Friday October 25, 2013 | 07:00 AM
Afternoon temperatures dip low as we ascend the first peak of Mt. Major. The treetops, high above, sway back and forth with the early onset of winter winds. Strong steady gusts requires me to flip down the sides of my wool Stormy Kromer cap over my ears for protection. Higher elevations of other local mountains have already received snow. Our first break is at a small mountainside stream. Casco stops for a drink of the rushing waters, pausing only as late fall leaves interrupt his stream-side-lapping. We press forward, anxious for the summit's view.
Trees that once clung to their last leaf now stand bare. Fall colors have passed and forests have grown rather bland with browns and tans. Our plaids are truly the best, and currently brightest, part of fall. When cool air blows from the Northeast and I'm able to finally wear layers, I find comfort. Today marks the first day of the season I can wear wool pants.
Within a few hours of battling steep elevation gains, we reach our destined peak. The views are of the beautiful New Hampshire countryside. The mountaintop is home to half an old stone-built shelter. The stay is short as the winds howl up and over the point. We slowly descend with Casco leading the way. Our last hike before snow falls over the low-country is enjoyed. The air is cleaner, the water clearer, and the peacefulness is soaked up. Time to dig out the snow shoes...
LOCAL HOT SPOTS
Sandy Point Restaurant (Alton, NH) - Whether you're hiking hunger is calling for a thick burger and beer or a battered lobster tail - this is the place I refuel.
Weirs Beach (Laconia, NH) - Even if it's not Bike Week, you'll find a spot to kick back for a couple hours to rewind, eat and drink. Check out Broken Spoke Saloon, not far down from the beach.
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