Two weeks ago, we had attempted to hike Cherry Mountain up to its Mt. Martha summit. We didn’t make it. I had pushed Janelle too far, too many hikes in a row, too much pressure perhaps. A half mile up the mellow trail, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and asked if we could go home.
I crouched down to be face to face with her. “What’s the matter, kid-o?”
She couldn’t answer. She shook her head. She looked miserable. We turned around.
On the way down she said she felt bad for disappointing me.
“For what?” I asked honestly perplexed.
“For not being able to do it.'”
“No, no,” I tried to comfort her. “I’m proud of you for making a tough decision, an adult decision. The mountain will be here, waiting for us, when we decide to come back.”
So now we had returned. The day is hot. Her feet are beat up. She had just hiked the longest hike of her life the day before. And as we turn to face down the mountain that had turned us back once, I wonder how she’d handle the hike this time.
I stop her at the trailhead, and once again crouch to her eye level.
“Here we are again,” I say. “Are you ok?”
She nods. “I’m fine.”
“You’d tell me if you weren’t?”
She looks at me with impatience. “I’m fine! Let’s go.”
Mt. Martha (8/21/12)
Height: 3,573 feet
Location: Twin Mountain, I-93 to exit 35 to Route 3 north to Route 115 north.
Our trailhead: Cherry Mountain Trail (located directly across from Lennon Road) up and back.
Distance: 3.8 miles round trip