Decided on a hike up Table Rock in Grafton Notch. Drove there, parked, looked at the sign pointing out the trails, and crossed the road. Heading off I passed a guy coming out. That was the last person I saw on my hike. There were signs for a number of trails, I took the Table Rock trail and followed it up. Once again, it seemed harmless.
It got steep rather quickly and turned into an antediluvian riverbed, boulders instead of a path, winding up 900 feet. I followed the markers of red spray paint, a bit incredulous, at times completely winded. A couple of times I thought the top was near, I was so wrong, the trail deked me out, ran me through some woods, then up up up again. At one point I got to this huge boulder under a cliff and stood there flummoxed until I realised there was a spray painted arrow on one side indicating a narrow space to squeeze yourself between the rock and a cave under the cliff. I suppose if you had managed to make it up that far, they assumed you were thin enough to fit. Finally clambered up a muddy last hill and reached the Table, a flat bit of rock with an enormous view of the surrounding mountains.
The sun came out, but it was quite cool and windy. Still, nothing was going to deter me from sitting and enjoying the view for a while and drinking some water and eating a granola bar while I was doing it.
I wasn't looking forward to the descent very much, but realised as I was climbing down that the markers were blue now, then realised that the trail was quite a bit easier. The significance of the red and blue suddenly sank in.
I was so happy about the fact I didn't have to climb down through boulders that I started singing selections from Carmen at the top of my lungs. I was hoping I really was alone because a) I'm not an opera singer and b) I don't know the words. Still, happy as can be tripping down the trail, torturing the wildlife, passing streams, slipping occasionally on moss and muddy areas from all the rain we've had lately. The markers turned white, but I was still heading down, and eventually got to the point where the trails separated and I was indeed coming down the opposite fork from where I started. Got to the car, now kind of frozen and enjoyed the heater immensely.
On the way home also stopped at a covered bridge and then at the local grocery store. No tahini (what was I thinking?), but found hummus, which was just as good when combined with lemon juice for the sauce for the chickpea/squash thingie.
Skyped my kids, miss 'em.....then read, wrote, drank, and slept.