It’s mind boggling to me that Mount Monadnock is the second most hiked mountain in the world and the most hiked mountain in North America because the world is such a big place and the
mountain is just minutes from where I live. The worst part about those facts, in my opinion, is that an outdoorsy gal like myself, who has lived close-by it for almost a year, had not yet climbed it.
Finally though, I went on my first hike following the white blazes of one of the less popular routes. Though it is the height of blackfly season, it is not yet the height of
hiking season. I only passed a dozen people which did not seem that bad considering I was climbing the most hiked mountain in North America. The trick to finding a little solitude on this popular mountain for me was to hike it with someone who knows one of the many paths less traveled.
I did not really want to write that last sentence but I thought I would to use it to segue from one New England poet (Frost, who moved to New England when he was 11) to two others. Though Frost was not referring to anything on Mount Monadnock in his poem (you know, the one that I just sort of quoted), both Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about Mount Monadnock which helped popularize the mountain. Today both have a “seat” on the mountain named in their honor: Thoreau Seat and Emerson Seat. Just to be clear, there is no Frost Seat on Mount Monadnock, not that any of them are still taking score. After all of that, I feel like I am sitting in my sophomore year undergraduate English major seat.
I have officially climbed Mount Monadnock. I am now one of the masses. The best part of that mid-May, post mud-season, in the midst of black fly season and before the height of hiking season day, was not the fact that the trails were dry, or that few people were climbing, or that the buds were spring green. Those aspects were all quite good, but
the best part was the black flies decided to stay in the parking lot. They weren’t invited anyway.