This morning Steady, Batwing and I set off from Hanover to climb Smarts Mountain, a four-mile push up some of the steepest terrain that we’ve hiked since leaving Bennington VT. Unlike the Bennington hills, however, the trail up Smarts is composed almost entirely of granite.
New Hampshire is known as the granite state for the rock-ribbed hills left here by the Laurentide Ice Sheet that formed them 95,000 years ago. You can still tell the direction the glacier took by looking at the scarring on the rocks that runs North-South along the bedrock (see picture below).
As a hiking surface, granite poses some challenges, especially when it’s wet and slippery. As you can see, Steady managed it beautifully even when the granite went practically vertical.
At the shelter we met Switchback, Elwood and Just Paul (Paul just got on the trail three days ago and is waiting for a name to “take”). After a hearty dinner of hot dogs and baked beans and candy we are settling in to a night of “hiker TV” — a campfire. Tonight’s episode promises to be a good one.
Many thanks to Batwing aka Jay Weed, my Kilimanjaro hiking buddy, who played Sherpa for us this morning all the way to Lambert Ridge and plans to meet us on the trail in the morning with delicious pastries from Lou’s. Now this is luxury hiking. Thank you Jay.
Wombat — 7/11/2017, Daniel Doan Shelter, Smarts Mountain, NH