Local exploring today... Started out at Temple Mountain State Park in Peterborough NH. I've lived here for 12 years and this is my first visit. Isis and I head up the Bebee trail which is one of the old ski trails from when this was a ski resort. Easy grades to start before it ducks into the woods and heads up. Snow from yesterday is still hanging on the trees and for Spring time, it still feels like Winter. Trails are pitted from boot traffic and the new snow does not amount to much. I'm wearing my spikes to help with the icy spots.
It was not long before this trail joined up with the Wapack Trail and lead to a cell tower. Isis and I stopped on the ledges to get a few pictures. We continued into the woods for a little while before deciding to head back to the cell tower. I want to do more research on the Wapack trail before I hike any more of it. Isis and I headed back down the Wapack Trail and bushwhacked back to the Beebe trail through some crusty snow with shallow post holes, and back down to the parking area. But, that's not all for today...
I didn't want to go home. I also didn't want to go home and drop Isis off to hike Monadnock (No Dogs allowed). So, we headed over to the town of Stoddard NH on 123 to Pitcher Mountain. Another mile long trail up to a fire tower. Isis and I climbed this with my mother a few months ago and also when we hiked the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail so, it's super familiar. There were two other cars in the parking area which was passable on old snow. Isis and I head up the blue blazed trail since the Monadnock Sunapee looked less broken out and more choppy. This trail moves through some hard wood before passing a rocky section (ice today) and then leveling out to approach the fire tower. We arrived and met the other hiker who was bird watching. The wind was picking and the clouds were moving in as the forecast had predicted.
We chatted for a bit before Isis and I moved to the other side of the tower to check out the views. I found myself wishing for warmer weather and for the blueberries that cover the summit come July. I have so many plans for the warmer months and they seem to keep growing. Isis lead the way back to the car where she was greeted by two golden retrievers and a back dog... All were heading south on the Monadnock Sunapee for today. Isis had her treats in the car as usual and I was happy to have gotten out for the morning. We'd be home by one, which is the advantage to exploring locally.
Coming off of a good follow up with my Rheumatologist, where I saw my meds reduced and my baseline x-rays taken (hands and feet). I had hoped to be up North today. While my swelling in my hands and feet are way down, I still have stiffness in my hands, which may always be there and stiffness in my elbows and neck need a little more work. But trust me, it's no where near the immobility I use to have, or the swelling so much that I thought my hands were going to split open from the pressure. I am happy to be up and moving. Even locally for 4 miles is better than a day feeling sorry for myself on the couch because I missed my alarm to head up North by over sleeping again. Fatigue is still my biggest road block these days. Amazing, I can take the intense pain but being so tired I can't move is simply unacceptable to me. Today was a good day. I carried a little more weight, as I added my dinners to my pack. The weight made no difference, which made me happy. Every hike that I do pushes me towards my goal for the Long Trail. Those last 64 miles mean more to me now than ever... And the wait to get to June, jus may be the second hardest thing to get over. ;) Training will hopefully continue on Moosilauke next weekend.