Heading North

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Today the two dogs and I hiked North Road. North Road is on the far side of the mountain (from my house). It takes a good 10 minutes, maybe longer, to drive there. I know, I know, aren’t I lucky to be able to hike a mountain with a short 10 minute drive? Spoiled, I am.

It’s probably obvious that the picture at the top of this post wasn’t taken in November. I’ll explain later. But this is taken from North Road.

It can be challenging to figure out how to hit all the trails in the least amount of re-hiking possible with limited time many of the days and, of course, needing to return to my car. There are a couple of pieces of trails I’ve left hanging and I’m just going to have to do some retracing of my steps. Semuhenna is one of those. I seem to be hitting it in different hikes. There is a little piece of it after North Road ends that I decided I’d do. Which means I hiked up and back on the same trails. It also means I’m going to have to rehike North Road again and loop around on another part of Semuhenna and part of Balance Rock Road. There is no getting around the re-hike, but I don’t mind because it’s a place that’s easy for me to take the dogs, and there is an incredible view of Mount Monadnock near the end of North Road.

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Okay, let’s hike!

Here we are at the entrance. Doesn’t that look inviting?

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Not too far beyond that I came across a horse plop.

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You come across them often on the road trails (as opposed to the skinny, rocky trails).

This is a road we take often when I do the North, Semuhenna, Balance Rock Road loop. Not today.

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These are the trail markers (?) that you see on a few of the trees while on North Road. Only you certainly don’t need them. You won’t get lost.

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Koda was playing hound dog on a good part of this walk. I mean, I love the smell this time of year with all the leaves falling and decaying on the ground. So, maybe she does, too.

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Here’s the view of Mount Monadnock. It was very hazy today. This picture is not really top-of-a-blog-post worthy, hence the picture from earlier in the year that I did post at the top.

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Shortly after the view, we reach the end of North Road and hit part of the paved road to the summit. I feel sorry for people who have to drive to the top of the mountain. I’m glad it’s available, though, because not everyone can hike (and boy, am I really thankful that I can.)

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Semuhenna is off to the left once you hit the road.

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We are going on the piece that goes up from here.

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So, we have midstate trail markers…

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and faded yellow markers…

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and, wait, blue markers, too. I give up. I can’t figure out the logistics of Wachusett’s trail marking. But that’s okay. I just look for a mark.

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When I hit this spot. I lost the trail.

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Well, I lost it a little beyond the midstate mark. There are so many leaves on the ground. I looked for a wider opening in the trees – there wasn’t an obvious one. I had found a yellow trail marker on a tree so I went the way I thought it marked. The ground got spongy fairly quickly so I realized I wasn’t on a well-worn trail. So I came back and studied some more and saw some exposed roots and went that way and picked up the trail.

Crazy. But the leaves on the ground, though masters of disguise and purveyors of trickery, are beautiful.

I walked past this little blade of grass (or some plant) nestled at the base of this tree and made the dogs turn around with me so I could go back and take a picture. For some reason it really grabbed me, that one little dying plant in that spot.

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We came to a bridge. Which is usually a good thing when hiking with the dogs because it means there is a stream and the dogs get to drink.

 

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Most of the streams are dried up this time of year, but there was a little bit of water.

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Right after that we came to the end of the trail / junction with West Side trail. And hit the summit road again. This is where Koda had to do her military pushups on our West Side hike.

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We turned around and made our way back. And it was uneventful except for one thing. I walked past this tree and felt some kind of energy. It was really strange.

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So I went back to it and put my hand on it. Just to feel it.

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I can’t explain it. If you don’t get it, that’s perfectly okay.

These hikes are more to me than just a nice bit of exercise to start the day. They are a connection to nature, her energy, and all that is good.

 

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