Hosmer Brook Challenge

The weekend after our trip to Rangeley, my hiking buddy and I decided on another hike. Over the last year, I have had trouble reaching the summit of Ragged Mountain from the Hosmer Brook Trail. We end up stopping multiple times while I catch my breath. Despite the difficulties, I usually made it through the upper loop of the Hosmer Brook Loop. From there it was another ½ mile to the George’s Highland Path near the top of Ragged Mountain, but halfway there I realize I won’t make it and turn around. Still, I was determined that I would conquer this mountain, which made me suggest the Hosmer Brook Trail for our outing.

To reach the trailhead, we needed to walk underneath the chairlift and alongside the ski slope before entering the woods. (When I considered the angle of this slope, I thought perhaps I was being too hard on myself and my failure to summit.) Once in the forest, we paused to study the brook, roaring now from the previous rainfall, before continuing on our journey.

After the path veered off from the mountain biking trail, we had to cross two streams before continuing towards our goal. These streams were wide enough that it was not a short hop to the other side, nor were the small bridges laid down to assist the traveler safely across. We studied the wet rocks for a few seconds before gingerly making our way to the opposite bank.

Once we reached the loop, we turned towards the upper loop since the lower loop tended to be wet and just not as pretty as the rest of the trail. This was where things began to get difficult for me. I don’t recall that it was overly humid, but it must have been since I felt the need to stop quite frequently. Fortunately with the recent rain, there were plenty of mushrooms around that needed time for a closer inspection.

Somehow I made it to the top part of the loop and we continued on towards the George’s Highland Path.  Unfortunately, we were not that far into our journey when my stops became even more frequent. After a few more minutes I had to call it quits. Once again, I had failed to summit. After turning around, we reached the loop in about 10 minutes, so we really had not gone too much further.

I was still not ready to concede defeat to this mountain. I promised my friend that we would try this again, perhaps in September, when the weather would be cooler and less humid. Perhaps then I will succeed.

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