#16 Martha: Excerpt

Mt. Martha, Take 2.

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

Categories: Excerpts and 52WAV Mountain Stats | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “#16 Martha: Excerpt

  1. What a great kid.

  2. Aunt Margie

    Janelle, Proud of your determination and courage. You are an exceptional young lady. Love you.

  3. Cristy Rice

    What a tough kid! My son did this on Tecumseh. I was really angry at first but then realized it will be there another day. This was the day after he summit-ed both Osceola’s and had no energy left. We have not returned to do it yet, but we will someday. It’s nice following along on your adventures with Janelle as she is the same age as my son. They do a lot of the same things on hikes!

  4. SDR106

    If I remember correctly Cristy, we have attempted six 4000 ft peaks and have been denied three times! Eisenhower denied us twice! I feel knowing when to throw in the towel is important, could save your life.

  5. It was a lesson for me too, Cristy, as I’m sure it was for you. The kid’s tough, but she’s still a kid. I don’t want any of this to be a trial for her. Once you have to start dragging a kid up a hike, it’s over 🙂

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