#22 North Percy: Excerpt

The mountain girl in her element after a tough hike up.

The promise of views is often the fuel that propels us up a difficult pitch or gives us the incentive to navigate a tough stream crossing or muddy bog.

Today is not one of those days.

We are only a mile up the Percy Peaks Trail and Tough Cookie is faltering. It’s day 4 in a row for us, Labor Day, and we have pushed hard this past weekend. We’re on our final climb, North Percy, one of the most beautiful on our list, but we’re both beat.

Janelle is having a hard time shaking the images out of her head of all her friends playing at home, enjoying this day off from school. But unlike Mt. Martha last month, there’s no tears and no drama. She just drags, and that at least is progress. I’m proud that she forges on, that she understands that this hike, this time, is about mental discipline and determination. Someday, she may need to rely on those traits in real life.

But, despite our tired legs, we fight back. We make up a head game called what I’d rather be doing. I start.

“I’d rather be eating a popsicle than hiking!” I proclaim. Then, we hike for ten minutes while she thinks of something to add.

After the allotted time, she shouts, “I’d rather be eating a popsicle and hanging out with my friends than hiking!”

And so it goes. We wind up this beautiful and steep mountain, past the enormous moss-covered rock slabs, past the thick pine overgrowth, onto the rich ridge and finally up into the azure sky; our legs becoming strong, our hearts pounding in our ears, together.

All the while, we proclaim our deepest desires to be someplace else.

North Percy Peak (9/3/12)

Height: 3,430 feet

Location: Near Stark, I-93 to exit 35 to Route 3 north to Groveton to Route 110 east to Emerson Road to Nash Stream Road.

Our trailhead: Percy Peaks Trail (Warning: Nash Stream Road may be closed in winter.)

Distance: 4.4 miles round trip.

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Categories: Excerpts and 52WAV Mountain Stats | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “#22 North Percy: Excerpt

  1. Maddy

    AS Outward Bound taught us: To serve, to strive, and not to yield”
    You did good Janelle. I think you might have what some call “tenacity in pursuit.” You go girl!

  2. Lovely piece!

  3. Nancy

    I like that game – need to remember it!
    A pat on the back to Janelle – lessons learned keep coming & you keep rising to them!

  4. Emma

    I like this game too and it is one that Janelle may need many times in her lifetime. I am continually amazed how this young woman/child has done all these hikes. A pat on the back, a high five and a hug for Janelle! WOW !!

    Emma

  5. Sdr106

    Thanks for sharing this! Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks about what I’d rather be doing. The rewards after are so worth it though. Keep strong Tough Cookie, you can’t ever buy what your doing & learning, it’s only earned by hard work.

  6. Thanks Scott, we new from the start that not every hike and every day would be a walk in the park. Sometimes, it’s just a head game.

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