I had a good Labor Day Weekend. I went up North to the White Mountains with the intention of camping and just relaxing. I ended up hiking three mountains and making myself as physically exhausted as I've ever been. It was incredible. I had never hiked to the summit of any mountain in NH until this weekend (the only other summit I have reached was in Utah, Frary Peak on Antelope Island (6,596')).
My sister Meera, and my brother-in-law Thea, drove North on Saturday morning to hike the Falling Waters Trail in Franconia Notch with me, which Thea and his friends had started, but not finished, a few weeks earlier. The trail leads up and crosses two peaks above the alpine zone before finally reaching the summit of Mt. Lafayette (5,260'). We only got as high as the first peak, Little Haystack (4,760'). Meera and Thea returned home, but I was already feeling a calling to go back to the mountains.
On Sunday I decided to hike another trail, this time along the Kancamangus Highway. I bought a small book of 200 hiking trails in the White Mountains at a local shop. After glancing at a few trails I decided to hike to Mt. Hancock's North (4,400') and South (4,274') Peaks. This hike was definitely a step up from the hike to Little Haystack. I don't like taking my time and enjoying the sights; I like to make it physical. I walked as fast as I could and kept my pace as steady as possible. My heart rate must have stayed at 120+ BPM the whole time. I was sweating non-stop for over 6 hours. My feet were so incredibly sore by the time I got back down that I could barely feel them touching the ground. I loved it and I was hooked. That night, I fell asleep at 8pm.
On Monday (Labor Day), I woke up at 7am and decided to ignore the pain and fatigue I was feeling and hike another mountain. From the trail book I choose Mt. Osceola (4,340'). The book only talked about the East Peak of Mt. Osceola (4,156') but I told myself I would push the extra 1.5 miles and go all the way to the top. This time, I made sure I packed enough water, and enough food. Hiking at such a fast pace burns an enormous amount of calories. I had about 800 calories for breakfast and 1 hour into the hike I was already hungry. Even though I consumed over 4,500 calories that day, I was probably still running a deficit. If anything, the hike to the top of Mt. Osceloa was more a test of my metal endurance than my physical endurance. This hike had the most dangerous, and challenging, climbs of all three mountains. There were a couple of places where if I slipped, I would plunge a few hundred feet to the rocks below. Definitely not for those afraid of heights!
I took plenty of pictures and I'm sure you'd like to see them, but you'll have to be patient. I've decided that I will post a new post each day for the rest of this week detailing each of the hikes. I took close to 200 pictures total and since I can see hiking becoming a big part of what I do in my free time, I'd really like to document each hike as best I can.
On Sunday morning, before my hike up Mt. Hancock, I passed a truck with a giant 350LB black bear in the bed. I stopped and talked to the people around the truck and they said they killed him last night, in Bethlehem, NH, which is only a few minutes away from were I was camping. What a waste of a beautiful animal.
Another major thing that happened early this past weekend was my firm decision about what I'm going to do with my properties. I've decided I will get rid of all of my properties, even if that means going bankrupt. I simply feel the time and energy I will spend maintaining even one property is not worth it. I would much rather have the freedom and clarity of mind that goes with knowing I don't owe hundreds of thousands of dollars on a property while still being responsible for maintaining it. Owning a property will greatly restrict my options for travel and the financial freedom to do what I want with my life. Even if it means going bankrupt, I believe I'm making the right decision. At least I'll have a clean slate to start with (excluding the fact that my credit will be screwed for the next 7 years due to the bankruptcy).
I'm glad I made this decision early in the week because the experiences I had during each of the hikes seemed to reaffirmed my decision. I'll be listing all three of my properties with a Realtor later this week for a price lower than what I owe the banks. When I have a buyer, I'll submit the offer to the bank and if they reject it, or if they accept it with the stipulation that I will still owe them the remainder, then I will tell them to foreclose on the properties and then I'll file for bankruptcy. Hopefully the banks will work with me and I won't have to go the bankruptcy route.