Saturday, November 9, 2013

Trip Report: Mount Willard, October 26

Mount Willard is one of the best "bang for the buck" mountains in New Hampshire—pretty easy hike, big view from the top—so it's been on our list to do with Brynna for awhile. In fact, we tried to do it with her in the backpack when she was about six months old (revisit the adorable pictures here) but stopped partway because she got too chilly.

We were in North Conway for a half marathon a couple of weeks ago but went up early so we could spend Saturday hiking. After a fortifying breakfast at the Nereledge Inn (our favorite B&B), we hopped into the car and headed for the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch. As we wound our way there, it started to snow and Brynna started to get skeptical. At the trailhead, we talked up the delight of walking in the snow and convinced B to give it a try. Then we bundled up and headed out. 

Here's B with my dad at the trailhead:

A stop at Centennial Pool on the way up. Dad tried to convince B to take a dip, but she wasn't having any of it.

This is B showing Alex her "secret snow land," a little trail offshoot looking into the snow-dusted woods. She was very excited about this and told everyone we encountered on the trail how to find it.

Heading up and up with Dada:

Running with M toward the summit:

Checking out the (mostly cloud-obscured) view from the ledges, while M makes sure she doesn't fall off:

Re-bundled at the summit. This hike was a great opportunity to discuss layering!

We have a picture of Dad and me on Mount Willard from 1999. Here's the cloudier 2013 version:

I think we should have a caption contest for this one:

Primal scream at the summit!

And a regular smile:

One of the problems with big bulky mittens is that you can't pick up trail mix with them on. Good thing Alex is willing to feed her like a little bird.

Once we returned to the Highland Center, we showed B where we'd been.

And then she got to check out the awesome new playground at the Highland Center, complete with swing bridge:

So, another successful experience in the mountains for B. It's so exciting to watch a little hiker emerge!

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