Mt. Monadnock: A Study
Sept 1 -
The solitary profile of the grand Monadnock has inspired the human imagination and attracted great numbers
of visitors over the years. Early settlers, naturalists, poets, artists, and thousands of day hikers have brought
changes to the mountain and given it a rich human history. Evidence of their presence here still remains.
For summer visitors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, creating new trails and naming natural features was a
Rising 1500 to 2000 ft. above the surrounding countryside, Monadnock rewards the hiker with panoramic views up to 100
miles in any direction. On a clear day, all six New England states are visible.
The best known and most heavily traverssed trails cut a direct line from base to summit. These make up only a small
portion of the more than 40 mile trail system maintained on the mountain. Not all trails lead to the summit but each offers
its own unique hiking experience.
Whiel today many people think most about getting to the summit, much delight may also be found along Monadnock's many
cliffs, large boulders, springs and gentle streams.
Many still ring with the fanciful names given them by summer visitors over a century ago. The fondness they felt for
their favourite haunts may still be sensed today.
Fairy Spring : A pool in Fairy Brook on the Fairy Spring Trail from the Halfway House site to Monterosa.
Black Precipice: The largest vertical cliff on the mountain, reached by a spur trail on the east side of South
Summit Trail. It is so called because of the dark coloured rock, lichens, and shadow created by an overhang. The folded
layers of schist which form Monadnock are clearly visible.
Sarcophagus: A large glacial boulder on the Pumpelly Trail at 2800 ft. Seen from the east on the ridge, it looks
like a burial sarcophagus or coffin.
A Profile: Henry David Thoreau
"It is remarkable what haste the visitors make to get to the top of the mountain and look away from
it... the great charm is not to look off from a height, but to walk over this novel and wonderful rocky surface."
Of the many mountains Henry David Thoreau explored, Monadnock was a favourite. This philosopher of wilderness was one of
many New England writers and artists drawn to the rocky barren peak. The site of Monadnock in the west was an early
memory: on his deathbed he wrote about his last camp there. The dramatic landscape of Monadnock reinforced his belief in a
spiritual force that created harmony between humans and nature.
Accompanied by Henry Blake and Ellory Channing in 1860, Thoreau climbed and explored Monadnock, camping below the summit
on the southeastern slope. The prominent peak offered separate environment for study: an independent world where plants,
animal and climate work together. At first, he made only general comments in his journals about scenic views. Later he
came to study the whole mountain closely. His camp was his observation post secured from the elements and other visitors.
From there, he walked repeatedly around the mountain, surveying its five spurs and drawing a detailed map. He studdied
the rock forms, bogs and pools, and every type of animal and plant life.
Thoreau's remarkable vision and empathy with wilderness guide us today in our efforts to protect "a New Hampshire
everlasting and unfallen".
Elvis, the Lounge Lizard with a bum leg
You can see Boston from here
Kevin before he was blown off the summit
Aimee mourning Kevin's grim demise
|more photos in the archive... ||
Chilly at the summit!
Monadnock State Park
It didn't rain, but the wind was whippin' in at about 70 mph.
|Bkfast: ||Rusty Bucket|
|K's Order:||Blueberry Pancakes|
|A's Order:||Special #2|
Really Great Coffee
|K's Order:||Green Apple|
|A's Order:||Red Apple|
|Dinner: ||Gary's Harvest Restaurant|
|K's Order:||Cheeseburger w/ Chips|
|A's Order:||BLT w/ Fries|