Sunday, June 18, 2017

New GraniteGals podcast, and quick update on the DVT

The girls were away with their dad for a few weeks and they didn't have GraniteGals interviews lined up quite right to keep their every-two-weeks timing going.  To fill a gap this week, so they could produce an episode on time, they interviewed me.  :)  Here's the link to their GraniteGals site -- you can download the latest mp3 there.  They are still waiting for the blog host transfer to go can take up to 15 days and today is day hopefully that will all be figured out soon.  In the meantime, you can download the mp3s of the interviews off the GraniteGals website.

It's been about a month since I found out I have another blood clot.  I have worked hard at rehabbing my leg to optimize blood flow, and so far all is well.  I've been back at 4Ks for two weeks now.  I am now right back to where I was before in terms of hiking ability, and I've taken off about 7 or 8 pounds.  The major difference is that when I am sitting, my leg needs to be up, and I need to take more breaks when I am driving for more than an hour at a time.  Things could be worse.

The girls will do a 4K hike or two this week; keep an eye on Alex's blog, alexinthewhitemountains, for the trip reports.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New episode of GraniteGals -- Paula Santucci

The girls have a new episode of GraniteGals ready.  This episode features Paula Santucci, creator of the NH Women's Hiking Group.  It's a great interview -- access it here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Union of Concerned Scientists

Happy and honored to see Alex and Sage featured in the Union of Concerned Scientists' current issue of Catalyst (Volume 16, Spring 2017).  Click here to read not only about Alex and Sage, but about many other determined folks raising money for UCS!  UCS is an important organization that is dedicated to securing a clean and healthy environment for our future generations.  Please donate to UCS here.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Note on Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) aka Blood Clots

This morning, bringing my current blood clot hiking
(I am now past the significant risk for pulmonary embolism)

DVT, Part Two. 

For those of you with a history of blood clots and certain genetic mutations, I include this personal post as a way to show that even someone with vein damage and recurring Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can get out there and keep going.

DVT, Part One was when I was pregnant with Alex.  To make a long story short, I developed an extensive blood clot in the deep veins of my left leg and pelvic region when I was pregnant with Alex in late 2002.  Turns out I have a genetic mutation (MTHFR...C667t to be specific) that makes my body susceptible to blood clots and cancer.  My veins eventually recovered, but with permanent damage in my left pelvic area.  That damage hasn't stopped me from doing anything though, as one can plainly see from my blog.

Part Two...But Not Really came in 2013, right before we did the Camino de Santiago.  A technician in a local hospital misdiagnosed the permanent vein damage in my left pelvic area as another blood clot.  That hospital put me on a regimen of warfarin, etc....and then I saw my specialist in Boston who did more testing and told me no, that was not a blood clot, that was just leftover damage from 2002/2003.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  Suddenly, in spite of my fairly active lifestyle, I felt a familiar pain in my left calf which increased as the hours and days went by.  I went to the hospital (different one from 2013!), told them I was sure I had a blood clot, and was told by the excellent ultrasound technician that yes, he could see I have a new clot (and he could see the old damage in my pelvic region, which is in a different section of my veins from this new clot).

I am now on what will likely be a lifelong regimen of a new-to-me drug called Eliquis.  I like this new drug -- it's just a pill, no hospital visits or shots needed.  I can also drink one alcoholic beverage every 24 hours and eat whatever I like.  Hooray for advances in medical research and new drugs!

I have already built my leg strength back up over the past week by hiking increasing distances up a local mountain every single day.  The first day was painful and I could barely walk to the trailhead.  I kept at it and increased my mileage a little each day until, this morning, I was able to do the entire mountain loop hike, ledges, scrambles, and all (6.2 miles if you include the walk to and from the trailhead from my home).  By the time the girls get back from their vacation with their dad in two weeks, I should be more than ready to tackle Four Thousand Footers with them again.  I have also lost four pounds in the past week, since I now feel the need to get rid of all excess body fat.  This is not a vanity thing as I am 46 years old and past the point of giving a damn what I look like.  It's about optimizing circulation; being as fit as possible is good for my leg.

I am not a doctor, so if you are reading this and you have a blood clot and/or are trying to get your leg back in shape, consult with your medical professionals.  I will be so bold, however, as to say that you need to get back out there and do what you love to do, in the way you and your doctor see fit.  Don't stay home and wallow or fret or give up.  Find your motivation and, when the doctor says it's okay, fight through the discomfort and pain and, little by little, more and more each day, build yourself back up.  Otherwise, what?  I have too many trails I want to hike, with and without the girls.  My entire future involves hiking as much as possible.  In other words, there's no way a DVT will prevent me from doing exactly what I want to do.

Another photo from today

Yet another one.  I can't possibly be expected to stay away from sights like this.

So that's the scoop.  Besides that, all is well in our world.  The girls will have another episode of GraniteGals out in a week, and then we will resume hiking 4Ks for the Grid in mid-June.  We are also thru-hiking something in August, but instead of announcing that hike beforehand, I'll let Alex and Sage talk about it when we get back.  It will be an always is.  Life is good.

Hope everyone out there has a fantastic holiday weekend.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

New GraniteGals Episode, and Adams/Madison Trip Report

Hi folks!

Alex and Sage posted a new GraniteGals episode; this one features Pam Wilmot, White Mountain four-season hiker and AMC Hiking Leader -- check it out here.

Also, Alex recently posted a trip report of last week's Adams and Madison hike.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Introducing the GraniteGals podcast!

Alex and Sage recently launched their original podcast GraniteGals!  In this podcast, they interview a different female hiker of New Hampshire's mountains every other week.  The first episode features living legend Sue Johnston and is now available through the GraniteGals website in mp3 format.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Garfield, Osceolas, and Hale

A reminder that Alex is the one writing the meat of the blog posts now.  Sage will join her in blogging duties after she turns 13 next year.

Alex recently posted trip reports of Garfield, her final Grid hike of Hale, and the Osceolas.

There are other, important, fun things happening besides our own 4K hikes....Alex (and I) will post of those things very very soon.  Stay tuned.  Good things are happening that will hopefully serve the general hiking community.  Should be able to post what I am talking about in a week or so.

From time to time, as the girls grow, I will post my own musings on hiking with them now that I am the weak link (they are now stronger and faster than I am), and of their progress on and off the trails.  For the most part however, I am purposefully stepping back so our hiking can now be told through the voices of the girls.  Kids grow and find their own voices...Mom doesn't need to do the talking for them anymore.  A bit bittersweet, but all is as it should be.  :)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sage turns 12, and new adventures on the horizon

Hey there,

Remember, I am stepping back from blogging in general, though I will keep things generally up to date on this blog with notes and mentions now and then.  The main blogging is now being done by Alex.  In another year, after Sage turns 13, both girls will share their adventures via blogging and social media.  In the meantime, for the most current info on what we are up to, follow Alex's blog.

On thing of great importance -- Sage turned 12 on March 24!  Happy birthday to you, kiddo!

Sage celebrating her birthday at MetroRock in Everett, MA
Also, the girls have another adventure on the horizon; they look forward to sharing it with everyone in a few weeks.

Happy spring!  Hope you are enjoying the late season snowstorm.  (I'm not...I'm ready for bare rocks and dirt).

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Journey Seeker podcast (plus Hale and Waumbek)

Alex is doing the trip reports these days (Sage will too in a year, after she turns 13).  Alex's trip report of our recent Hale hike can be found here, and her trip report of our recent Waumbek hike can be found here.  Alex only has one more hike of Hale before she is finished that mountain for the Grid.  I think she is over half way finished the entire Grid now (and Sage is close to half)...I need to tally up the peaks and post some numbers at some point.

Last fall, the girls and I were interviewed by Christopher Haseltine of The Journey Seekers for an hour-long podcast.  The Journey Seekers is primarily a male-centered site which promotes male products, but Christopher is incredibly supportive of women and wanted to have us on.  The experience was wonderful and we enjoyed speaking with him.  The link to his site is here -- our podcast is the March 1 one, which focuses mainly on our 2013 Camino trek.  There are other podcast episodes with other adventurers, both male and female -- check out his site and have a listen.  It's good stuff.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Whiteface and Passaconaway. February 27, 2017

The girls and I had an excellent hike up and over Whiteface and Passaconaway last Monday.  Alex will have a trip report on her blog on Sunday, March 5, 2017.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Monroe, Washington, and Jefferson. Feb. 20, 2017

We had an amazing hike of Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Jefferson last Monday.  The temperatures were high (for winter) and the wind was practically absent.  Alex has an excellent trip report on her blog.  Here are my photos -- go to Alex's blog for a proper TR, though.  We began before sunrise and were able to catch the sun coming up while ascending Monroe.  Many thanks to John Myers for the great company!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

We'll be at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center this Wednesday...

Alex, Sage, and I will be at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center this Wednesday evening (February 22) at 8pm

We'll give a 45-minute presentation (with lots of photos) on our hiking history, our thru-hikes of the John Muir Trail and the Camino de Santiago, our Grid quest, our Trailwrights peaks, our highpointing, the creation of our Terrifying 25 hiking list, the trailwork...and what it's meant to be young girls hiking "grown-up" mountains year-round since the age of 5 (prejudices and attitudes met and overcome).  Alex will also dedicate a small portion of the discussion to Leave No Trace principles.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Adams, Madison, and Wildcat A

Hi there,

A reminder that the bulk of the blogging is now being done by Alex (Sage will blog too after she turns 13).  Alex's recent trip reports of our hike of Adams and Madison, and of Wildcat A, can be found here --

Hope everyone is staying warm and safe,

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Carters and Carter Dome, and Union of Concerned Scientists

Wow, it's the middle of January already!

Our first hike of the year was an extremely cold (as in, -33 degrees windchill) trek up and over all three Carters (Carter Dome, South Carter, and Middle Carter).  Alex wrote a nice trip report on her website.

Alex and Sage on Carter-Moriah Ridge in front of the Presidential Range
One important thing of note -- the following can be found on Alex's site, and I'll copy and paste it here (with her permission) -- we're happy and proud to do whatever we can -- stay tuned!

***We are pleased to announce that we will be fundraising over the coming years for Union of Concerned Scientists.  As citizens of this planet and students of science, we fear for the future of our environment.  The incoming Trump administration seems neither to understand the science behind the threat nor care about the welfare of future generations.  We strive to do our part to support science-based research and education concerning climate change so that We The People might give ourselves and future generations the chance to enjoy continuous clean water and habitable environments, regardless of the actions/inactions of the imminent United States Powers That Be.

We are meeting with the good people at UCS next month.  After that, we will write more about our plans and actions.  In the meantime, please visit the UCSUSA website to learn more about who they are and what they do, and DONATE...because it certainly looks like science and the procurement of real knowledge will be more and more dependent on public, and not governmental, support over the next four years.***

Friday, January 6, 2017

Osceolas, December 29, 2016

Alex chronicled our last hike of the Osceolas (and of the year) here.  There's also information in there about an important organization called Union of Concerned Scientists.  Read and stay tuned...

We made an alpine start of that hike and got down before a massive snowstorm arrived.  Good times.

We'll hike again this Sunday, we hope.  Lots of peaks to do -- so far, the girls are on track to finish the Grid well before they each go to college. 

Happy Hiking and Stay Safe!