The wind howls. It stings and reddens my ears, which I occasionally cover with my hands. Rain spits sideways. It strikes my face like a million tiny pins. Much different than the 68 degrees near the base of this mountain range. I turn and look at my husband. “This is awesome!” he shouts over the roar. Looking across this vast sea of wild – witnessed by few – my heart agrees. How many others have scaled this harsh vertical climb, step after step ascended on sheets of granite, stretched for, reached for, muscled for? And then, to be rewarded with this spot void of many humans, yet so alive.
We stand at the top of Franconia Ridge, where one swears that God might stretch a hand from the heavens to cup we mortals in His palm.
And then, my husband and I press onward. More granite inclines. Icy wind. Relentless spits of rain. Stones and more stones. Muscles that scream and holler and beg to stop. An occasional blue mark on stones guide souls who brave this journey, this quest to meet a president.
From Falling Waters Trail to Franconia Ridge Trail, we finally arrive at the top of 5,089-foot Mount Lincoln in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Named after the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It seems fitting. We stand in a bastion of natural freedom. Technology forgotten. Busyness abandoned. Burdens dropped. Simply free to inhale majesty.