“Not a few painters and poets of renown have been inspired by the mountain’s stalwart beauty, and it is chiefly through this physical charm that it holds the affection of a multitude of devotees.”
-Allen Chamberlain, Annals Of The Grand Monadnock, 1936.
*Monadnock’s Weekly Report will not be published next Friday, August 9th. The Report will resume on August 16th. For trail conditions and information, feel free to call Monadnock State Park directly at 603-532-8862.
The sun’s rays broke open a cloudy, rainy start to the morning today. Rain fell Thursday afternoon and through the night, making for some slick trail conditions today. Once again, the forecast for the upcoming weekend is unsteady at best and deserves to be checked regularly before planning your trip to Monadnock.
There is a chance for rain both Saturday and Sunday. Either way, trails will be wet in some areas of the mountain this weekend. Temperatures are expected to be cooler and the winds at the summit will likely be gusty, so a jacket or sweatshirt included in your hiking pack may make spending time above treeline more comfortable. And even with the cool temperatures, be sure to pack snacks and at least 2 liters of water per person.
It is with great excitement, mixed with some emotional feelings for me, that I pass on the news to you that before this month ends, I will be leaving my role as Park Manager for Monadnock State Park. I have accepted a new position with the Division as Supervisor of Volunteer Activities for the State of New Hampshire. While the new opportunity and changes that will come with it are of great importance and provide to me a new chapter in my life, I will dearly miss the ties that I have forged here, living in the shadow of the Grand Monadnock for more than half of my lifetime.
I can only hope that the next brave soul who is fortunately given the opportunity to lead the staff and volunteers who help to care for our Grand Mountain can also find the time in their schedules to pick up on the Monadnock Weekly Report in the future. But, until then, there will be two more editions authored by yours truly: August 16 and August 22nd. The 22nd will be my last day of managing this Park and Mountain that I hold dear.
I do want to take a moment before then to thank all of you who care for and steward for this mountain. Monadnock is blessed with many true friends who look out for her day in and day out. I am confident that Monadnock’s future remains bright and that we will all continue to look out for her and give back to this mountain that gives us so much in return.
Monadnock On The Air
This week, Monadnock was once again featured on Something Wild, presented by the Society For The Protection of New Hampshire Forests, NH Audobon, and New Hampshire Public Radio. You can read the transcript or listen by clicking here.
Thanks again to SPNHF, NHPR, and Dave Anderson for the attention and support. And, of course, once again, a huge thank you to all we came out to volunteer their time and efforts during Monadnock Trails Week!
This Month in Monadnock History
It is this month, on August 2oth, that we celebrate the 123rd birthday of author H.P. Lovecraft.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, better known as H.P. Lovecraft, is a renowned author and is most commonly associated with his writings that dealt with legends, monsters, fantasy, and science fiction. Born August 20th, 1890, in Providence, Rhode Island, Lovecraft went on to pen many famous poems and stories, and is known for his creation of fictional entities like the infamous Cthulhu.
Hopefully, most of you are aware that Mount Monadnock was the subject of an early poem by H.P. Lovecraft. .
At the age of 27, Lovecraft wrote:
To Templeton and Mount Monadnock
In peace beneath the crystal summer skies,
Behold the spires of Templeton arise;
Among the green and grove-deck’d mead expands,
Whilst vary’d blossoms tint the smiling lands.
Pleas’d with the beauties of the blest domain,
No Goldsmith long could mourn sweet Auburn’s plain;
The rural grade Old England lov’d to view,
Here blooms again, transplanted to the New!
The rip’ning corn along the furrow’d leas
Nods in the sun, and dances in the breeze;
In stately elm and stout-lim’d oak we trace
Th’ enduring glories of New-England’s race.
Can ancient bliss from such a scene depart,
Or dull decadence pain the pensive heart?
Can with’ring change ancestral shades o’er-ride,
And aliens live where study Saxons died?
May fav’ring fate a kindly respite lend,
And keep the vale untainted to the end!
Look to the north where Grand Monadnock’s height
Enchains the fancy, and rewards the sight;
Such rock-ribb’d hills our own New-England gave
To mould her sons as rugged and as brave.
Ancient Monadnock! Silent pine-girt hill,
Whose majesty could move a Whittier’s quill;
Whose distant brow the humbler pen excites;
Whose purpled slope the raptur’d gaze invites;
Stand thou! Great Sentinel, though nations fall –
In thee New-England triumphs over all!
–H.P. Lovecraft 1917
As a fan of science fiction and horror as genres in any kind of art, I am especially proud, in a sense, that the likes of Lovecraft was stirred by our grand mountain.
I visited the famous Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island, this past June, to pay my respects at Lovecraft’s grave and the numerous resting places of Civil War soliders.
I also wanted to stop and say hello to Monadnock Trail Builder and mountain legend Scott A. Smith, who is also resting at Swan Point.
I saw that Mr. Smith is buried right inbetween his two wives, with perhaps an inscription directed at his first wife (?); Smith remarried after the passing of his first wife. I couldn’t help but wonder if being buried between the two Mrs. Smiths was Scott’s request and if he will, in fact, be resting in any kind of peace for eternity.
Either way, we can thank him for all of his work and the many trails still in use today on Mount Monadnock.