Beauty on Baxter Mountain

The mountains are always a good idea...a glorious idea.

It had been 2 whole months since the glorious 46er finish, and I was desperate to get back to the mountains. It was a last-minute trip actually. Originally, I was signed up to run It’s a Wonderful Life 5K.  Unfortunately, my hip had flared up again so another DNF to round out my 2017 race year.  It’s all alright, though.  2018 will be #comebackseason.

Thankful Mal was able to join me for this trip, we headed out on Saturday, December 9th. Even more thankful she was the driver this time around…my hip appreciated the rest. After a late start to the morning, (due to a haircut appointment, lol) we began to plan our hiking options. It was at least a 4.5 hour drive to Keene for us.

Settling on Baxter Mountain was a no-brainer.  A quick, easy hike was just what the doctor ordered both physically and emotionally. Neither of us have experienced this lil’ mountain before so it was a perfect fit.

At 3:15 p.m., we embarked on the peaceful walk in the woods. Snow dusted all that lived among the forest. I inhaled the crisp, chilly mountain air intensely as an attempt to cleanse out all the negative vibes that had been stirring lately. Yes, this is just what the doctor ordered alright.

The simple mountain hikes might be my favorite. The slower pace allows eyes to truly notice the beauty everywhere.

A welcomed change to the aggressive hiking of autumn.  Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees…

Thick ice sprouted up here and there, but easily skirted around with no problem. In no time, 30 minutes later, we reached the sweet little summit.

Official summit shots…

Back in our happy place. Grateful once again.

Almost “in-between” seasons here.  Gone are the gorgeous hues of fall…not quite time for the snow-capped peaks.  Simple beauty just the same.

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Glorious. Macklemore sings “I feel glorious, glorious.  Got a chance to start again.  I was born for this, born for this…it’s who I am…”  An unexpected, glorious sunset.  If you walk past the summit, down the yellow marked trail, there is a lookout.  We sat, Mal and I, for 30 minutes and just breathed it all in and loved it all out.

Depending on the direction you faced, the view transformed.  Blueish glow or glorious sunset.  So unexpected.  So magical.  And no matter how many attempts to capture this moment with my iPhone, none of the photos could possibly encapsulate the miracle, silence, almost-close-to-heaven emotions radiating within.

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We were back in the mountains! I’m always better here.  Where my soul breathes.  The mountains are always a good idea.  Certainly called for “a happy dance” before departing the summit.

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My absolute favorite shot of Mallory with the fading sunset…the woods had grown dark within minutes. And while we didn’t have the open summit to view this stunning close to the day, the vibrancy could be inhaled with just a tiny bushwhack off to the west. At 4:25 p.m. the sun bid us its last farewell as the blueish glow of dusk guided our way into the darkness.

We were back at the truck by 4:45 p.m., totaling in an hour and a half on the trails.  I think the total distance is roughly 2.5 miles?  I forgot to stop my Garmin until we were driving down Route 73 back to the inn. Only me, haha.

Baxter Mountain graced our late afternoon with a “nice to see you again, girls.”  Sweet, little Baxter Mountain.  Thank you for our welcome back and providing us with a taste of mountain sunsets. (Addicted and planning the next one already) We love you, little one.

Cleansing of the lungs, mind and soul currently in progress and off to a fantastic start.  Resume winter hiking. 🙂

Feeling glorious,

J

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