It was about a 2.5 hour drive up, which was actually relaxing as there weren't too many people out and I had company. Got there around 10AM, excited for the hike. It seemed really cold and I wore several layers that I never would normally. I was surprised to find a $15 charge for parking and nearly all facilities closed at the bottom (including restrooms, although there were porta-potties).
We begun the second half, climbing almost solely on rocks with much better views. It was strangely much easier than the first half as well. It was really exciting when the summit came into view, yet was still very far away. Getting closer and closer to the summit only became more and more exciting as it got colder and the views got better. The summit itself was really cool, but had more people than I would like and was quite frigid. We didn't stick around long and begun the descent.
Along the way, we decided to take the smith connector trail to bald rock. This was a pretty fun trail that went through the woods often and Bald Rock offered a nice view of the summit. Cliff Walk down to lost forest was a similar trail and also enjoyable traversing on rock. The last mile was pretty boring as I was fairly tired at that point, and my lower body was aching in several places. Additionally, the trail finally went under treeline and simply felt like any other ordinary trail. Before hitting the parking lot, we went along a small body of water that had a great view of summit far above.
On the way back, we stopped by Purgatory Chasm state reservation in Sutton, MA. It was right off the highway on the way back and was another place on my bucket list based on great reviews it had. It was neat to see the massive rock formation form the chasm and several other places with climbing, but was obviously was nothing compared to Monadnock.
I took plenty of photos and video footage, the latter of which I created a 40-minute video on the experience. It came really shaky so I apologize for that. I filmed a lot, so there might be some weird scenes in there.