Finally, a hike with sun and views. With little to complain about, this is likely to be a short blog entry.
Luke and I hit the trail Sunday for a trek up Mt. Osceola, a relatively mellow 4,340-foot peak in Waterville Valley. We were moving a bit slow — I was dealing with a three-day bout of insomnia and Luke was still struggling to digest the chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake from his 15th birthday visit to the Cheesecake Factory (that’s a lot of dairy).
Still, after a three-hour drive from Cape Ann, we were happy to hit the trailhead. The Mt. Osceola Trail is pretty gentle all the way, with a few interesting views on the way up, including a look at Mt. Tecumseh, the first peak of the summer.
Despite our sluggishness, we made good time, hitting the mountain’s broad, flat summit in a little more than two hours. When people talk about great views in the White Mountains, they refer to Carrigain, the Franconia Ridge, Chocorua or the Presidentials on a clear day. But the has a lot to offer. Saturday’s gray-blue views seemed almost endless, and there was plenty of room on the top to enjoy them. Having been deprived of clear skies for months, we spent a long time on the summit, just looking, at the Tripyramids, Chocorua, Washington.
We had hoped to bag the viewless East Osceola on the same trip, but our late start and long stretch on the summit, combined with insomnia and a cheesecake hangover, had us changing our minds about a half mile down the trail.
Frustrating as that was, it turned out to be a good decision; we were both pretty dehydrated by the time we made it back to the trailhead and our truck. Having spent all summer hiking in the rain and cold, I underestimated the amount of water I need to get through a summer hike. Lesson learned.
The early-season warm-up phase of my 48-summit attempt is all but over. I would like to have two or three more peaks under my belt by now, but steady progress is going to serve me better than pushing myself when I know I shouldn’t. There’s still plenty of summer left. That being said, it’s time to start hitting peaks two, three, four at a time.
I did learn one thing Sunday: Nothing cures insomnia like a good five-hour hike on a sunny day.