One of the things that the great state of New Hampshire has been blessed with, are her mountains of plenty. While any given person can climb any of those mountains, there are a select few that are among some of the highest. These are New Hampshire's 48 4,000 footers. I started planning sometime last summer, setting a goal to hike all 48 mountains in 4-5 years. In my mind, it would seem rather doable, but with everything I find doable, it never turns out how it seems. Let me explain.
The first mountain on the list, which happened to be the smallest at 4,003 feet, was Mt. Tecumseh. I had planned on hiking this mountain for several months now. Sunday, June 13th, we set out for the mountain just south of Lincoln. We arrived later than I wanted but looked forward to climbing the mountain and knocking the first of the 48 mountains off the list. The temperature was rather comfortable, but it was a bit humid. As we started into the woods, we hopped over 2 streams and the trail started up. Then it went up and up and up. Now, we have hiked plenty of mountains, none 4,000 foot+, but plenty nonetheless. I really don't think the humidity helped as the mountain kept going up. It wasn't to rocky, the hike wasn't all the hard, but there really wasn't any flat areas to speak of. This has to be the first mountain were flat areas were slim and none. So we stopped plenty of times on the way to the top. At an hour and a forty-five minutes, we reached the top. I started searching for a sign or something to indicate we reached the top, but found nothing. There was a small trail off to the right which headed up a little farther, so I figured we were at the top. I searched the net on my phone to find out if in fact we reached the top but couldn't find anything that was helpful. So we continued on the trail a little way and it started heading down. Since we didn't want to hike down the other side of the mountain, we figured that that was the top of the mountain. What I had found on my phone was how people commented about the lack of view from the summit of Tecumseh. We were satisfied with our accomplishment, so we headed back down the mountain. When we got home, I did some more research and found we actually didn't reach the summit of Tecumseh. Not cool!
We could have waited until a few weeks went by when we could head back out and finish the hike, but I wanted to get it out of the way. The first chance we got to hike to the summit was the following Sunday, Father's Day. I didn't want to hike on this day to start. Originally, we were going to hike Tecumseh this day, but I pushed it up a week. So much for that! Not only did I hike it the weekend I wanted, but now we have to hike it again on the day I didn't. So we drove to the mountain trail head and started our trek up the mountain yet again. The temperature was a little cooler than last week, and it was a tad less humid. We reached what is now known to us as "fake top," in an hour and twenty minutes. A lot better time than last. We also knew what we were getting into as well. So now that we knew what needed to be done, we continued down the trail passed "fake top." The trail was fairly flat until it just started downward. It wasn't that steep but it just didn't seem right. Aren't we supposed to be heading up? Sure enough, in the distance we could see the "up" we were looking for. We could see the summit of Tecumseh. But getting there would be much harder than we expected. The trail did eventually start up after a brief hike on flat trail. When it was time to climb, you literally had to climb. But that summit was ours! We were the first on the mountain this day and I was not gonna let the steep climb get to me. I stopped and looked up the rocky climb and prepared myself for some fun. With a deep breathe, I started running up the rocky trail. I picked a spot to stop, and when we got to that point, it just kept going! There were more rocky on this steep climb. We stopped for a breather and continued on. At two hours and twenty minutes, we reached the summit of Tecumseh. Yes, this time we made it! The view from the top still wasn't all that great but it was better than I thought it would be. People can be so critical. I say they should be glad there was a view at all!
So after 10 minutes at the top, we headed down. We didn't have much time to spend at the top, since we had to make it home early. Sometime we hopped and ran down the mountain. It was quite fun until our feet started to hurt a little. But all and all, we both really enjoyed hiking Tecumseh, both times. We already have our second mountain picked out for next month.
Next-Mt. Moosilauke @ 4,802 feet