Hedgehog Mountain

This weekend we were in the White Mountains for my company outing. No, it isn’t an Outward Bound-esque event involving rope ladders and falling backwards onto each other. Instead, the company pays for room and board for two days, and you can enjoy as much coworker togetherness as you like. We opted for Not Too Much.

Our Saturday activity was Hedgehog Mountain. Here’s your spoiler: great hike, great views, not a terrible amount of work to get them. Like the Welch-Dickey (which it reminded us a lot of but without quite so much bare rock), it would be a good choice for someone who’s only done basic trails and is not ready to scramble up something that very occasionally involves pulling yourself up by your hands. We opted for clockwise instead of counter, and I think that was the right move. A gradual ascent that gives you the shortest way home after the summit, and you’re going up most of the bare rock. I absolutely hate the other way.

Anyway, so here we go!

It starts out with a very, very pleasant walk through a hemlock grove. You’re right next to the highway, but it’s so peaceful and clean-smelling that you’ll feel much farther from civilization.

We saw quite a few toads both Saturday and Sunday. I made Yen stop and marvel at them each time.

Part of the trail has been relocated because of some controlled harvesting, so you head uphill a little earlier than we thought we would. It’s a nice gradual ascent, though.

It was really humid. Extremely humid. Sorry to be so familiar with you, but check out how sweaty I am!

Now you’re thinking, “Hey lardo? How come you’re drenched and Yen looks like he just stepped out of the New Balance Factory Outlet?” Well, smart ass, he doesn’t look as soggy as I do because his entire shirt is wet, and therefore a uniform color.

All the work is worth it – you suddenly come around a corner and here’s the payoff.

We settled in for some lunch, and soon we heard a serious ruckus coming up the hill at us. “Stop taking pictures and get MOVING,” a woman’s voice yelled. They emerged, then, and we saw a disgruntled looking woman furiously slamming her hiking poles into the rocks while a sheepish man followed her. We chatted with them a bit, that they were close to the end, that the rest wasn’t too steep – generally soothing her a little bit. The guy seemed very grateful and they moved on leaving us in peace again. I reminded Yen then that I adore him, not just because he’s so stinking cute, but also because he stays calm and keeps me there with him.

Anyway, here’s our view while we ate. As you can see, not a trace of a house or a powerline or anything to obscure the view.

Then we began to get to the meat of the hike.

There I am!

At the top, it gets a little bare again, so you don’t get the views we were hoping for. It’s nice, though.

Then suddenly, we were on our way back down again.

We stopped off at Allen’s Ledge on the way back down.

Then we were back into the trees and in the home stretch.

Here’s the harvesting I mentioned earlier. A big bare spot on the side of the mountain.

And then back into the woods (and into the realm of the mosquitoes.