01 June 2012

Hiking Mt. Misery

This summer, my husband and I thought it would be fun to do more hiking. That way, we could get outside and enjoy the weather, spend time together doing something we both like, and get some exercise. And, since we got engaged a few years back at the top of Mount Hor in Vermont, it seemed only fitting that we chose to hike around Mount Misery this past Memorial Day weekend.

Around 8 am Monday morning, we headed out with a few supplies and our trusty instructions. We made the mistake of thinking we knew exactly where Drumlin Farm was, and initially passed Lincoln Road, but even with the backtracking we arrived promptly at 8:30. Parking was plentiful, and we saw the start of the path easily. We quickly came across a little snake we thought was dead (only to find on the way back that he must have just been cold, as he was very much alive)!

A Woodsy Path
After walking a little ways we came to the field. The path was clearly chopped about 4 feet wide across, but the grass was still a little high and between the rain and the dew, our shoes got pretty wet. A short time later, the path split: to the right it was still whacked down; straight, there was only a person-wide space through grassy-like weeds as tall as my shoulders. We pondered briefly, then decided the narrower path was actually what was referenced in the instructions, and continued on. This was in fact the right way, for when we got to the opposite end of the field, we came to another perfectly lovely woodsy path!

View from the Bridge
We then reached the bridge that crossed over railroad tracks that went in both directions, as far as the eye could see. It was really peaceful and had we more time, I may have sat on the wide wooden beams of the bridge and meditated into the endlessness. I'm not sure why, but I had a minor flashback of crossing the Black Diamond Bridge (maybe because this bridge was very stable and new, in high contrast to the scary, run-down railroad bridge that was very near my house in high school).

After joining up briefly with a bike path and crossing a street, we got to walk through Linden Tree Farm, and noticed they were growing lots of strawberries! This area was obviously packed down by tracker tires and very open, with a somewhat sandy terrain. After that, we picked up another woodsy trail into the woods and followed some wooden-stake trail markers, until we got to the point where you had to follow yellow trail blazes on the trees. Here it got a little confusing because there were multiple ways one could go ("two paths diverged in a yellow wood..."). Immediately before the summit, the trail got a little steep for a very short period of time, which was the first time it really felt like a hike to me.
Lovely Smelling Flowers
When we got to the top, which was really just a small rock platform that must have been some kind of structure in the past, we were accosted by a geocaching woman's dog. The referenced "Outlook" sign was nearly invisible, leaning quite heavily into the trees. There were some small cairns at the top, which we added to before heading back down and back, pretty much the way we came. Fortunately, we didn't have to trudge back through that field again!

The instructions said 2 hours roundtrip, but we made it in 1 1/2 hours, even with stopping and smelling the lovely flowers before crossing the road to the farm.
All in all, it was an OK walk, but I wouldn't really call it a hike, and it was clearly a mishmash of actual hiking trails connected together by cut-throughs of various areas (like the field, and the farm). Not a "misery" per se, but definitely not the best hike I've been on! Still, since we only wanted to dedicate a few hours to something nearby to Waltham, it did the trick. We got to talk, absorb some sun on the beautiful day, and did get some exercise. Also, if you're not up for a more strenuous hike (say, like one we did last year at the Blue Hills Reservation), it might be perfect for you!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for this writeup - this looks like a fun "walk". We hiked Monadnock last weekend and that was definitely a hike - 2 miles up, 2 miles down. It was fun in a carnival sort of way - hundreds of people at the top. But I think it's a rite of passage for all New Englanders. :)