Hike the Whites | Mount Moosilauke
The White Mountains are special. This mountain, Mount Moosilauke is extra special to me.
It is the first high peak, we (Erik, the boys & I) ever hiked and it is the mountain that gave us inspiration to move to New Hampshire. It opened my eyes to the NH terrain– its openness, its vastness, and its beauty– that is what drew me in.
This peak will forever remain memorable to me, and I was beyond happy to be able to summit again this past weekend.
Let’s Set the Scene
My human alarm (aka Erik) was supposed to wake me up at 4:30AM to depart by 5, but sometimes staying in bed a few extra minutes makes the day way better. Needless to say, we left a little later than expected.
Fortunately, we live only a short distance from the trailhead. We had initially decided to trek up the mountain from the Lodge, but the mass amount of people at 6AM was discerning and we decided the Carriage Road route sounded much more pleasurable.
We saw no one for many miles, and only heard the chirps of nearby birds; pure bliss. The lush green forest and the pine needles adorning the trails engulfed us with warmth and happiness– how does it get better than this? We ran some, we walked some and laughed even more.
Erik told me about how ‘back in the olden days’, men would take their lovers on the carriage roads to the top of Moosilauke and propose (then jokingly added in on how he was going to keep the tradition alive). I have no intel on whether this is true (the history part), but we laughed anyway.
We laughed because if you know me, then you know I have no intention of getting married, yet Erik always seems to sneak it into conversations casually.
Nearing the Top
It felt like we were making great time, but once we made it out of treeline we saw people walking the ridge like little ants. That was perfectly fine as we realized with a later start we were bound to run into some. I put my face to the sky, took a deep breath and inhaled… fresh marijuana smoke; the smoke was not mine.
A woman commented near Erik, “I can’t believe they are smoking a cigarette up here”. We chuckled about this innocence.
The summit views are incredible, but the sun was urging us off the mountain to find some water to splash in.
The descent was much more crowded than we could have imagined.
Every Person, Every Dog
We passed our first dog, with ease and calmness. I decided to take this time to work on the boys’ social skills. If you are new to my adventures, then you may not know that my dogs (mainly Boone) possess fear aggression with other dogs.
In the past, seeing another dog would raise the group’s anxiety levels. This time, I said “No”; I will not let that be the case. We warned every dog owner and out of 30 dogs, there was only one group that had no respect or control.
I take this as a win, yet we were happy to cross back onto our deserted trail to the car.
After a mile of on and off jogging, we splashed in cool waters and then refreshingly made our trek to the car.
There is something so beautiful about our hiking dynamic: how it has evolved. We traded in our heavy packs and tall hiking boots for running vests and trail shoes. We are light on our feet, light on our backs and make great time while also enjoying the views and the burn (butt-burn).
There is no pressure when we are out there; only fun.
If you live in or near New Hampshire, you most likely have hiked this mountain– I think it is special to people for many reasons.
My reason: it gave me the home-feeling I had been craving since I traveled cross-country. Every step of this hike fueled my desire to make New Hampshire where I resided. I am fortunate that everything fell into place and that dream became a reality.
New Hampshire will always be a part of my life, and I owe it all to this one mountain.
If you ever venture to this state, please hike this mountain– you will not be disappointed.
Happy tails and trails,
Ciara, Boone & Crockett
Stats for the day:
Mountain Enjoyed: Mount Moosilauke
Elevation Gain: 3,415′
Starting Time: 7:19AM
Ending Time: 11:21AM
Total Time: 4 hours 2 minutes
Food consumed: 1 Muir Packet & a handful of dates/nuts
Happiness Meter: 9/10 (more people than preferred, still a great time!)