It’s been years since I’ve hiked the White Mountains, the last time being with a boyfriend who I had just broken up with. Despite the break-up, we decided to go on our planned vacation, hiking hours uphill to the Mizpah Spring Hut. In silence.
Suffice it to say my trip this weekend to AMC’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch with a friend for a long weekend yoga and hiking retreat was infinitely better. We bunked together, gossiped like girls, did 42 downward dogs, hiked Mt. Avalon, and chowed like boys after football practice.
We arrived in the dark, unable to see the hulking mountains but aware of them pressing in on us. In the morning, we awoke to a blanket of orange and red leaves cascading down the foggy mountainside. Nothing beats fog in my book. It’s dense and magical and can swallow a whole group of hikers, which it did when we reached the top of Mt. Avalon. Not a thing to see at the summit but the middle of a cloud. Aside from the chill, we might have been in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.
In mittens, we ate peanut butter sandwiches and slid down the mountain on rocks slick from the mist. Hiking poles, I’ve since learned, are not decorative appendages. They come in handy when you’re navigating slippery terrain or fording a stream that looks unfordable.
And, just because I like you, I’ll leave you with a little ground foliage: