Three Generations Take a Hike in New Hampshire

11 Jul

When I mentioned going for a hike, my dad loved the idea. My children were not quite as enthusiastic.

We are at a cabin on Lake Kanasatka in New Hampshire.

Lake living has a lot to offer: canoeing, fishing, floating on the lake, loon spotting, and my personal favorite, hammock napping.

But “The Pines,” as our temporary home is called, happens to be located in the heart of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, between the larger Winnepesaukee and Squam lakes. As a result, there’s a lot to do in the surrounding area.

And Sam and Will have a Mom who likes a lot to do.

So off we went to West Rattlesnake Mountain, a 1200’ peak not far from the center of Holderness, NH.

Three generations of would-be hikers—my father (late 60s), my husband and I (mid-30s), and the boys (13 and 10 years old)—arrived at the easy, windy trail by mid-morning.

At the start of the ascent, my dad apologized in advance for being the weak link in the group.

Scott and I looked at each other knowingly; he had never hiked with Will before.

About 200 yards into the walk, Will asked if we were almost there and started to lag behind. When my dad called for a break, here or there, Will would exclaim, “Thank God!”

By contrast, Sam was bounding uphill, a blur in the distance. He was our off-trail explorer, crunching through leaves, climbing up rocks and over fallen logs.

“Wait up,” we’d call to Sam. “Catch up,” we’d plead with Will.

Before we knew it, we were at the summit.

As the guide books promised, the views of Squam Lake were breath-stealing, almost unreal.

The glassy lake was dotted with tiny, pine treed islands. Motor boats cut short scars of white across the expanse of blue. Quintessential New Hampshire.

We sat on the rocky outcroppings and silently enjoyed the reward for our efforts.

When the kids started threatening to throw each other off the ledge, we decided to head back down. Thirty knee-pounding minutes later we were back in the car.

“That was cool,” the kids admitted.

“Yeah, I’m glad we did it,” my dad said. The sandwich generation agreed.

Now back to the lake. My hammock is waiting.

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2 Responses to “Three Generations Take a Hike in New Hampshire”

  1. Beth July 12, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    As we often say whilst in Jackson: If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough! Also, Live Free or Die!

  2. Scott Walmsley July 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Thank you for forever capturing these good times in such an eloquent and humorous way. Your words are as majestic as the mountains you write about…

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