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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hale: Two Kids on a Cairn -- Oct. 10, 2009

Hale Brook Trail, Lend-A-Hand Trail, Zealand Trail, Zealand Road. About 8.3 miles.

One of the many nice things about having finished the NH48 is that our options are now completely open. There's no psychological pressure to ascend a "new" mountain. We can do whatever we feel like doing.

Alex now wants to hike with other kids as much as possible, so we were thrilled when we discovered we'd be able to join Mirabela (a VFTT member) and his six year old daughter, Isidora, this weekend. Isidora is a strong, cheerful, six year old who routinely hikes and backpacks with her father in Vermont. This weekend they were in our neck of the woods, looking to bag Isidora's fifth 4K.

Since the forecast called for wind chills of 5 below and wind speeds of over 60mph, Mirabela and I thought a sheltered hike was in order. We chose Mt. Hale, and hoped the novelty of a massive summit cairn would offer some consolation for lack of view.

The girls took to each other quickly, and hiked the beginning of the ascent holding hands.

During our rest breaks, they enjoyed sharing snacks.

Once we made it to the top, both kiddos immediately ascended the cairn.

After we were fed and rested, the four of us decided to visit Zealand Falls Hut via Lend-A-Hand Trail.

'Twas a lovely path, much more scenic than Hale Brook Trail.

Once at the hut, we refreshed ourselves with hot tea and cookies before continuing on our way.

Both girls ran the two and a half flat miles of Zealand Trail, then mugged for the camera.

Next came the one mile roadwalk back to the Hale Brook trailhead...

...where both hams struck another pose.

This was a very enjoyable day. It was nice to hang out with another kid who so obviously enjoys hiking. Isidora and her father make a great team. We hope to hike with them again soon, and we look forward to reading more of their trip reports.

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