8 Down, 40 To Go!

Last Friday I hiked Mt. Lincoln & Mt. Lafayette with my dad.  It was much more challenging than I think either of us expected.  It was very steep, especially on the way up.  We passed several waterfalls along the way which were beautiful, but not always easy to cross.

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We took several short breaks to catch our breath and refuel with gatorade and snacks and eventually made our way up.  Before reaching the peak of Little Haystack we took a short detour to Shining Rock  which we had both read and heard about from others.  It was basically a gigantic rock glistening in the sun along with a nice view.

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As we hiked up Haystack I turned back many times to admire the views.  This kept me going as I imagined the top to be even better and it was!  The views from Little Haystack and all along the ridge were incredible!  We lucked out with a perfect day – sunny and clear skies.

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After eating our lunch we continued on along the ridge to Mt. Lincoln.  It started off as a pretty flat walk but soon turned out to be similiar to the hike up Little Haystack – lots of rocks and several steep parts.  We took a few short breaks to catch our breath, sip some gatorade, & take pictures.  We took one longer break when I was able to lay down on a giant rock and rest my head on my packs & my Dad sat against the rock.  It was amazing to lay down and stare out at the cloudless skies and what seemed like 100’s of mountains.  Sometimes we rush through life, not paying attention and are too busy to take a minute to stop and really breathe in what’s happening around us.  I’m so grateful that we decided to take this longer break and not rush through the hike.  It was so relaxing and peaceful!

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By the time we got to Mt. Lafayette we were pretty tired.  We took pictures at the sign and were admiring the views at all angles, taking more pictures, re-hydrating, and enjoying ourselves…not paying much attention to the trail sign…and we accidentally continued along the ridge and not down the correct trail.  Dad eventually figured out that we were getting further away from the hut and we turned around to head back toward Lafayette and down toward the hut.  It was very hot as we were completely exposed to the sun from the time we reached Haystack until we were past the Greenleaf Hut.  After checking out the hut, filling up on water, and getting out of the sun for a few minutes we headed back down the mountain.  We were both exhausted, legs shaking, but were determined to get to the truck and even more determined to get to the Woodstock Inn and enjoy a refreshing beverage.  We completed the descent quicker than expected, cleaned up a bit, changed out of our boots, and almost immediately headed to the Inn.   After dinner we headed to camp and neither one of us did much other than to relax at the lake for the remainder of the weekend (even walking was painful!).

Overall, it was a very challenging hike, but well worth it!  I made a great memory with my dad, the views were incredible, and I got back the invigorating rush I’d been missing for so long.  I’m so thankful that my dad suggested this hike.  It was the perfect one to motivate me to continue on with this journey!

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