Solo Mt. Madison – 8/2/19

Hey pals!

It’s Monday, and another weekend has come and gone. If you’ve been by my blog before you know what that means, I was off adventuring! Ok ok, I’ve been doing lots of adventuring lately and it isn’t locked into the weekend, for example on Friday I frolicked. Frolic Friday? I just might have to make this a thing. I also “hiked” yesterday (upcoming post!).

Real talk though, I’m super super super grateful that I’ve been able to get in so much mountain time as of late. It’s needed. Big time needed. And the solo aspect? Also needed. Although, I’ve been getting a little sassy and when people ask who I’m hiking with, I’m all like “oh there’s three of us going”, and then proceed to say “yeah, me, myself, and I”. HA.

Clever, I know πŸ˜‰

Looking at Star Lake Trail up mt Adams from Madison Spring Hut

Friday’s hike was a trip up Mt. Madison via Valley Way which I turned into a loop on a whim by linking over to Air Line Trail for the descent.

Loop hikes are great because the trail isn’t repeated and it keeps the day a little more unknown and interesting (in my opinion)! I also knew that Air Line Trail is more exposed and therefore has many many more views than Valley Way, and with the absolutely glorious weather above treeline I wanted to savior every moment I could grasp on to.

About half way up Valley Way Trail

Having not hiked Madison (or Adams) since summer 2017, it was due time to get back in the Northern Presi’s. I considered the whole hike up to Madison and then on the link trail between Valley Way and Air Line if I was going to add Adams or not. Ultimately, I ended up not adding it because I wanted to get down because I was set to meet my friend Sam for coffee and knew it would add a little more time than I wanted. I have an inkling that I’ll be back very soon for Adams πŸ™‚

Looking up towards Mt. Madison from near Madison Spring Hut

Hiking in the Whites really is hiking with lots of rocks, roots, minimal (if any) switchbacks, and did I mention rocks? But, this is especially true for Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Monroe and all the peaks between these. It’s legit just hiking a pile of rocks.

And, you know what, I love playing around on rock piles all day. It’s really fun and you kind of feel like a kid again on some level!

After reaching the summit of Madison I decided to hang for about 15-20 minutes, enjoy the sunshine, and had a nice conversation with a group of hikers who also arrived on the summit at the same time. I will time and time say this is one of my favorite aspects of solo hiking – meeting and having conversation with other hikers that I would if with a friend hiking probably just smile at or say “hello” or “happy hiking”.

Air Line Trail

I was surprised by how many people were hiking Friday, seeing it is a weekday and all! Lots of families (which to be honest I’m impressed by kids hiking these peaks), backpackers, and day hikers/hiking groups of all ages! I came across a good 20 people on Valley Way, and then probably close to this amount working my way up to and at the summit of Madison! However, once I was below tree-line on Air Line I didn’t see a soul until 1/2 mile from the car! I thought to myself “where did everyone go?!”.

This hike was especially helpful for processing some big decisions I am being faced with currently around living situation and overall life future aspirations. Some of you reading this know that this is a summer of big changes, with the next one being the house going on the market next Monday! Today was actually “picture day”, aka “make the house look pretty and shove everything into closets day”. I could not tell you the last time I made my bed, mainly because I tend to sleep with only 1 blanket (yes, year-round). I’ve been looking and looking for apartments and while there are lots around where I currently am living, most are between $1000-$1400/month and THAT IS NUTS and fully out of my budget. New England, especially coastal areas, is pretty and apparently also sports a pretty steep price tag too.

I’ll figure it out, I always do πŸ˜‰

“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.” – unknown

XO, S

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