Major Dilemma

Some of you may remember our near-death hike a few years ago. If not, read about it here. After this incident, Kurt promised that if I ever wanted to turn around on a hike, I could.

I took him up on that promise today. Kurt has always wanted to climb to the top of Mount Major, between his childhood home and the picturesque town of Alton Bay. It’s supposed to be one of the easier ascents in the area, so we attempted it as a family. In our sneakers. With a faulty can of insect repellent.

I should have turned around within the first 0.2 mile when we crossed this:


The trail didn’t get any better. Clambering up and around boulders and tripping over tree roots left Ian cranky and me sore. After 0.8 mile and squeezing between two boulders in a 45 degree angle crevice, I cried “uncle.” Ian was thrilled. Megan was thrilled, too, when she saw Kurt hand me the keys. Megan and Kurt continued on. Ian and I headed back. Slowly.

So slowly, in fact, that Megan and Kurt got to the car a mere 15 minutes after Ian and I. They went all 3.2 miles (to the top and back) in 2 hours. Ian and I went a scant 1.6 miles in 1.75 hours. But we all made it safely, so we celebrated with Shibley’s soft serve ice cream in Alton Bay before heading home for a salmon supper.

How do I know they really did make it in such a short time? The proof is in this picture of the summit’s survey marker, taken with Kurt’s mobile phone:


And this picture of Megan enjoying the view from the top:


They also presented us with one of their empty water bottles 1/4 full of wild blueberries they picked while they were up there. Craziness.



4 thoughts on “Major Dilemma

  1. You’re right. Kurt got to a point 3/4 up the trail and told Megan, “If Mom hadn’t quit before, she’d be quitting now.” After he described it, I would have made them ALL quit!

  2. Loved your story! If we move back to Colorado you will have to come visit and ride with Paul (my husband) as he drives the 4 wheel roads in the moutains.

    He would drive and I’d try to navigate from the 4WD guidebooks. Sometimes things differed like you wrote about from your hiking guide book.

    I love you didn’t have to hike all the way. In January we went to a park with a waterfall you could hike besides. It was cold and I wanted to stay in the car. Paul said I didn’t have to go so I didn’t. But I still hear about it that I didn’t hike with them. So I proud you gave it your best try!


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