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Showing posts from October, 2013

Whiteface and Passaconaway... A Test of Skill and Playing in the Snow.

Earlier in the week, I had one too many confrontations with ego’s that were larger than the sun. I had my fill of people trying to compete with me over accomplishments and I now understood how someone would always just say “yeah, I hike a little” in response to peoples inquiries as to how much. I was thankful for the support of friends and grateful for the encouragement from an unexpecting and old familiar source. My body had also decided to revolt and switch into hyper drive with my head feeling like the vice grip was being squeezed tight and a few other unpleasant symptoms. Would the weekend ever get here??? Wednesday, I developed a head cold. Ugh! As my luck would have it, the weekend did come and I was bound for Flat mountain pond, a place fraught with memories. What was I thinking going this way to Mt. Whiteface and Passaconaway? I wanted the red line for the McCrillis trail. Again, what was I thinking?
The sunrise in Sandwich was beautiful and as we pulled into the trail head, th…

Mt. Israel... A Small Mountain with a Big Experience.

My mother had approached me about a week ago wanting to climb a mountain. I put the word out to the hiking community and came up with Mt. Israel. A 52 with a view peak that had a great view. Sunday morning after my loop of Mt. Hale and the Zealand Hut, I was picked up and the 3 of us (Isis was included) were off to Center Sandwich NH for a day on the trails. I believe we were cautiously optimistic that the day would go as planned and while being a realist, I encouraged my mother to give it her best. I wanted her to have that same experience that I get when in the mountains and hoped that she would do more. We found the Mead Camp with no problem. The GPS lead us right there and after a few quick photos, we started out.
The leaves had over taken the trail and provided a slick coating and on the incline, I encouraged my mother to go slow and take small steps to minimize fatigue. She was receptive to the advice and moved along very well and was taken by the scenery. I smiled with each ohh…

Mt. Hale... Back to Basics.

When all else fails, you head back to basics. You start at the beginning again. Last time I climbed Mt. Hale, I was avoiding someone and this time around, while I was not avoiding, I was certainly trying to escape for a while. The previous night I had returned to my practice of singing at the top of my voice while prepping and having a great time. By morning, I was dealing with a cat fight under my bed, a melatonin fail at 1:30am, and some really stiff achy and shaky muscles. Once I got my body under control, Isis and I were off to the same place we were last week, Zealand Road and this time we were parking at Hale Brook. Taking Hale Brook up to the summit and taking Lend-A-Hand over to the Zealand hut to meet up with friends would be a great day in the mountains. Isis and I were ready to go in no time at the trail head.
I had forgotten about the gain on the Hale brook trail and I was already having difficulty from the moment I woke up. I continued to have issues up the trail. First m…

Zealand Bonds Travers on a Perfect Day.

The Zealand Bonds traverse was planned pretty much before we even got done with Owl’s Head the previous week. What else was there to do while walking out from Lincoln Woods? I was heading up for my annual trip to my cabin in Pittsburgh, NH so this would be a perfect trek for the trip. However, I started the week with a sprained ankle and people wondered if I would be able to complete such a journey of almost 20 miles. I managed to pull it off though after a couple of days of rest, ice, and lightly working it. I was good to go and really needing to break from civilization. Isis and I made our way northward on Thursday and made a stop at the Highland Center to see an old friend. Always nice to reconnect with someone you have not seen in a few months and it seemed just like old times and it would seem that things would work out to do some more hiking together. The old troupe may not be as splintered. Isis and I made it to the cabin about an hour and a half later and settled in as well as…

A Bonus for October... Owl's Head.

A bonus came my way in the form of an invite to get Owl’s Head. Part of the reason for shortening my trip around the Hancock’s was because of this trip. Eighteen miles to a viewless summit, who would like this? Well, I would. Isis was also going so that I would not have to have her with me in winter when I go for it all over again. 3:30am and my alarm was set for 5am. Melatonin fail and a busy head to boot. I laid there and checked things out on my phone. Thinking to myself if it was really dedication on my part or just avoidance of some kind of truth. More than likely a lot of both. I got up and got ready without as much as a peep from my alarm. The rain was coming down and what better way to spend a rainy Sunday? It seemed better than staying in the dark place. Besides, I apparently only bushwhack in the rain. Towards Concord however, the weather cleared.
Most hikers had a love hate relationship with this peak. I fell on the side of love for a viewless 18 mile walk. Pulling into Lin…

Welcome Home... The Hancock's

Welcome to a new start… A chance to look at things from a new angle. Returning to the White Mountains after 3 months in Maine and returning stronger than when I left. And even still, this was not going to be an easy day. The peaks were easy (I’ve been there twice before). I was not sure the rest would be easy. What a luxury to sleep until 4:30am. I had gotten use to a rise time of between 11:30pm the previous day and 2am to get to Maine. This morning was indeed already feeling different for me. I got the car packed, let Isis out and she promptly sat by the door to the basement. I grabbed my coffee (decaf hazelnut) and a slice of chocolate chip cake (gluten free) for breakfast. We were off down the road and I ticked off some of the things I forgot (like a change of clothes). The cloths were not important and what was important was the portable cellphone charger. An oversight on my part and I made the decision to keep going. I was too far away to let it matter. As we drove, the sun rose…