According to Facebook, we have now hiked Pitcher Mountain sometime during the same week time frame for the last three years. The first year Aubrey hiked up just a fraction, the second year Aubrey hiked up and down on her own two feet, but it was a sloooow hike. And then there was yesterday, Aubrey practically sprinted up and down the mountain. Bigger summer hikes are really starting to sound like a reality.
Per usual I was hosting this hike for our friends with Hike it Baby, it was a last minute submission on Sunday night, which made me unsure if it would give people enough time to plan. Well I think the spontaneity of it, being school vacation and being a gorgeous Monday contributed to a large group of toddlers all excited to tackle a mountain. The group of 17 took up off the old access road. The older toddlers took off at a good speed, running most of the way up, only stopping once halfway to let the younger toddlers catch up. Once we arrived at the summit, we all spread out ate our picnic lunches, took turns climbing the fire tower, and climbing all over the rocks.
Before any major meltdowns occurred we all decided it was best to pack up and head down the mountain. One of the other moms suggested we take a slightly longer route. I had never gone this way so I was up for trying a new trail, especially once that might make the hike a tad bit longer than 1 mile round trip. As we followed the trail down the mountain we passed through a large blueberry forest. One could get lost in all the trails through the bushes, but in July one would be able to survive on the blueberries alone.
I tried out a new app while on top of the mountain, but not sure how much I trust it. It’s called PeakLens with is an app that used augmented reality and GPS to show the user an overlay of the hills and mountains they are viewing. I am not in love with it yet, and debating on if I want to bite the bullet and buy a $5 app called PeakFinder that does the same thing but is more reliable and has better reviews. I don’t fully trust PeakLens because there are certain peaks I know and it either wouldn’t identify them or would have them in the wrong location. It wouldn’t even show Grand Monadnock on its map, yet it points out small hills. It has different levels of distance that you can scroll through so mountains are grouped together by distance to make it easier to identify. I am wondering if a few bug fixes will get this app working better than it does currently.
Once we made it back down to the bottom, I remembered that there was a geocache located somewhere in the trailhead parking lot, so I took Aubrey on her first treasure hunt.
While I think she is still to young to figure out the app (heck I still get confused!), I used my phone to get us within a few feet of the cache and then directed her to look around for a treasure box. She quickly found the geocache and was so excited to open the box and see the treasures. I really need to go Dollar Tree and pick up some small knick-knacks to leave behind. I am still debating if I want to upgrade to the premium membership to unlock more geocache options to explore.
It was a great morning for a hike. I think all the kids a blast together and all got along extremely well.