Mt. Tecumseh; A Love Story
Updated: Feb 27, 2018
Hike Date: 02/24/2018
Mountain to Table (Post Hike Eats): Street (Portsmouth, NH)
This is a story I've been waiting to share with you all. One that is close to my heart- the story of how it all began...
On October 3rd, 2015 I met my Mom at the Waterville Valley Ski area, excited and anxious all at the same time to hike my very first 4000 footer. The weather set the scene for a perfect day in the mountains; sunny, fall foliage just beginning to turn, and a pretty quiet parking lot meant we'd have most of the mountain to ourselves. My Mom and I had been hiking every weekend together, a new found addiction. For this hike she had invited her friend, John, who she occasional hiked with.
John just so happened to be extremely good looking, and single. & Brought along his adorable dog, Blaze. Blaze was super friendly and came immediately over to me to say hi and get pets and love. He's such a great icebreaker, thanks Blaze. We start hiking, making small talk, and I try not to stare at this handsome mountain man joining us today. I try to act cool and pretend I'm not nervous and internally dying from asthma. I'm smooth like that...
This hike was challenging for me. Having exercise induced asthma means that my lungs are working extra hard just to breathe enough to get up this thing. I'm pretty slow and I break often. At almost 4000 feet, my blood sugar drops, and I start to feel dizzy. I was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia a few years before and managing it just by eating good and eating often. So much for keeping it cool... I tell my hiking partners I need to break and sit down on the trail to shove a Cliff bar down. Dizzy, and sort of blacking out, and feeling like a loser I try to recover quickly so we can keep hiking on.
By the time we reached the summit, I was tired and slightly delirious, but so much in love. With mountains and with hiking, and with this whole experience of being outdoors. Maybe with John too :) We ate an AMAZING lunch that my Mom made for us. She is fantastic like that. It's on this day I learned about the 4000 footers club, and what it entails to hike them all. My mom and John shared what ones they have already done, and I listened, taking it all in. I can't believe I had lived in New Hampshire all this time and was just now exploring the mountains and discovering this part of it. It was like I was unlocking a secret Mountain world.
I had no idea that this would be the start of my 4000 footer hiking journey, and that John and I would be going steady and eventually move in together in a log cabin. Or that I would hike mountains solo, and complete backpacking trips and just grow all around to the much happier person that I am today. I have completed 31 of the NH 4000 footers to date (plus a couple more in NY). & I have completely kicked my hypoglycemia and asthma's ass! It barely affects me now. Overcoming physical limitations as well as mental limitations (for example fear of hiking alone) has been absolutely empowering. I would say I am basically crushing it at life now.
Tecumseh means "Goes from one place to another."
Now if that ain't a sign right there, I don't know what is....
View from Tecumseh October 2015
Mom (AKA wingman)
Yesterday I set off to hike Tecumseh again. Luna needed this hike for her 4000 list, and I needed a hike that was close and short on miles. I had plans to meet my Mom and Sister for girls night, so I was working with a bit of a time crunch. But obvs still addicted to hiking so gotta fit in both.
Arriving at the trail head in February was a little different than my previous October experience... skiers and snowboarders everywhere. Traffic. No parking. I even had to fight a lady who was standing in the only parking spot "waiting for her family who was right around the corner." I prefer my trail heads much quieter and in the middle of nowhere, down some dirt road. Maybe I have become a hiking snob at this point, but I go to the mountains to get away from things like: traffic, crowds, and people who stand in parking spots "reserving them." Pshhh. Luckily once I got hiking, I eventually was far enough from the ski lodge loud speakers to finally get my peace and quiet.
It was amazingly warm for February! 40 Degrees outside felt like a spring day. The morning started off a bit rough (for some reasons all my mornings do, you wonder why some of us aren't morning people!) First I couldn't find the trail, or parking. Then I remembered I left one of my waters in the car, and when I went to use my camera... no memory card. I must've forgotten it at home. The dogs and I hiked along and eventually found peace and a good hiking groove. I was enjoying the stillness and quiet, taking in the forest, and I completely forgot any troubles from the morning.
We passed many other hikers, everyone was friendly. No dog haters, which is rare nowadays for us. Instead everyone stopped to tell me how beautiful my pups were, asked their names and ages. Blaze made tons of new friends, while Luna watched afar with uncertainty. I tend to hike faster when I'm solo. Breaks are quick, and I didn't hang out on the summit. Just kind of go go go as fast as my lungs would allow. I ended up completing the entire hike in 3 hours. Amazing time for me!
2 years ago I struggled to get up this same mountain. Today- I ran up the thing and made it my bitch. It's a fantastic feeling. The mountains have taught me many lessons, but the most important one is probably physical exercise. I have made exercise more of a priority in my life. Working out often as "hiking training." The work I put in Monday-Friday at the gym, shows on that Saturday hike. What asthma?
Pictured Below: Wizard's Beard
There are 2 routes to the summit- I took the right side and had the trail all to myself
Alright so I run down the mountain. Killed it! & Head home as I had some plans with Mom and Sister for dinner and a movie. So this week's Mountain to Table is a little different in terms of location. Normally I will try to pick a restaurant that's near the mountain, in this unique circumstance of a day- I had to drive a bit farther for my post hike meal. But I cannot wait to tell you guys about one of my absolute favorite restaurants:
From Mountain to Table
It may not be close to the mountains but it's worth the drive! Keep this place in mind next time you find yourself on the seacoast.
Street has such a great vibe to it. Crazy decorations, fun, wild colors. They are offering a menu that lets you "Eat around the world." So think unique food from various worldy locations, all at one convenient location in Portsmouth, NH. All of your taste buds will be smiling, I promise it!
A fun quote from their menu for you:
These items are spicy! Don't put the spicy things in your eyes or touch your private parts.
First we got a round of these Regardless Margaritas. They were ahhhhmazing. Made with a Chili Simple Syrup they had a perfect tang of spice.
I was starving! So hungry I almost forgot to take a picture of my meal for you guys.. Blog failures. My sister got the Noodle Bowl with Korean Beef added (pictured above)
Rice noodles, asian herbs, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, scallion, peanuts dressed with nước chấm. Topped with a fried egg. True story." Really yummy! The asian herbs really popped. The water told us one of the herbs was Thai basil which we had never heard of, but we want more! My mom ordered the Cubano and Yuca Fries. None of us had experienced Yuca before and it was really different. Like a heavier french fry. Peruvian lime sauce that accompanied it was yummy and complimented it wonderfully.
A South American staple; possibly the best starch you’ve never had. Comes with Peruvian lime dip."
Now I bring you guys my personal fave. The sandwich I would drive an hour plus for.. the Fried Chicken Cemita. Order it. Order 3. (Secret: you can ask for it with pulled pork instead of chicken. Not listed on menu but its John fave and he orders it every time.)
A pile o’ crispy fries drizzled with curry-mayo and served with curry ketchup. "
Choose juicy fried chicken thigh, burger or veg burger. Avocado, Mexican fried cheese, cilantro, chipotle mayo, pickled onion, all on a sesame seed bun. "
We chow down. I see the light that can only come from experiencing post hike food heaven. I wish I could go back there now and re-experience this meal all over again. THAT'S HOW GOOD IT IS. I told you guys this was a love story, what I meant was a love for the mountains, bomb food, and John too. He is the one that showed me this restaurant.
Happy Hiking Friends! (And eating)
- Laura the Explorer