Realized I'm a bit behind on stuff here so I better get cracking! We took our first "real" hike of the season two weeks ago with a group of our hiking buds. Mount Monadnock has been our hiking-season-opener for the last 5 springs. I've heard before it's the second most-hiked mountain in the world behind Mt. Fuji in Japan, though I don't know how true that is. :) I will say it is an extremely popular mountain. The mountain is in southern NH and is 3165' high - not a behemoth, but a great hike, an above-treeline summit and fabulous views from the top.
Last year we did some different trails, but this year I decided to do our old familiar White Dot trail. It's 2.2 miles up and lots of rock scrambling. I absolutely love it. I hadn't been working out very much leading up to this trip so wasn't sure how I'd do, but we all did great! The trails were in decent shape, not much water to speak of, and we had an absolutely gorgeous day for it. Last year it was cloudy, freezing, and spitting rain when we had lunch at the summit and we boogied out of there, but this year we ate a nice leisurely lunch and relaxed for a little while. One of our friends brought along a friend of hers from Ohio, who had never hiked a "real" mountain before to my knowledge, and even though she struggled a little, she was blown away by the views and was super proud of herself for making it up :) (she's the one above taking the picture - we stopped for breaks on the trail a lot and she had her camera out every time!)
We took our time and didn't rush anyone up or down, so it was a nice leisurely hike. Lots and lots of people were hiking, and we chatted with a few folks along the way. Felt really good to be out on a mountain again and I'm looking forward to our next group hike, which is supposed to be Chocorua (no date planned for it yet though). There was sadly some car drama at the end of the day - we had to have my car towed home from Jaffrey, but luckily it wasn't dead like I'd feared and is now back on the road! Happy to have hiking season rolling again for us :)