Hiking Mount Monadnock: Not for the faint-hearted or out of shape


Sarah Corcoran

The Adventure in Literature senior seminar students took a field trip recently to Mount Monadnock.

Sarah Corcoran

I had hiked multiple times before with my Girl Scout troop and now was going to Mount Monadnockon a field trip with my English class. I was fairly confident in what the hike would be like:  I knew it would be hard at times, but I did NOT know how hard it REALLY would be.  I didn’t even want to go on this trip, but I didn’t want to break Mr. Brown’s Rule # 2 Don’t be lame.  My mom also said that I need to have this experience because “it’s part of high school.” 

That morning I got up so early, I literally lost sleep over this hike. I definitely didn’t mind the long bus ride. When we arrived at the base of the mountain, I needed to go to the bathroom before we embarked on our journey.   I didn’t realize the smell of that outhouse would represent my whole hiking experience: gross, humid, and stinky. 

After I went to the bathroom, I put on my pack filled with three huge jugs of water, lunch and trail mix and we went on our way up the mountain. I started a series of vlogs and at this point doing fine and the trail was pretty easy… for the first 10 minutes. I forgot that when I went on my previous two hikes, which I still hadn’t enjoyed, I had been in the best shape of my life and now I was coming to terms that my fitness level had declined. 

I started my endless amount of huffing and puffing up the mountain with many breaks every two minutes. I came to the bottom of the steep boulders that went up as far as I could see and I thought to myself “you’re joking right? I didn’t come here to rock climb.” But I was wrong. 

I found the ridges of the rocks where I could place my hands and somehow lifted myself up without falling or hurting myself. My legs were burning and I was sweating buckets. I came up on the first area without trees and thought I had reached my destination but nope. Little did I know, I had another hour. ANOTHER HOUR. I got so frustrated seeing all these little middle schoolers from other schools around the area practically run up the mountain, and every other person telling me I only had about 15 more minutes to the summit when in reality I had 40. 

But, I made it. I FINALLY made it… and then had to go back down trying not to trip over rocks or get my shoes wet. I came to realize how hard it must have been for Cheryl Strayed to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, which she wrote about in the book WILD, as she hadn’t been in hiking shape either. I did feel a sense of accomplishment and awarded myself an ice cream with one of my friends afterwards. Fortunately, I didn’t get hurt,  but I came to the conclusion that I’m now retired from hiking.