Happy Belated Independence Day!

I realize its been a long time since I updated using real, actual words, but here's the story at hand...just try to follow.

My boy being in Africa for two and a half months, and my trip to London with Francesca canceled, I found myself without any Independence Day Celebration plans. I could have driven to Connecticut to see that family, but I just saw them 2 days ago and I needed to be back in Hanover on the 5th to babysit the movers loading everything my dad owns into the trucks en route to Wisconsin, as long as I'm in the country. (woo! wisconsin!)

I had always wanted to hike the college-owned Mt. Moosilauke for the 4th because I've heard you can see 7 (seven!!) different fireworks displays from up there and its beautiful. Plus I've never hiked it and what kind of outdoors-enjoying Dartmouth Student would I be if I had NEVER hiked it? I realize I graduated once and never hiked it, but I have to graduate again. That counts. Unfortunately, there was rain. And talk of local fireworks shows being canceled. And I had no idea who to go with.

But then my very outdoors-active and psycho-exercise friend Katherine, whom I had forgotten was still in Hanover, sent me an email asking if I wanted to hike and go to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for dinner. Did I even have to finish reading the sentence before I responded in the positive? No.

So we got together and drove the hour to the lodge and had a delicious home-cooked dinner in the rain. We decided we'd play it by ear on the hike. And when they started serving dinner, we decided just stuffing our faces would be a sufficient celebration. There was a funny but mildly degrading speech by a dual citizen - US and UK - followed by a re-enactment of the congressional debate using apples on cutting boards and wooden spoons. They advertised salad, mashed potatoes, meatballs, and berry pie. I missed the potatoes because we share served platters at the lodge and I was still working on my very awesome salad (it'd been a while since I'd eaten fresh vegetables) while the rest of the table finished off the potatoes. But then they served us the meatballs, which were really more accurately described as meat lumps, and I took off my shoes and just jumped right into the bowl. And then we still had pie to go. I could only finish half of mine. Partly because I was so full and partly because the crust was too hard and I was too lazy to deal with it. I probably should have eaten all the filling. Hindsight is 20/20...

So in our too-full, food-coma stupor, Katie and I have a short exchange of:
"So...what do you think?"
"meh....WHY NOT?!"
"Cool! Lets go!"
Marissa overhears this conversation and is emboldened by our awesomeness, and decided to go with us. Which is good, because three is definitely company.

And that's the story of why I summited Mt. Moosilauke, a 7.2 mile round trip hike, for the first time ever at 10:25 pm in the rain and fog. 4,802 ft, thank you very much. Marissa got this picture of Katie and I.Fog is not conducive to picture-taking, but a trophy, nontheless. Nor is frostbite-inducing wind chill. We couldn't see any fireworks at all, and when we turned off our headlamps we couldn't even see each other, which leads me to believe that the late hour was not the only reason we would have missed any fireworks that still happened in the weather. And that sounds disgustingly miserable, but it was SO much fun. I cannot describe the rush we felt when we finally looked up and saw that ugly orange trail sign. Best Fourth Of July, ever!

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