Saturday, September 13, 2008

We're down!

The sun is behind the mountains, but the trail was not dark yet. We hit the end of the trail at 6:25, taking a total of 5 hrs and 15 minutes (no speed records broken here today!). There will be a lessons learned entry coming soon.

Now, back to the most beautiful campsite at Lafayette Campground with our first 4000+ ft peak in the bag!

(sent from the parking lot at Saco Lake, near the Webster-Jackson Trailhead)

Timing again

Coming down as fast as we dare, but we're not speed demons!
We hit the 'split' at 5:45, leaving us with 1.2 mi to go.
We're racing the sun down!

Summit of Mt Jackson!

We reached the summit at 4pm.
(sent from the top of Mt Jackson)


Just past the split between Webster and Jackson trails at 2:25. That is 1 hr and 15 min into our hike. 1.2 mi down w/ 1.4 to go to the top!

We plan to add 1.2 mi and do Webster too. Will it get dark before we get back to the car? Dark abt 6:30 here?
(sent from the trail on Mt Jackson)

The Big Picture

"What is the point of climbing a mountain if you just focus on getting to the top and don't see any of the beautiful things along the trail?"

This is what my daughter said as we started the climb on Mt. Jackson our first 4000'+ peak in New Hampshire.

Of course she is absolutely correct and her mother thinks this must be a sign that she is intelligent enough to know to enjoy all aspects of life and not rush through to reach goal posts.

However, this might just mean that she is happy to look around on today's hike, and that she thinks we won't make it to the top?

Which are her weaknesses and objectives, and which are mine?

Blue skys shinin' on me

As we pull away from the house the skys are blue. I know that 100s have been hurt or killed by Ike this weekend, but here the weather is lovely and we are ready for a great day on the trails.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Now, we have to decide how determined we are. There is rain scheduled for our first mountain's weekend. I think we'll skip camping tonight and decide in the morning whether the hike is a go.

This is pretty disappointing, not in the least because we had our favorite campsite in Franconia Notch reserved (and we NEVER get that site!)

My daughter is fine - she wanted to attend the High School football game anyway. This may be a sign. There will always be alternatives to heading out for a weekend of camping and hiking - hopefully she will grow to consider this as much fun, albeit in a very different way, as teenage social activities. Inviting friends (hers and mine?) along might be our answer!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Our preparation

In order to get in shape and toughen up mentally for hours of hiking my daughter and I both will need to excercise regularly and spend some hours in our hiking boots.

I love to get out of the office in the middle of the day, and away from my desk, but I find it very challenging to make my self break from work. However this walk is so gorgeous that I look forward to it all morning! (View Larger Google Map) The walk through MIT and along the Charles River on the Esplanade is relaxing and beautiful.

My daughter is walking to school and planning on joining the cross country team. Cross country should get her in shape pretty fast!

Boy Scouts

Kathy Martin has created a fantastic site for our local Boy Scout Troop 304. Thank you Kathy!

Venture Crew for my daughter?

Today we had lunch with the Bonings, a very active family in MANY ways. The lunch was a thank you to my husband Chris for his help with their oldest son's Eagle project for Boy Scouts. Our wonderful dim sum brunch at Mary Chungs in Cambridge was suplemented with talk of their recent advetures with the co-ed Venture Crew 304 trip to Philmont, NM last month. All four members of the Boning family went on this trip (check out the pictures!) and had a wonderful time. My son also spent over two fantastic weeks at Philmont this summer with the Boy Scouts Troop 304.

Since Venturers are for teenagers (pdf) of 14 or older, my daughter won't be able to join until this summer. Hopefully we will be able to attend some of their trips later this (academic) year. She would very much enjoy the outdoor activies of this organization.

All of this means that, if we are lucky, there may be a Philmont trip in our future. (Yes, I AM assuming that she will want me along - she better 'cause I'm going!) This is very intimiating! I have seen the maps and heard the stories - this is some serious high altitude hiking (up to over 11,000 feet). My daughter and I really do need to get into shape before we try something like this. Gradually increasing the intesity of our NH 4000+ peak hikes will help, but we need to really train if we get a chance to go to Philmont!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Breaking in the boots - prep for the first hike!

REI's Labor Day sale was my friend this year. My new boots were on sale, but because they are last year's model, not because of the annual clearance. But we also got some great deals on clothing that I'll be wearing around the trails and around the house.

Our first hike is on the calendar! We'll be heading up to "bag" Mt. Jackson on the weekend of September 12-14, the camping in our favorite notch area campground should be lovely.

I am breaking in my new boots so that in 2 weeks they will be comfortable on the trails. This is not a long climb coming up, and is listed as moderate, but I am so happy with this weather that the extra walks along the esplanade in Boston and in the Blue Hills down in Milton are a joy.