Unfortunately, I'd never get to find out what that view looked like.
Since I've started hiking and exploring NH a lot, I'm finding more and more frustration with the internet and lack of consistent information about whatever outdoor place I'm visiting. I would think that if New Hampshire wanted to promote the fact that they had a billion mountains to hike, lakes to swim in, and beautiful sections of nature spread throughout the state, they would have some sort of website explaining how to get to said places. But no such thing exists. So, I turn to google and the 347236478236423 hiking sites that do exist. Different sites say different things, some have great detail and solid directions while others that turn up higher in my search results have nothing but map coordinates and other bullshit I don't care about. It's really oddly difficult to find out how to get to a mountain and walk up it. I don't get it. If I really had a passion, I'd make the site that nobody else has made yet- simple directions, simple directions to trailheads, notes on when to turn and what not, mileage, and some pictures. Some sites have all of this, but unfortunately they only have that stuff for the 4,000 footers and not the smaller mountains. Want to hike a more unknown, less-hiked mountain? Good luck! Guess I'll just bitch forever though, cuz I'm certainly not going to take the time to do it. If I was getting paid on the other hand... (Seriously, someone hire me to do this, thanks)
So obviously I didn't hike the mountain. I followed the directions from one site and was met with a giant barricade saying ROAD CLOSED. I walked in a little ways and discovered that I was on the road to Gunstock Mountain. I could see what I was certain was Rowe, but no trailhead existed anywhere. I got on my phone and went to another site I'd never seen, and it told me the trailhead was on the other side of the mountain entirely. I found another site that said the trailhead was at the base of Gunstock, which, at this point, I wouldn't be able to make it back to my car to get my stuff, then walk the mile or so to Gunstock and then hike the mountain before it was pitch black dark. Stupid internet.
So I hiked up to the top of a huge ski jump instead. On the way into Gunstock, there are 3, one of which held a record for quite some time.
If I couldn't get to the top of a mountain, at least I'd get some elevation and get to the top of this thing.
Halfway up, I was already amazed that that long ago, people were jumping off stuff this huge.
This was steep. Later, on my way down, I'd find that a road led from Gunstock to this, which would have been much easier. I was hiking up wet leaves and soft ground on an absurd incline. My sat-inside-for-way-too-long-sick-and-not-moving legs instantly hated me, but it felt great to be outside again, pushing towards a goal. Here's my favorite shot of the day, looking up the ski jump.
gotta love HDR
It was great that this had steps, but I was terrified to be on this thing. I'm not exactly light, and as far as I know, nobody has been on this thing in 30 years. I gripped onto that railing pretty hard, giving myself several splinters. It was pretty sweet at the top though.
I took a panorama, which, like every panorama I've ever taken, disappointed me. It was working great, and then as soon as I'd cross over a railing, suddenly the camera had no idea what it was doing. Oh well, figured I'd post it anyway.
(click the picture, it's huge)
I then hiked down the road towards Gunstock, got another shot I liked a lot, and headed out.
I also got to see the most terrifying bear ever, on a mini golf course next to a pond at the base of Gunstock. I think I'd rather run into a real bear out in the woods if it was between a real bear and a mummy bear.
It was weird being here, walking around a closed mini golf course, seeing people getting ready for the upcoming ski season. I reminisced about my days at Waterville Valley.
It turned out to be a nice day. It was warm and pretty outside, I got a good workout, got some elevation, got an impressive view of the Belknap range, and, probably the best benefit- I started thinking about skiing and snowboarding again.
I've been thinking for awhile that I might try to get into snowboarding this winter (I went like 3 times when I worked at Waterville, 9 years ago or something), or at least ski more than I have in the past few years. All my friends are too good for me to ski with them and it's the most expensive hobby ever, so I lost interest. But through being here, then watching The Art of Flight the next day, suddenly it all dawned on me: I don't have a job. I can ski mid-week or go night skiing any time I want. I can go when it's cheap, and I can go by myself, put on headphones and turn normal winter doldrum days into awesomeness. I have a sense of hope for a better winter than the usual crappy ones I barely make it through.
Suddenly, through hiking on a day that felt like summer, I am now actually excited for winter. That kind of rules.
currently listening to: Thrice- "Major/Minor"