Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Hubby, Thanks for Climbing Mt. Waumbek With Me

Today Colby turns 35!!! The BIG 3-5!!! But, although he is an old man, he still managed to climb Mt Waumbek with me a couple of weeks ago. It has a 4006' elevation, which falls within the 4000 footers in New Hampshire that he is trying to conquer. It was the first 4000 footer I have climbed in years, and boy, could I tell! My knees and legs ached for days after. But, the more scary part was that I have not hiked since I acquired low blood pressure- and, holy shit, is that frightening in high elevations. The hike starts in Jefferson, NH, which is already 1377' above sea level, about 1000' more than my body is accustomed to.

I guess hiking with low blood pressure isn't the greatest idea with the black spots in my vision, dizziness, and numb extremities. But, we persevered. And for what?

As we were hiking, we kept leapfrogging a father and son team, the son being around 10 years old. After the father revealed to us that this was the boys first 4000' peak, Colby and I started to discuss Ariana being ready to make a 4000' ascent. We were discussing what type of hiker she was and what draws her to hike. He told me that she has alluded to the fact that she only likes to hike if there is something at the top. Mainly, a view. She doesn't like to hike for hours just to end up in the middle of the forest to turn back around and hike down. "Well, she gets that from me." I explained. "I really have no use for climbing a whole big mountain if there is no reward at the top either."

Well, guess what? Karma bit me in the ass. That's what I get for bad talking fruitless hikes. We got to the top and it was smack dab in the middle of the thickest, tallest, fullest evergreen trees you could imagine. Not a speck of view to be found. Nada, nothing, zip, zilch. The only clue we had that we had even reached the summit was this....
A cairn. 'What is a cairn?' you say. A big ol' pile of rocks to mark the summit. That was my big payoff for plodding through the faintness, disequilibrium, loss of vision, probable brain damage when the blood couldn't make it to my head, numb fingers and arms.... A pile of rocks! This isn't even my picture of the cairn, I had to steal it from Dave at Naturally New England since I had been so disenchanted I didn't even take a picture of the top of the mountain.

And, to add insult to injury, every single person we passed on the way down asked, "How's the view up there?" with great anticipation in their voice. "There's nothing to see here. Turn back now. It's surely not worth the bottle of Aleve I am about to go through."

See if you can play Where's Waldo with Colby in that first picture. The hike up was pretty, as you can see. And, as the 4000 footers go, it is not too strenuous. I won't be doing it again, but if you need it to peak bag the New Hampshire 48- have fun!

Happy Birthday, old man! “I'm an old-fashioned guy... I want to be an old man with a beer belly sitting on a porch, looking at a lake or something.” -Johnny Depp

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