The Cave

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My best hiking partner, climbing Mount Uncanoonuc, South.

While I’ve written a good deal about Mount Uncanoonuc, North, where the grand old Hotel Uncanoonuc once presided, I’ve neglected the southern mountain, which too has lovely views & unique features. There’s a great picnicking area at the top of Mount Uncanoonuc, South, where there’s a sizable clearing of rock & shrubs, low growth. Peeking through the treetops, you can spy the Queen City in the distance.

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View from the summit.

Unlike its northern, slightly taller twin, the southern mountain remains free of towers, antennae, and other man-made obstructions that detract from the beauty. As you can see, there’s a rustic, picturesqueness in the wild growth, the persistent vegetation that spreads over the ledge, covering boulders underneath. There are three predominant hiking trails to the top, the red dot, the white dot, & blue trails, in patriotic colors.

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Signpost on the mountain marking the different trail-heads.

Other special trail features make this day hike a fun one, such as a hidden little cave found by the bottom of the mountain. That little cavern has two openings, & you can see through one side to the other.

(As an aside, I don’t know why caves seem so otherworldly to me? It’s as if there’s a hidden treasure or an oversized arachnid or trolls hiding out in that rocky hideout. Maybe my childhood imagination gets the better of me from fairy tales & myths?)

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One side of the cave.

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Standing contrapposto in front of the other entrance to the little cave.

As you can tell, I love taking pictures, & I especially love nature, particularly the woods of New Hampshire. Now that the weather is starting to warm up after quite a harsh winter, I’m getting excited about hitting the trails again.

We even have a hiking frame-pack for carrying baby with us, & as a toddler he’s absorbing so much information with each following day. The awesome wonder of nature dazzles the eyes of children, with every leaf, butterfly, or bird flitting from tree to tree. May we all, as Emerson wrote, see nature with that heart of a child, exuberant & with wonder.

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Peek-a-boo from the other side of the cave.

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The descent down the mountain, which tends to be much more challenging for me than going up since I’m such a klutz.

Hopefully, there will be more pictures to share soon from family hikes on these local & other national forest trails. The quiet found in the forests has no rival, & my soul thrills especially on windy days when gusts make the leaves dance & rustle, creating its own kind of woodland music. Like the concept of the Aeolian harp, the West Wind caresses his lover Flora to create sound. And the moss, musty pine, & sweet ferns create a peerless perfume, unmatched by creations of modern human chemistry. Once again, in nature, I find myself renewed & restored as an introvert.

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Map of the twin mountains.

4 thoughts on “The Cave

  1. Having grown up across the state line to the south, climbing the Pack Monadnock mountains was my equivalent experience: South Pack when I was young, and my parents would drive us to the top, North Pack when I was older, where the only way up is to hike.

    And I share the fascination with caves. As an impressionable 9 year old, I read Mary Stewart’s “The Crystal Cave,” and was determined to find it, not just to meet Merlin, but the enchantress who put him there.

    Liked by 1 person

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