|There's nothing else like a beautiful sunset...|
Besides my dad and I, we had another hiker with us today, Chris, an excellent photographer from New Haven. We took the most expected route, White Dot Trail, and because we were climbing it in hopes to see the sunset, we began our hike late, whilst everyone else was heading down. Luckily, all the snow had melted, and the trail offered the same spectacular views and exciting climbs as usual.
|The Wapack Range, from the Pack Monadnocks to Mt.Watatic.|
|Showing the loneliness of Mt.Wachusett.|
|Looking down White Dot Trail.|
|Town Line Peak (left) with Crotched Mountain alone in the distance.|
|The upper portions of White Dot Trail.|
|White Dot and White Cross.|
|Only a bit of ice here...|
Once we were close to the top, we thoroughly explored all the ledges and folds in the rock, as we had plenty of time to spare. With it being spring, there was no haze, meaning we had some of the clearest views you could achieve from Mt.Monadnock. The entire Wapack Range was visible, along with Crotched Mountain and Mt.Wachusett. Did I mention there was nobody else up there with us?
|White Dot Trail sign with Kiasticuticus Peak below.|
|Gap Mountain and Little Monadnock far down below.|
The sky began to fill with the early signs of sunset, soft yellows and dull oranges, so we scrambled up the rest of the way, all the way up to the summit, still with an hour to spare. The horizon was so clear, and the air was crisp, and many mountains could be made out. In Vermont, you could see Mt.Haystack and Mt.Snow, Stratton Mountain, Bromley Mountain, Salt Ash Mountain, and the numerous peaks of Mt.Killington (Killington, Mendon, Pico, Shrewsbury).
|Stratton Mountain (left) with Bromley Mountain (right)|
|Looking toward Killington Peak and Mt.Ascutney.|
|The Coolidge Range with Salt Ash Mountain and Killington Peak.|
The temperature was comfortable, and the weak wispy breeze was soft and soothing. Other peaks that could be seen to the west included Gap Mountain and Little Monadnock in the foreground, along with Mt.Ascutney to the northwest and even Mt.Greylock to the southwest.
|A plane in the sky.|
|The soft outline of Mt.Greylock.|
Looking into New Hampshire could be seen Dublin Lake, Croydon Peak, Mt.Sunapee, Mt.Kearsarge, the Belknap Range, Mt.Chocorua, and, the still lightly snow-capped Mt.Washington. The sky began to get more and more vivid as time went on.
|Looking into New Hampshire.|
|Looking northeast. The Belknap Range is in the distance to the far left.|
|The best I could capture Mt.Washington.|
As oranges filled the sky and clouds darkened, the sun began to set just south of Stratton Mountain, with beautiful colors and soft light. The east side of Mt.Monadnock began to darken as the west side was lit up one last time for the day. It was truly a one of a kind sunset, and I enjoyed every single second of the site.
|Sunset from Mt.Monadnock|
|The sun setting over Vermont.|
|A few more seconds and it's gone...|
|The colors of sunset over Stratton Mountain and Keene.|
With the sun now fully tucked away beneath the Green Mountains, the lights of nearby Keene and Jaffrey turned on, signaling to us we should begin our way down. We took White Cross Trail, and much like White Dot Trail, it was calm and easy, with occasional glimpses through leafless trees to the illuminated streets of Jaffrey.
Was this brief climb worth the effort, certainly, and I'm happy to know I was able to witness it. The best times of year are when the haze is gone and the air is crisp, like spring and fall. These are the times of year you should be making memories in the mountains, these are the times when you can fully enjoy yourself without the chilling cold of winter or stunning heat of summer. This is the time of year to be outside.