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Tecumseh in the Rain



Life is always an adventure if you make it that way. I often get the comments about hiking a lot and being always busy and perhaps that keeps people away sometimes... It certainly beats staying home for me. Then during the week, my mind drifts from peak to peak trying to figure out where I'll go on the weekend. Which is a nice alternative to some of the other stressful thoughts floating out there. Well, seeing as this weekend, I needed to do errands on the "good weather" day, I figured I'd head up Tecumseh on the "bad weather" day. I wanted to be home relatively early anyway and I also wanted to test out my rain system. Weather is irrelevant with the right layers and materials. I was not in a rush this morning as this peak does not take long at all (if you are experienced). I would also not be fighting with the ski slope traffic since the season is over. So, Isis and I took our time. We pulled into Waterville Valley and saw John and Pepper getting ready at the trail head parking. A quick hello and a treat for Isis and they were on their way. I got my trail runners on and even though I do not run the trail, these are still the best things for my feet. They don't even hurt before during or after a hike. It was not raining so, while I started out in a short sleeve shirt, pants, and my hat, I knew that a rain coat may come into play eventually and I had Isis' rain gear too. 

Isis and I headed up the Mt. Tecumseh trail (2.5 from the parking area and 5 miles round trip). My pack is super light probably because on the Half Pemi and the load I carried last weekend. My feet are not stumbling and wouldn't you know it, the sun is trying to come out. How am I ever going to test rain gear?? Isis and I keep walking and enjoyed ourselves. John and Pepper were way ahead of us which was fine. We didn't need to catch up and we hiked our own hike. I figured the weather would keep most off the trail today. A threat of showers and everyone seems to run for cover. At the first sign of sprinkles, I put my pack cover on. The Mt Tecumseh trail down low is a nice variation of ups and downs that are not extreme. Three water crossings (one right at the trail head and then two more) which are all rock hop able with easy footing (flat top rocks). Then one last little push up the trail to the outlook for the ski slope. No view today. 



After this outlook, you just start climbing... I do like this part better covered with snow as it hides all those rocks and roots BUT I also think it's nice to hike up the side of the ski slopes and NOT hear the snow machines cranking out the powder. It's muggy but not raining yet as we head into the clouds. There are some flatter sections that are dirt which gives us a chance to rest and take it easy on the calves. Isis is having a good day but is slowing down because she hears people coming up behind us. She wants to stop for them and after a little struggle, we do. Three day hikers are starting their season today and I just let them go. Not really feeling the bragging vibe today (yet). Isis and I fall in line behind them and soon know we'll pass them again since they are breaking a lot. John is already heading back down and we stop to chat for a little bit while Pepper is taking a break. We talk the long trail and John asked if I have a trail name. I told him that I'd been using 'Pintsize' because I hike with Isis who's well.... Pint size. A little play on words for the team I have been hiking with. We bid each other safe travels. Always good to have familiar faces on the trail.

I play the "Last push game" with myself to determine the last push to the ridge. I was wrong about 3 times... Rocks are wet and slippery as we get ready to walk on short ridge to the summit. The hike is going quick today and I'm not even the least bit fatigued. Once up on the flatter trail, I can feel the wind shift a little. Rain will be here soon.



Soon, I come to my second favorite White Mountain trail sign that always reminds me of the Wizard of Oz... Which way to the summit? The left way. We traverse the rocks and climb up to the summit proper. It still makes me sad that someone clear cut it a few years back. Isis sits herself right by the summit cairn and settles down I futz with the camera and snap some summit pictures before the arrival of the masses. I settle down right by the cain with my favorite trail partner and have some of the salami I had cut for myself. I really didn't bring a lot of food because the hike is a short one. Isis had a treat at the summit too. We enjoyed the brief amount of quiet. The three day hikers soon followed and I spoke of the clear cutting which they had no clue about. The comment was made by them that they are "not in the hiking community" which meant they are not really tight with the NH hiking community being from Boston. I traded a few stats for myself and for Isis which was met with a blasé response and they didn't even understand the long trail. As we talked, a family of rather rambunctious and shirtless boys soon (4 of them) came up to the summit and disturbed Isis. I was glad she was barking to keep them away. But I was also going to get ready to head down as the rain was coming. We left quickly. and a short distance from the summit proper... Rain. 



 I suited up in my rain jacket but left off my rain pants as I knew that those would work good. I put on Isis' rain coat which she was not too pleased about at first. I told her she'd thank me when we got back to the car. To my surprise (or maybe not) we were running into more people coming up. Different groups of people and some looking happier than others to be out in the rain. Heading down, the rocks were a little more slick but still very manageable. I was impressed in the stronger rain at how good my rain shell was. While I was sweating, I was not soaked from the rain too. I reminded myself at points that we'd have to get use to this as well as finding a place to camp that is wet already. The more I talk about this trip, the more I believe it will happen. I am excited about it as I move back down the Mt. Tecumseh trail. Isis and I are sort of leap frogging the three from the summit but it's more like two of them as one has blown out way ahead of the rest (lesson: never leave your group. Something could happen to any one of you that could seriously screw you all). I am enjoying the sound of the rain falling and the fresh woods smell. I love winter but this smell is so nice.

We continue to hike out and that group of three is really breathing down my neck. I pull off to hopefully have them pass and they stop too. Not what I was expecting so I ask them to keep respectful space instead of hiking up my ass and keep moving. We manage the water crossings with no problem. Unlike last week, my mission was to keep my feet dry and I was successful. Those trail runners are proving to be the best investment I have made (OK, I say that about a lot of gear). Isis and I pop out at the road by the parking area in a down poor and we are done. Four hours and fifteen minutes round trip makes me consider adding this peak to the end of another day sometime soon (say when I hike Cannon or the O's). I load Isis in the car and she's mostly dry (except for her exposed head and tail). I'm pleased with the dog rain gear and think this might help come August. Time to change and head for an extra large blueberry hazelnut coffee. The good thing is that the Dunk's is right dow the road before we hit 93. All in all, a very good day for Lil Tecumseh.


Life is what you make it and I want my life to be full of laughter and adventure (one has been missing lately). I've got one down and should have the other one to follow soon. Times are changing and I'm looking at some new adventures in my life (above and below 4K). I'm fully looking forward to the next few months that will lead up to my Long Trail trip and I am thankful that some of those new adventures that are coming are allowing me to keep this one very BIG adventure. It's been an important part of my life as of late and is setting up to be a defining moment for myself and my little 'Pintsize' hiker.... I cannot wait for this. 
  

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