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Owl's Head/Cherry Mountain

Sometimes. things don't go as planned. I was heading to Mt. Success today but Success Pond Rd was not something my Focus could drive on so, I headed back towards 93 and landed at an empty trail head. Peaking at the trail sign, I am looking at Owl's Head. The other one, the little one, Cherry Mountain. It's 2.4 to the summit so, why not. I guess I get to climb a mountain today after all. 

From the trail head, the trail starts out with a small water crossing by a culvert. Heading into the woods, I am hoping that I can loose the road noise eventually. The trail itself is wet in sections down low and seems to go from a wide trail to a more traditional size trail at time. I climb just a little and level out before Isis and I really start to climb. The humidity is very high today causing me to have to slow down a lot and catch my breath. It was going to be a slow hike of the 2.4 to the summit today. There are some small water seeps that are flowing enough to give Isis a drink. I'm sure if I ran out of water too, I could fill up and be happy. Typically, we are climbing and then level out and then climb again. towards the top, the rocks are more prevalent and some are slick with "sweat". Careful steps and use of my new trekking pole from Hiker Hunger (I use one as Isis is on leash in my other hand). Impressed with how the pole handles the trail. 

As we approach the summit, Isis picks up summit fever and practically drags me up the trail. No rest for me. Once we get up there though, it's pretty easy to pick a rocky outcropping and sit down. No one else is up here and I'm pretty sure we will be the only ones so, we chilled out and looked at the view for a long time. Isis had several helpings of treats and kept chasing the bugs that were flying around. There are a lot of them just as you crest the summit. Mostly flies but there could have been some stingers in the mix too. I checked out Martha's mile but suddenly felt that this was enough today. Isis and I began out descent which due to steepness was very quick. I was running in a few places which felt good but again, generated a lot of heat. Isis and I got back to the car, the same way we came and each enjoyed a cold drink that I had left in the car. Cranked up the AC and headed for home. Thankfully, the race traffic in Concord was just starting to pick up and we made it through without too much of a delay. Not the day I had planned but maybe it was better than my original plan. 

For all the listers, this one is on the 52 With a View (WAV) list. I've gotten away from the different peak lists and I have to say that once upon a time, I could not imagine not hiking by list. Now, it just seems so freeing to me, to be able to just hike what I want, when I want. Oh, I have a good idea of where I'm heading next and there will be plenty of peaks to cross. The goal is to complete the AT through New England. I've got Vermont done and I'm closing in on New Hampshire (31 miles to go). Maine will be last and now it looks like I will orchestrate a trip southbound from the very first place Isis can step on trail outside of Baxter State Park to the border and on to Mt. Success to simultaneously complete Maine, New Hampshire, and the entire AT in New England. I just have to balance that thing called responsibility first. Between family functions, my house, my job, and all those other adult type things, I'm hopeful that I can find plenty of time on the trail through fall. 

I consider myself lucky that I can sometimes pick up and go for a weekend. That's one of the advantages to having kids with fur only. My only responsibility is to make sure they are happy and healthy and fed and Isis gets her walks... She prefers trail walks thankfully. Sometimes I wish that I had some of those other responsibilities but I'm also really blessed to have seen and done a lot that I have. I wonder if my life had gone in a different direction, would I have gained such a rich understanding of my capabilities and would I even have the opportunities that I have now to test those capabilities? About five years ago, I promised myself that I would stop waiting for people or for "him" to do things with and just start doing them on my own. Now it's more of a question of how can I stretch myself and where can I go next. The world is open to me and I can't wait to explore every inch of it.   

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