the LONGEST day
You never really know when you're going to have the urge to go hiking; It kind of just hits you in the moment and off you go. A few weeks ago, my buddy, Kenny, and I had plans to see Trevor Hall play live in concert (if you don’t know him, check him out, you won’t regret it!) and then head to a charity firefighter chili cook-off being held on Cape Cod the next day. It was going to be an ideal weekend, filled with good music and good food. Unfortunately, the day of the concert, we found out that the chili cook-off got canceled due to the latest winter storm wreaking havoc on the Cape. The firefighters that had planned to be cooking that weekend got stuck working all day through the storm.
As the night rolled around, Kenny and I went to the concert as planned. Trevor Hall played at this newly renovated theatre called the Cabot, which is located in downtown Beverly, MA. Just looking at the place from the outside, you could tell that it must have been quite the sight back in its heyday because even today, it has a seriously cool vibe to it. The concert was unreal. Trevor spent a lot of time in between songs talking about his inspiration for the next and literally blowing our minds in the process. As the concert was coming to an end, where the next day would take us was still up for debate. It was getting pretty late and it was one of those moments where you either call it or you decide to make something of the rest of the weekend. It was now 1:00AM and Kenny turned to me and said, “let's just go hiking.”
Without hesitation,I threw all of my gear into the Jeep and we hit the road. We drove through the night, stopping twice to grab gas and to pick up one of our friends along the way. We drove hours through New Hampshire and as soon as 5:00AM rolled around, we had finally reached our destination: the one and only, Crawford Notch. The hike we had in mind was Mt. Willard; a short hike but with one of the most incredible views of the notch. It was still dark when we got to the trailhead, but with headlamps to help light the way, we started our ascent. It's an eerie, ominous, yet calming feeling that you get at that time in the morning. Eerie as if turning the light off in your basement from the bottom of the stairs and running your way up, and calm as if the only thing that matters is the sound of the wind through the trees and the sound of the crunching snow under your boots. As we reached the top of the mountain, the sun hit the horizon line changing the colors of the sky from various shades of purple to orange, and then to blue. Now among other things, I always make a point to bring the appropriate provisions along to brew camp coffee. For some reason, and I haven't discovered what it is yet, but coffee in the mountains just always tastes...better. I think that a cup of coffee to warm you up, on a cold winter morning, on the top of a mountain, kind of just brings everything all together.
Despite the fact that we had not slept in what felt like forever, we all understood that none of that mattered. Just to be in that moment, at that time, in that place was invigorating. It was one of those things you do that your future self will thank you for. Needless to say we were all a little tired that next day, but we were all the better for it.