“We sometimes hear, half waked from sleep
A nearer hoof, a phantom neigh
Till breezes from Monadnock sweep
And bear the magic sounds away.”
– Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
The brutally hot weather blanketing much of the Midwest and Eastern United States has been no stranger to us here in the Monadnock Region over the past week. Dense, heavy air has sat upon our mountain for days and now, today, with temperatures forecasted to reach into the 90’s, your Park Manager is day dreaming of the inevitabile welcoming of the winter months (more so than usual).
With a summit celebrated for its maximum 100+ mile views, hikers at the top of Monadnock this week have been fortunate to have a view of nearby Keene, only about 11 miles away (as the raven flies).
These daytime conditions appear to be breaking up soon. Temperatures should top out in the low 80’s on Saturday, although there is a chance for some heavy rain, and possibly a thunderstorm, to develop in the afternoon.
Sunday appears to be a banner day for a Monadnock climb; mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70’s. However, trails may be wet in some areas on Sunday if rain falls on Saturday. We’re looking just as good for Monday’s forecast, but some more, much-needed rain could be on the way by midweek. Keep an eye on the forecast, stay hydrated, stay safe, and happy trails!
Monadnock Trails Week
The 8th Annual Monadnock Trails Week wrapped up on Tuesday, this past week. Monadnock Trails Week, for those who do not know, is a collaborative volunteer trail work event on Mount Monadnock sponsored and coordinated by the Society For The Protection of New Hampshire Forests and Monadnock State Park. Special thanks again to Carrie Deegan and the fine people at the New Hampshire Forest Society.
I want to sincerely thank all staff members, orgainzations, and volunteers who came out to make this the most successful Trails Week yet! Over the five days, 82 individual volunteers donated 1,026 total hours, completing an array of trail maintenance projects benefitting nearly a third of the mountain’s trails!
The volume of work output and dedication, along with the sincere joy and commradery of the volunteers and staff for this year’s event in dontaing their time, energy, sweat, and patience was truly impressive and a shining example of the spirit of volunteerism. We can’t thank the participants enough and I am most certain, Mount Monadnock thanks you too. We hope to see you for Monadnock Trails Week in July of 2014!
This photograph, courtesy of the NH State Parks archives, is certainly a fun picture for many reasons. I believe it dates to the 1960’s and was taken off of Route 124 near the Jaffrey/Troy town line. It appears to be Perkins Pond in the foreground. While this is obviously a staged photograph, I do find it mildly amusing that Mount Monadnock is not going to end up anywhere in the father’s picture of the children.
I took a few minutes to attempt to recapture the image while passing through yesterday, but I think I was ~15 yards too far west. The trees, plantlife, and even the pond have obviously changed in the last 50 years.
Did You Know?
The Monadnock outcropping known as “Monte Rosa” was originally called “Newton’s Peak”. Located around 2,540 feet above sea level and featuring sweeping southern views, Monte Rosa also houses a historic weathervane, which was refurbished this past October for the first time in over a decade (special thanks to Chuck and Lee!).
Monte Rosa, translating to “rose colored mountain” in Italian, was (re)named by Monadnock legend Scott A. Smith for its rosy glow during sunset. The large metal weathervane sitting on the top of Monte Rosa was originally placed there for guests of the Half Way House Hotel to see which way the wind was blowing up on the mountain. The hotel site is still in view from Monte Rosa, although the trees around the rocky landmark have grown up some.
The next time you are the the Half Way House site at the top of the Old Toll Road, look to the left of the summit to the closest ledge. When the sun hits it just right, the weathervane (with some inevenitable tree obstruction) can still be viewed, just as the hotel guests did a century ago.
Thanks, as always, for reading and for supporting NH State Parks.