Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Hancocks on December 4

Alex posted a trip report of our Dec 4 Hancocks hike.  You can read it hereNow we don't "need" the Hancocks during the snow months anymore...that's kind of sad, since butt-sliding down South Hancock is always a lot of fun.  :)  Oh well -- we have plenty of other peaks left for the winter months, all of which are butt-slide-able in the right conditions, lol.

We have not forgotten about switching our fundraising focus to an organization we feel Trump will antagonize.  Global Fund for Women is important and valuable, and we have been honored to raise money to support women's rights around the globe.  We thank everyone who has contributed.  We now want to do our part, however small, in maintaining the integrity of our country.  We have been watching and keeping up with the news, reading about Trump's cabinet picks, looking, waiting, investigating.  The girls have an idea that we will likely go with, but we will wait until the final days of December before Alex and Sage finalize that plan and write about it.  In the meantime, they will keep knocking off peaks from their Grids.  To those who have been so kind with your private and/or public messages during this catastrophic time for our nation, thank you.  Please keep donating to your favorite female-empowering, LGBT-supporting, civil rights-protecting, and/or climate change research organizations.

Happy hiking, folks.  Be kind to one another out there.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Carter Dome and the Carters -- November 23, 2016

Alex's trip report for the Carters and Carter Dome can be found here.  She used a combination of her photos and mine, and she summed up the trip beautifully, so I don't feel the need to write my own TR for this one.  :) 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On Moosilauke, Thinking of the Future

Alex and Sage posted a video pertinent to the election results.  They did this a little while ago on Alex's blog, but I have been so preoccupied with Thanksgiving that I just realized I never posted the link.  You can find that video/Alex's blog here.

By the way, if you're disappointed that my girls are political, or that they are mixing hiking with political statements, then you haven't been paying attention all these years.  Alex and Sage have used their hiking to raise money for equal rights for women since our 2013 hike of the Camino de Santiago.  They have always been political.  They are young women living in this world; how could they not be?  Of course the current President-Elect disappoints them...and they are disappointed that many people in America voted for an openly racist and sexist human being.  They are disappointed in the immediate rise in hate crimes after the election.  They are worried about the safety and well-being of their LBGT friends and family members, and they are concerned about their own reproductive rights as they head into their teens.  So of course they are going express themselves, and of course they are going to figure out how to use their hiking to raise money, or to do something else that's concrete, to combat what we figure will be an anti-female, anti-science, anti-LBGT, and anti-anyone-who's-not-a-white-Christian-male regime. 

Future posts will find the girls being very pro-equal rights, as they always have been, and definitely supporting an organization (or several organizations, they haven't yet decided) they feel will be under direct threat by Trump and his alt-right crew.  They will focus on the positive -- meaning, how you can specifically help and the wonderful things those specific organizations do -- rather on the negative (the horror show that will soon represent the United States government).  They will have their plans finalized by the New Year.

In the meantime -- donate to the ACLU, to Planned Parenthood, to organizations that support and publish climate change research.  Stand up for people in our country who need support right now -- namely, anyone who is not a white Christian male.  Stand up for the future of our country, and for a climate that is suitable for future generations.  Stand up.  Now is not the time for apathy.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hancocks. November 6, 2016

Hancocks.  The usual route.  I am too disgusted and angry with half of our voting population to write very much at the moment, but trust me -- Alex, Sage, and I have a plan to do whatever we can to support those wonderful organizations that Donald Trump and Mike Pence will, in their ignorance and hate of everything that is not White, Male, and Conservative Christian, do their best to pull down and destroy.  Our mission for the next four years is clear.  We will stand up for everything that is right and true, and we will do what we can to defend the vulnerable populations of our country.  We will not allow a Trump regime to ruin everything that love and light hold dear.  Alex and Sage will have something to say about all this on video on Alex's next post, which will be Monday evening.

Here are our pictures.  No views today, but we were greeted by one extremely fat gray jay who was far down below on the trail, nowhere near his/her usual summit spot.  Odd.

Too big to fly back up to where he/she's supposed to be..?

North Hancock...

No view by the viewpoint today...


South Hancock...

Lovely view on the way back down...

'Til Monday.  In the meantime, stand up and speak out for people who need your help.  Don't allow a gay person to be bullied at your school.  Don't allow a cowardly racist to shout insults at someone who practices Islam.  Stand up.  Be brave.  Help us keep hold of our country -- liberty and justice FOR ALL.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Jackson. November 1, 2016

Jackson-Webster Trail, 5 miles roundtrip, 2150 feet of elevation gain.

This was supposed to be a fast and easy hike - we usually knock off this peak in three hours or less.  Both girls have a ton of schoolwork to finish over the next couple of weeks before they leave with their dad for a pre-Thanksgiving vacation, so this week's hike and next week's hike were/are supposed to be easy-speedy.  We knew there would be ice on the trails, since we keep up with current trail condition reports on various social media sites, but we figured we'd wear traction and be fine.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough ice to warrant wearing traction...yet there was sufficient ice to slow us down tremendously.  It's that frustrating in-between season right now.

Alex's solo adventures are on hiatus until late spring.  I am a strong supporter of hikers going solo once they have the appropriate navigation and safety skills under their belts (Alex has these skills), but I am not a fan of solo hiking during winter or almost-winter.  That sentiment is strictly for me and my children -- I know of many hikers who solo in winter and I do not feel that makes them negligent.  The risk factor with solo hiking during winter skyrockets though, and it is something I am not comfortable with when it comes to me or mine.  However, for any of you reading this who are skilled solo winter trekker -- hike your own hike, have fun, and stay safe. 

Our hike began easily enough...though I was noticeably slower on the first section than I should have been, thanks to my recent consumption of far too much Halloween candy.

Here comes the ice...there, so hiking becomes tricky, but not there enough to wear microspikes without smashing the spikes into rocks.

We averaged a mile an hour for our ascent, which for us is pathetic, but oh well, safety first.  Finally, we reached the section near the top where you can see the summit.

We climbed up the ledge (too busy watching my step to take photos, sorry!) and were immediately greeted by the resident gray jays.

The sun was out and the scenery was gorgeous!  It felt warm up there; we could linger without getting cold.

I love this shot

Jackson's summit, with the southern Presis and Washington in the distance...

The girls on Jackson...

The girls plus gray jays on Jackson...


We stayed on the summit far longer than we had intended.  It was such a gorgeous day, and it was warm up there, so we just didn't want to leave.  We finally made ourselves (carefully) descend and ended up getting back to the car two hours later than we had planned.  Oh well.  With hard work, both girls finished all the schoolwork they had to do for the day anyway, so it all worked out.

Hope everyone is enjoying the season of almost-winter.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Schoolwork, Extracurriculars...and Hiking. Always Hiking.

I have already passed on most of the blogging privileges/responsibilities to Alex when it comes to our trip reports.  Alex will share the blogging with her sister, Sage, when Sage reaches the age of 13.  Both girls enjoy writing, and they both obviously enjoy hiking, so it's appropriate that as they each grow older, their voices are heard more and more.  I have been the voice behind our adventures for long is their turn now; the torch has been passed.

That being said, I'll chime in from time to time, and I'll keep posting photos so I can keep records for myself of our hikes.  We hike so often that I need the reminder of what we did and when, especially when it comes to keeping track for the NH Grid.  I keep a paper record and I back up all photos, but it is nice to also have a record on this blog.

A note regarding Alex and her blogging these days -- she is fitting in the blogging, and both she and Sage are fitting in the Global Fund for Women fundraising, between a mountain of schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.  Both girls are taking high school classes now, though each are not yet of usual high school age.  This is one of the reasons we homeschool, so they can take the courses that work for them at their own individual levels.  This means that both girls have high school-level homework and tests, so they need to spend a lot of time with their studies.  They are each extremely involved with karate (tournament circuits and everything...the whole shebang), Girl Scouts, artwork, a local math circle, enrichment classes here and there, plus they make time to connect with their friends.  Our blogs only detail the hiking part of their lives -- and that hiking part is indeed a huge part of their lives - but each girl is an individual with a large variety of interests and committed involvement in numerous activities.  All this is to say that right now, Alex gets on her blog once a week to write her reports.  She greatly appreciates the comments and support!  Please understand if she responds to your comment the next time she writes a trip report as opposed to the same day you posted, though.  She better manages her overall time when she has one specified time each week to write and manage her blog.

I am immensely proud of both my girls and these past 14 years have been a wonderful journey.  I understand how lucky I am to have experienced so many hikes and trails with my two daughters, and I look forward to the next five to seven years and all the adventures those years will bring.

After both girls go off to college, I'll probably hike the AT to help me through Empty Nest Syndrome.  That's still seven years away the meantime, I'll keep enjoying the trails and mountains with my two girls, and they'll tell you about those trails and adventures on their blogs.

Happy Hiking, Peregrinas.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Lafayette and Lincoln. October 17, 2016

Alex will have a full trip report, along with a complete set of photos, on her blog tomorrow morning.

**We still need to raise a little less than one hundred dollars to round out the "individual contribution" portion of this year's fundraising goal for Global Fund for Women.  The girls wanted to get five or six $576 donors, and they have five generous $576 donors and a bunch of wonderful individual donors whose contributions almost reach $576 dollars.  If they can get a few more donations that add up to $94, then that rounds things out nicely for the year and puts them ahead by about $450 for next year's goal.  So if you can donate to Global Fund for Women through the girls' CrowdRise site, that would be great!  Every penny helps Global Fund for Women support human rights for girls and women around the globe.**

This is a crazy week with many academic and extracurricular responsibilities!  Actually, it's a crazy month.  Thankfully, we're good for the Grid as far as October goes; the girls already have a ton of October 4K hikes under their belts.  As long as both girls average four hikes a month for the next three years (Alex)/four years (Sage), both girls will finish the October portion of the Grid well before they finish their high school years.  We can therefore relax a bit when it comes to the rest of this month.  Not that we like to relax, mind you...if we don't hike once a week then we all feel a little off.  We each need our weekly dose of mountain therapy in order to feel strong and on top of things.

Alex didn't go solo on this one.  Her solo days will soon be over for this year; I don't want her to hike by herself when the temperatures gets below a certain point and/or the cold rain, snow, and ice arrive.  It's too easy to become hypothermic without realizing it when you're on your own, and though Alex is an experienced and responsible hiker, the margin of error in the mountains falls to zero in the late fall and winter months.

This day wasn't least, not down below...but I saw the forecast for Lafayette's peak and wasn't comfortable with Alex going solo.  Low 40s, near-zero visibility along the ridge, and robust retrospect, Alex probably would have been fine since she knows that trail well and she knows how to keep herself warm and dry...but still.  Next year, I will likely be fine with her going up on her own in such conditions, but I wasn't quite ready to trust everything would be totally okay this time around.  Again, Alex is capable, experienced, level-headed, and prepared...but we need to let my Mama-nerves handle this process in a way that's comfortable for me.

Something's up with my iPhone...many of my photos from this hike disappeared.  The following is what I still have, most of which were taken on Little Haystack as the sun finally burned off the clouds.  Alex will have her own trip report with a complete set of photos on her blog tomorrow morning.

We might wait until November to hike again, since we're in good shape for October and both girls have many academic responsibilities in the coming weeks.  Then again, we don't like to let too much time pass until we can get back up on the peaks, so we'll see.

Happy Hiking,