The Quarantimes Week 33: Mountain Hopes + Dreams

October 28th, 2020


We attempted an ambitious family hike up Mt. Monadnock in Jaffrey, New Hampshire this past weekend. None of us had ever tackled this mission before, but as with most family adventures, I was the driver. Not the literal driver — that was Jon, and as usual I questioned why I suggested he drive the car when that left me to handle all five-year-old demands from the passenger seat. Will I ever learn that it’s easier and less nauseating to drive?

What I mean, anyway, is that I was the person with the bright idea, the person who reserved parking in advance, the person who convinced my entire family to get out the door on a lazy Sunday morning, and the person who packed all the snacks (except, Jon will have me acknowledge, the one Vermont cured beef stick and granola bar in his backpack). The person with the radically harebrained idea to summit a mountain with two five-year-olds during a pandemic year in the first place.

I have done a lot of hiking in my life, so although I heard Monadnock was hard, I wasn’t intimidated. My family spends a lot of time outside, and we frequently “summit” the Retreat Trails. In my old life I used to climb a 3000+ foot mountain regularly, and Monadnock is about the same height. No big deal.



UNLESS of course you are with feral raccoon children who do not walk in a linear fashion and treat every trail like hot lava training, jumping from rock to root to rock rather than taking the straight path of least resistance. UNLESS you are mortally afraid of heights, while the other three members of your family are magnetically attracted to sheer rock faces, and always choose to ascend any steep hill the hard way. UNLESS you have a daughter who loses the “special rock” she had brought along on the trip — only to have Jon miraculously find it on the way back down later.

UNLESS maybe you’re carrying some extra pounds (and mortal angst) during this year from hell. And didn’t have enough protein or caffeine for breakfast. And had to share the snacks.

Guys, I’m the one who could not make it up Monadnock. We got about halfway, stopped for a snack on this cliff, watched a bunch of people older and heavier than me soar past, and headed back down.

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I look forward to trying again in the spring, when I’ll have had time to train. Just kidding on the training part, but Monadnock will not defeat me.

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What I’m reading:

I just finished Fairest, a memoir by transgender Filipino albinno woman Meredith Talusan. It was a pretty quick, light read but I found the ending to be minorly profound. 

United Colors of the Apocalypse: A Pantone series for 2020

Now I am starting The Overstory again, determined to conquer this colossus. 

What I’m listening to:

Riveted by the podcast You’re Wrong About and specifically the 3-part series on Princess Diana. 

What I’m eating:

Roasted pumpkin seeds with paprika and tamari

Roasted garlic spaghetti squash lasagna boats from Half-Baked Harvest

Morning Glory Cake from Smitten Kitchen. Nothing like a breakfast cake to get one through daylight savings weekend!

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What I’m working on:

For Box: The path to yes: Stanford Medicine leans on technology in the relentless drive to heal

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One Response to “The Quarantimes Week 33: Mountain Hopes + Dreams”

  1. As an “older person,” I find it’s more often “sore” than “soar.” But as I recently read, if at my age I wake up with no pain, I’m probably dead.

    Sorry about Monadnock. I remember a couple of climbs in my youth. And we had “Mountain Day” as a surprise holiday at two schools I attended or worked at. It’s a familiar scene.

    You’ll get it next time!

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