This was going to be my last and final hike for my trip. My 43rd New Hampshire 48.
I actually had intended to hike Isolation with Dan from last week but things just didn’t work out, so I opted for Mount Carrigain. It was the prefect, blue bird day for it.
I got a late start. This drive was another hour or so away. The parking lot was not that full. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/new-hampshire/signal-ridge-trail-to-mount-carrigain
I had chosen to go up the Signal Ridge Trail. I had heard this trail wasn’t that bad of a hike with 10.8 miles out and back and 3,530 elevation gain.
The first two miles is pretty flat follows along a stream. It appeared to be an old fire road given how wide it was at times. Once you hit the trail junction, it started to climb up a nice switchback to the top of a hill. Okay, I could totally do this. I experienced the same calf discomfort as the day before. Occasionally stopping to stretch and hoping the pain would disappear like the other days after walking for a bit, it did.
My legs still felt super heavy and I knew I needed to head home now more than ever to give them the rest they needed before I set off on my next adventure. They would get the rest they needed after I reached the summit. I didn’t go this far to turn back. The trail descended slightly and I told myself “this would be your last uphill of the day.” It was all flat after that or downhill.
By no means is this trail easy… all of your elevation gain is within those last 3 miles of rocky, rooty, and steep trail. I was mentally struggling harder than I had this whole trip. Many people were already headed down. I kept checking Gaia to see what elevation I was at… I had to get to 4,700. It never seemed to end.
I knew I would reach the top when I would see the tower. I could finally see a break in the trees and was met with breathtaking views. Where was the tower? Looming in the distant, on another hillside was the tower. I wasn’t even there yet… I had to climb more up…
I hadn’t come that far to quit now. I pushed forward. As I neared the tower, I heard voices and a dog parking. These people had spent 90 minutes up there, and I just wanted the views for a few minutes to myself. They eventually left and I hung up there for about 15 minutes soaking it all in. It was a great mountain to end this trip on.
The way down was slightly, technical and slow going. I was happy to reach the flat part and run back to the car. I had did it! It was hard knowing I was headed home the next day with only 4 NH48 peaks remaining. But my body desperately needed a break and it only gave me an excuse to come back. Until next time White Mountains.