I’ve long been haunted by the dream of a girl who could shrink mountains down to the size of her palm, slip them into her pockets, and carry them with her wherever she went. It’s a fantastical idea, the kind a child conjures up while lying on her back, looking up at a star-packed sky….

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The trailhead for Mount Prospect, in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, is innocuous, with parking for only two cars—three if you pull in nose-to-tail, tight against the maples and pines. For all of the trailhead’s subtlety, the route itself is well marked, winding over a small stream that’s crossable in one large leap if the weather…

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