Starr King and Waumbek Mountain
It was later than I had planned on starting, but it was early enough. 9 am wasn’t exactly my planned 6 am starting time but there was plenty of day. When we arrived at the parking lot I was surprised to see so many vehicles. I swear everyone has picked up hiking as their activity of choice.Was there this many people out on the trails last year? Did I just start earlier? I don’t know. I missed my quiet time with the trees and my antisocial introverted environment, but not today. People were out and about. We headed up the trail and I realized very quickly why I liked starting early in the morning. It was only 9 am, but the temperature already felt sweltering or maybe it was just me out of shape after quarantine. I didn’t remember struggling this much last year but last year I was smaller and more motivated. Winter had made me lazy then quarantine added on a couple pounds. It’s ok I thought, I’ll get it back. A mile up the trail and I was out of breathe and sweating profusely. Only about another mile and a half. I’ve got this, just keep going. Upon reaching Starr King Summit the trail levels off and the steady incline becomes a level ridge hike. I made it I thought to myself. Another 4,000 footer almost peak bagged. The summit of Waumbek is less than amazing. A pile of rocks is all there is to see. A few feet from the cairn marking the summit is a nice view of the Presidential Range, but is definitely not one of my favorite views. Another 4,000 footer bagged and tagged. I felt accomplished. We conquered another mountain top. On the way back down there was less talking and more self reflecting. It was a beautiful trail. No switch backs just a steady trail up and down. The forest was lush green and the birds sang among the trees. My feet screamed every time I slammed one down to the ground. It was clear how out of shape I am. I was relieved when I could see the trail head sign in view. We made it, we did it. My feet ached and my legs were sore but I felt amazing at the same time. Another one checked off my list.
Going into the woods is going home. -John Muir
Elevation: 4,006 ft.
Elevation Gain: 2,746 ft.
Location: Jefferson, N.H.
Rating: Moderate to Hard
Distance: 7.4 miles out and back
Starr King Mountain:
Elevation: 3,907 ft
Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft
Starr King is Mount Waumbek’s neighbor. Trail head starts just off Star King Rd. Beautiful wooded trail with a steady but relatively easy incline.