June 6, 2014.
Another trip up Monadnock and another new approach this time up the Marlboro Trail. Off Route 124 on the South Shaker Farm Road to the trail head. It is just before 7 in the morning with the weather a little cooler than a few days ago, the skies are overcast also.
Marlboro Trail is one of the oldest trails on Monadnock being cut around 1823. Who knows maybe the owner of this old foundation/s once was on this trail.
For the first mile the trail is relatively easy climbing gently through the woods. After that it is mostly steep and slabs of ledges.
Where the Marion trail enters from the right is an open slab and one of the features on this mountain is supposed to be around here. Unknowingly it is in this picture behind the tree.
A lot of challenging spots on this trail and not wanting to get injured with just a few weeks left before I go back to the AT I take my time.
An hour and fifteen minutes after starting and I am out in the exposed wind at the junction of Dublin and Marlboro Trail.
Ten minutes later and I reach the very lonely summit of Monadnock. it is the first time that I have been on this summit with absolutely no one around. It is very peaceful and quiet and odd. If not for being so early and cold I would have thoughts of staying up here and watch the clouds blow out and the scenery below open up.
Back down I head taking my time through the rough sections. Still keeping my out for the mysterious feature I missed on my way up. At one spot I remember seeing a herd path and take it on the way down figuring maybe this will lead me to it. It eventually peters out and I make my way back around through the woods towards the trail and then disaster strikes. Something I have been trying to avoid on these little forays for the past few weeks, WIPEOUT. While stepping on a boulder that was more buried than exposed it was covered in this super slippery moss. As soon as my foot hit it out came the feet and in trying to break my fall I landed on my right forearm and butt. Well the forearm got a nasty scrape all oozing and bleeding for the rest of the trip down. Other than that it could have been a total disaster. The good news is I did find the Stone House back on the ledges where the Marion Trail came in.
It is basically a large slab overhang that creates a natural shelter. Monadnock seems to have more features than any peak I know of. The rest of the trip down was uneventful and the only person I saw all day was just coming up the trail as I was close to the trail head.
Final numbers: 4.2 miles, 2 hours and 50 minutes.