Tagged: hiking

2017-11-05 #NaBloPoMo

In my quest to avoid Twitter and with some time to fill in a waiting room, I discovered this from 12 years ago.

Iain and I met Anita for a hike up Old Jackson Road. On the trip up to the White Mountains we discovered this retired USAF Oshkosh P15 en route to its new home in a port on the west coast. The driver said he wanted to put it on a flatcar but it was prohibitively complicated until he was past NYC.

I don’t remember much about the hike, but the photos make me yearn for the mountains. Now I’m hoping I can schedule one last hike for 2017 next weekend. 

Brought to you courtesy of Apple’s “On This Day” function. 

Seeking the Peak

It’s that time of year again, when I join the Mount Washington Observatory’s fundraiser, Seek the Peak.  Last year I attacked New England’s Highest Peak, Home of the World’s Worst Weather, and succeeded before lunch.  I also got some cool swag.

This year Beth decided she wanted to climb with me.  We dutifully registered for the climb, created our team donation page, and began our training.

It quickly became apparent that she would not be ready in time.  I never thought of myself as particularly ‘in shape’ for a middle-aged guy, but I can run circles around her with a pack on my back.

Fear not, we have other options and the deadline is not until this Friday.

This past weekend we attempted our most ambitious project yet. We hiked in to AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut and spent the night.

We ate a family style dinner with 41 of our closest new friends.

We slept in a rom with no electricity with 5 of our new friends. . .

The only sounds came from the wildlife. . .

And we woke up to this view.

The weathermen forecast Aurora Borealis for the night we were there, but we didn’t catch any.  We just stared at the fabulous stars instead.

Monday we woke up, ate a huge breakfast with our 41 friends, and departed up Kinsman Ridge for the 4100 foot summit of Cannon Mountain.  The trail was rougher than we expected, but we made it.

It was a weird feeling running into tourists in flip-flops at the summit after hiking all morning.  We joined them for a sandwich in the cafe and then rode the tram back to the valley.

Back to Seeking the Peak:    After conquering Beth’s first 4000-footer this week, we don’t feel to shabby about not attempting the big hike.  We will probably christen the new Honda on the auto road and then hike to a waterfall somewhere in the valley.  Unless we start to feel ambitious again. . .



Today figured pretty high on my list of days I hope never to repeat.  We lost Noah unexpectedly. I will write in due course, but it’s too raw right now.

I’ve been frittering away the evening scanning negatives and watching YouTube.  These are taken with my new ONDU 6×6 pinhole on Portra 400 during my trip to Lakes of the Clouds back in June.

Gem Pool
Dining Room, Lakes of the Clouds
Portrait of a cold, wet hiker. 🙂

More later.

Carter Notch Hut

Spring training continued on May 31 with a hike to AMC’s Carter Notch Hut.  The weather was perfect (finally), and I observed a pine marten hunting along the trail while hiking in.IMG_0639

Wildcat ‘A’ is a short side trail from Carter Notch which allowed me to add a 4000-footer to my spring training regime.  The Hut is visible in the lower center of the photo, 1200 feet and 1 hour below.IMG_0640

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Bring on the mountain (a walk in the woods part 3)

May 24 allowed me to finally set foot on Mt. Washington.  The day remained overcast with a threat of thunder showers, but conditions were OK for a hke.  My initial objective was Hermit Lake at the foot of Tuckerman’s Ravine.  It’s a comon spring hike for me.IMG_0613

I saw only one other hiker on my solitary spring hike.  Hermit Lake shelter was easily reached.  I considered continuing up to the actual base of the ravine, but I was met with ice on the trail above the lake.  As always I was unwilling to contend with ice, so I turned back.  It was a good start.


I paused on the deck at Hermit Lake as a thundershower rolled into the area.  It stayed below me in the valley.

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A Walk in the Woods, redux. . .

The training continues.  The day after my fire tower adventure, I headed north.  The weather in the valley remained nice if a bit dry.  The forecast in Franconia Notch was for snow showers as I left for Lonesome Lake Hut.

We had a little more than snow showers.  I was hiking alone and not equipped for heavy winter weather.  I was forced to turn back.  It was a beautiful day though.

The Pemi in the snow is a beautiful thing
Know when to turn back

I returned a week later and finally made it to the hut on May 3.   The weather was still overcast but passable.  The hut was yet to officially open for the season, but I had a nice conversation with the caretaker.

Lonesome Lake


Same spot, one week later.
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A walk in the woods. . .

Spring is here. With my impending hike of Mount Washington, I have felt the urge to get out on the trails and warm up a bit.  Yesterday I had an hour to spare, so I took a brief trek to the fire tower at Pawtuckaway State Park.

Best laid plans. . .

I took a wrong turn and explored a few extra miles of fire roads and Jeep trails with Mrs. Mack505’s truck.  Her 7000lb, 2500 series, 4-door GMC Denali Diesel truck.  I made it to the trailhead without a scratch somehow.

The trail is a short jaunt measuring 0.4 miles from parking lot to tower.  It’s a popular and highly recommended hike to a good lunch spot.  I found the tower manned with a ranger straight out of a 1960’s Disney film.  He had gray hair, wire rimmed glasses, a red and black checked flannel shirt, and a pleasant demeanor.

The day was dry and windy, a Class 4 in ranger-speak.  The radio crackled with conversation among the fire towers.

Before I could say hello the radio reported heavy black smoke in our vicinity.  We both looked out and saw nothing; then I moved slightly to one side and this popped out of the blind spot of the tower:


That would be a barn fire just down the road from our farm.  Fire units were delayed because many of them had to respond from another neighboring fire. The radio traffic was interesting.

I would have gone to ‘buff’ it.  Alas I did not have time to spare.  I bid the ranger ‘good day’ and hiked onward to my next appointment.

Turning goals into reality


For years I have had a soft goal of climbing Mount Washington.  I have summited numerous times, but always by motorized conveyance.  I have driven it more times than I can count and ridden up the tracks propelled by both steam and BioDiesel.  It is a wondrous place.

On foot I’ve climbed as high as Tuckerman’s, and I have lunched at Lakes of the Clouds.  I’ve just never finished the deed.

I have planned in the dead of winter to train and hike and complete it. Maybe this year. . . 

No more maybe. No more dreams.  I have signed up for Seek the Peak in July.  I’ll be hiking the mountain with thousands of other people to raise funds for the Mount Washington Observatory.

Please consider sponsoring me here.  A buck or two is all I ask.  See you on the summit on 7/16!

The return of 52 Rolls – Week 32

I haven’t forgotten about the 52 Rolls project; I just haven’t been scanning and posting.  Frankly, I forgot my password to the site and am sick to death of password reset protocols.  (Proper password discipline is a pain.)

Back in July, Rescue 82 and I took the dogs on an interesting jaunt.  Seashore Trolley Museum now connects to the trails of the Smith Preserve in Kennebunk.  It was a fun was to spend a morning, and the dogs didn’t seem to mind riding the streetcar.


The trail initially follows the old right-of-way of the Atlantic Shore Line.  It runs in a straight line from the end of the Seashore line to Route 1 at the Biddeford city line.0915FP4_unk_009 0915FP4_unk_010

I don’t remember which camera I was using, but the film is FP4 developed at home in D76.

4802 feet


My sister and I conquered out first 4000-footer today.  Mount Moosilauke actually wasn’t very hard.  It’s a good start, but I don’t intend to become a hardcore peak bagger.  7.4 miles round trip, with about 2500 feet in elevation change.