3 months to the day I have not hiked. Itís been a long, frustrating journey. Weird work schedules, health issues in the family, struggling to get firewood in. Every time I got myself psyched up and planned a hike, something would come up, leaving me, well, crushed. I had finally given up on hiking, but eventually things improved, and I made a last minute decision to do a short hike on Sunday. And it actually happened.
What can I say about Osceola? A ton of people have hiked it, probably most everyoneís at least read a TR, itís an easy, short hike. In fact, it was blessedly easy. No steep parts in the least. Itís as if whoever laid out the Mt. Osceola Trail thought to themselves, ďHmmm, someday a hiker who hasnít hiked in 3 months will need something easy and pleasant, probably some guy named Salty. Letís do this right.Ē Thanks for thinking of me trail builder dude.
I felt surprisingly good today, making it up in 1 ĺ hours with only a handful of 3 minute or so breaks. I so desperately needed this. I went (what I thought) was slow and steady, and just had a pleasant time of it. I really didnít want to hit a 4k, only for the crowd factor. The short distance and the closeness made the decision final, however, and Iíve tried twice to get to Osceola from E. Osceola. So what does one do when a trail beats you down? Thatís right, take another trail. Indeed the lot was nearly full on Tripoli Rd., but I ran into no one on the trail, and only one gentleman on top, followed about 15 minutes by a group I saw getting ready at the bottom.
The views were quite grand, not as spectacular as some, but definitely grand. The north view takes in a great expanse including the Franconia Range, Owlís Head, the Hitchcocks, Huntingtons and Hancocks, S. Twin, the Bonds, Carrigain and the Presiís (socked in).
The Southerly view has a great view of the south face of Osceola, Chocorua, Stairs and Resolution, the Wildcats, I think, Tecumseh, and Sandwich. And a wicked view of the steep southern side of the ridge between the main and east peaks.
The trip down took about 1 ľ hours, slowed because of the numerous boulders and rocks and my aversion to leaving some teeth on the trail as souvenirs. By then there was a steady stream of people coming up, reminiscent of Monadnock. I was getting tired of saying ďHiĒ every minute or so, but at point one guy is staring at me and Iím staring at him, and we both realized we knew each other (even though itís only online). It was Joe, jdr6453. A really pleasant surprise to run into him and finally meet him in person.
The trail was mostly dry, a little moist in some places, and some 1-2" puddles near the top.
So there it is, my shortest and possibly most positive TR ever. Iím sure Iíll be back to normal soon!