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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Galehead Mountain

 Today, I woke up at 4am in the parking lot of a trailhead. I made a short drive to Glen River trailhead, and hiked up to Galehead today. It always takes a couple of hikes for my body to cleanse itself (which often results in a headache), and for my mind to disconnect. Today, a pair of gray jays by Galehead Hut reminded me to stick with the plan and store some away for later. I couldn’t have asked for better weather. 


The busy fall field season has ended, and the northern hardwoods have reclaimed me for the week. Lincoln NH is quiet. I write from Pemigewasset parking area. It’s 4am, and I’m gearing up for Galehead today - a hike with a nice wilderness view. Yesterday, nimbus clouds kept me lower in elevation. I did Mount Pemigewasset and it didn’t disappoint. Soggy, foggy and drizzly - moody weather always recharges me. 

The Tao Te Ching says to be like water; water knows how to benefit all things without striving with them. So - be like water, they say. In the valley, an emerald green stream nourishes plants and animals while rushing to find sea level; drizzle accumulates as a steady trickle from tree branches, as fog lifts from the earth to insulate the air. Trees transpire, and puddles slowly leach. My perspiration cleanses my body as I slip and slide on the first ice of the season - time for a water break. From summit, a gentle flurry reminds me to be graceful. Water is graceful, dynamic, and independent. It’s a magical substance which adapts to its environment well. But water can never be a mountain, or a bush.