We got up early and drank a quick cup of coffee on Easter Sunday, giving us enough time to hike to the top of Mt Ascutney before we were due to leave. Allocating two hours for our round trip up the mountain, Bill and I sat on the steps outside the condo and pulled spikes on over our hiking shoes. We crossed a small bridge, passed the charred lodge which sadly caught fire this past winter, and headed up.
It was windier than expected, we hurried out of the open, into the tree-lined trails, for protection. Up we hiked. The mountain, no longer operational as a ski resort, still has visitors like us; we traipsed over packed-down trails where signs of an ATV had driven up and skiers had come down. We followed foot prints, dog prints too. Stopping occasionally after a steep climb we marveled at the mountains in the distance. It was early, quiet, peaceful, beautiful.
We made frequent stops to catch our breath and take in our surroundings. Bill and I didn’t talk much, a rare occurrence on my part. I prefer quiet when out in the woods, I find it soothing, meditative. I don’t remember what I thought about but felt calm and content, no monkey mind. I wore a watch, kept track of our time. A little over an hour later we stopped just shy of the top, needing to start back. We were a little disappointed, having gotten so close, but didn’t want to be late; we both had plans with family for Easter dinner. Our vow of reaching the top would have to wait until next year. Until then.