We’re at the summit, the second of the day. It was slow going getting up here, but with food in her belly and the spectacular view of Crawford Notch, Janelle is back to her old self.

Beat paths lead to various lookouts along Willard’s cliff-like summit edge, and the girl is set on exploring every one of them it seems. She’s taken to Steve and I let the two of them get ahead of me. She’s moving fast, with authority, and I’m struck by how solid her footing is becoming. She’s developing trail legs, something she’ll need in the weeks ahead as we set our sights on much longer and harder trails.

“Look, look!” she’s shouting from somewhere ahead. I come around a turn expecting the two of them to be enjoying a grand view. There is a grand view, of course, but Janelle doesn’t see it. Instead, she’s crouched down, engaged in a staring contest with a deep green grasshopper.

She looks up at us and grins, and what can one do after a smile like that? Steve and I share a knowing look and sit down to watch the girl and the insect, the views forgotten.

Mt. Willard (8/20/12)

Height: 2,865 feet

Location: Crawford Notch, I-93 to exit 35 to Route 3 north to  Route 302 east to Highland Center.

Our trailhead: Avalon Trail to Mt. Willard Tail (located behind Crawford Depot) up and back.

Distance: 3.2 miles round trip

Categories: Excerpts and 52WAV Mountain Stats | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “#15 Willard: Excerpt

  1. Nancy

    This post pushes me to thoughts of Janelle’s courage & ‘intestinal fortitude’. Few adults would do what you two are doing, fewer still 10 year olds. Her casual stances when at the peaks, posing in her triumphant-ness … *sigh* How I wish I were there alongside!
    And Janelle? Thank you for seeing the little things – like the grasshopper – too. Every little piece, part, is a big part of your journey – I’m glad you’re seeing them, appreciating them.

  2. Thanks Nancy, it’s been a wonderful adventure for us so far. The harder hikes are yet to come, though! With luck, the experiences she’s having now will better prepare her for the weeks ahead! And yes, the one thing Janelle has taught me is micro-hiking, paying attention to toad and mushrooms is every bit as important as big views!

  3. Cristy Rice

    We have to hike with you sometime! My kids, ages 10 and 15 like to look at mushrooms and “fairy houses” (chipmunk holes) on our hikes in the Whites! We are headed to Lonesome Lake and maybe the summit of Cannon this weekend

  4. Fairy houses! Nice, Cristy! You bet we should hike together. I’ll send you a PM when we get our schedule together for this weekend. Nothing wrong with Lonesome Lake though, wonderful hike! I hope to take Janelle there for a winter hike.

  5. Emma

    What fun, staring down a green grasshopper…..seeing and enjoying even the smallest of things on this great tour! Enjoy all of it, Janelle!


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