Mount Kearsage 2937’
Winslow Trail/Barlow Trail
2.9 Miles 1300’ Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
Although we had been to the summit of Kearsarge in December '06, I was surprised to find that we had not been there from the northwest side, the Winslow State Park side since March of '02. It certainly did not seem like it had been ten years! Winslow SP is a beautiful little park with a nice playground and lots of picnic tables. There are great views from the picnic area of the mountains to the north and west including Mount Cardigan, and on this clear but somewhat hazy November day, all the way to the snow capped summit of Mount Washington.
On our hike in December of '06 we came from the opposite side, the southeast side, from Rollins State Park. The auto road was closed and we used it to hike up most of the way. It makes for a longer, but easier hike. On that day we had carried the combined ashes of Judy's mother and father. One of the places they had asked to be released was on Mount Kearsarge, a place they loved and had been to many times together. We found an open ledge off trail where we released them together on a gust of wind. Photos from that day are here:
On this most recent trip we had a little snow on the ground. Not enough to pack down and fill in around rocks and root, just enough to make things a little slippery and treacherous. Microspikes would have been overkill, but we had to take care not to slip and slide on the many rock ledges. The trip up is short but fun, and there are great views to the distant White Mountains. We could see the snow peaked summits of Moosilauke, Franconia Ridge, The Twins and Mount Washington. There was a cool breeze, but it was warm in the sun.
On this hike we had brought some more ashes to be spread. This time we carried the ashes of our sister in law Peg. Like many, gone far too soon. She had passed away a few years ago. Her husband, Jimmy, Judy's brother, had given each family member some of her ashes to spread where we thought it fit and proper. We had thought long on it, and it seemed that on Kearsarge with the others was a good choice. Again, we found a spot where the wind would carry the ashes out over the treetops, to be spread in the forest below.
Throughout each of our lives people come and people go. Some of them we don't know if we'll ever see again, some of them we know we can never see again in this world. As the ashes of their lives drift across the forest on the wind we know that we also one day will make the same journey. We have said our good-byes, for now.