Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Reminder -- Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth, NH

If you're coming by the Whites anytime soon, stop by the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth, NH.  Sarah Garlick put together a fantastic exhibition on the geology of the Whites.  Her husband, adventure filmmaker and professional climber Jim Surette, created this wonderful film, which can be found on a big screen in a room within the main exhibit hall --

Jim also filmed our book trailer two years ago -- Alex and Sage look so tiny! They sure have grown.  :)

By the way, I'm in the process of collecting links of blogs and/or Facebook Pages/Twitter feeds of mothers who hike with their daughters.  More about this soon.  In the meantime, if you know of any mom/daughter hiking links, send them my way.

Monday, May 26, 2014


The girls and I are on vacation until mid-June.  When we get back into the mountains, we will attempt to finish the 52WAV peaks and the Trailwrights peaks.  That'll mean about 20 mountains or so in 6 weeks.  If we can pull that off, then we should be more than ready for the John Muir Trail in August.  :)  We're in pretty good shape right now, but we all want to be in GREAT shape so the JMT feels more like a pleasant walk than a hard core trek.

I have all our gear except for last minute clothing items for the girls.  Clothing items for the kids always have to be bought at the last second, since both Alex and Sage have a habit of growing out of things quickly.  I'll post a full gear report after we return in September.

Have a wonderful couple of weeks.  From mid-June through July, I'll post trip reports of our peakbagging adventures...and I'll also get back to the fundraising requests for Feeding America.  We only have 30% more to raise of our $2104 goal.

Til mid-June,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Black Mountain (52WAV, Jackson). May 20, 2014

Black Mtn. Ski Trail, 3.5  miles roundtrip.

Yesterday, we saw the wonderful A.R.T. production of Shakespeare's The Tempest.  Since we had to be in Cambridge, MA by late afternoon, we elected to cross off a short, easy 52WAV in the morning.

This Friday, we'll do a longer hike...then the girls and I are headed overseas for various reasons unrelated to hiking.  There, we'll keep up our exercise (though it won't be hiking), then, when we get back to NH, we'll hike mountains three days a week until it's time to board a plane for California.  Sage would like to finally finish the 52WAV list (she's been casually working on it since she was four), and Alex would like to finally finish the peaks on the Trailwrights 72 list (she's been casually working on those since she was six).  We figure finishing those lists in six short weeks will be an excellent way to get in shape for the John Muir Trail.

Black Mountain (in Jackson, NH) is a short, moderately steep trek up a local ski mountain.  There's a cabin 0.4 miles from the top...I took a fabulous picture on my iPhone of the girls by the cabin, with the snow-capped Presidentials in the background...but then I accidentally deleted that photo (and three fabulous other images) before I had a chance to copy it (and them) to this blog.  Arg arg arg.  Here are the four photos I managed not to delete.

Starting out

Cabin ahead


This was an enjoyable walk.  We look forward to Friday, when we'll take on a more traditional, longer hike.  Then, once mid-June hits, we'll be all over the Whites knocking down peaks right and left until we leave for the John Muir Trail in August.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wonalancet Hedgehog and Hibbard Mountain (52 WAV). May 9, 2014

Old Mast Road, Walden Trail, Wonalancet Ridge Trail, Shortcut Trail.  5.5 mile counter-clockwise loop with about 2000 feet of elevation gain.

Finally and at long last, everyone in our household is healthy!  It was quite a winter with injuries (me) and illnesses (the girls), but we are all now 100% fine and dandy.  Last Friday, we celebrated our return to health by taking on Mt. Hibbard, a relatively easy mountain on the 52 With a View list, and nearby Wonalancet Hedgehog.  It felt SO GOOD to get back up a couple of proper (albeit mellow) mountains!!  Sage hopes to finish the 52WAV this year, and Alex wants to finish the Trailwrights 72 list, so our NH trip reports will be filled with those peaks from now until we "get 'er done."

We arrived at the Ferncroft parking area around 8:45 and began walking up the wide and easy Old Mast Road.

1.8 miles and forty minutes later, we arrived at the junction with Walden Trail.

Our pace slowed considerably as we climbed the steep route toward the summit of Wonalancet Hedgehog.

We took a short break on a boulder at the top of the first steep stretch.

As we continued toward Wonalancet Hedgehog's summit, we came across piles and piles of moose poop.  The scat stretched across the trail for yards and my six years of year-round near-weekly hiking, I have never before seen this much moose poop on one trail.  It was quite amazing.

There was still a bit of snow left near the summit...though never so much that we needed snowshoes.

Summit of Wonalancet Hedgehog!

From here, we headed down Walden Trail, toward the intersection with Wonalancet Ridge Trail.  Once on Wonalancet Ridge Trail, we descended a short way until we reached the unremarkable summit of Hibbard.  We took a break and ate our summit snacks on a nearby quasi-viewpoint.

After eating and descending a bit more, we found the short spur path that led us to this view...

The rest of our descent was lovely.  Due to time constraints (we had to be somewhere in the early afternoon), we skipped the summit of Wonalancet and took the Shortcut.

Wonalancet Ridge Trail below the Shortcut is beautiful and filled with interesting items such as the child-eating rock...

...the fern-topped boulder...

...and a gorgeous open forest.

Upon nearing the end of our hike, Alex remarked that she wished we had taken on a longer trail.  She said she felt strong and ready to really get back into things.  Sage echoed her sister's sentiments.  Since both girls hiked at their usual, pre-illness pace with backpacks that are almost as heavy as they'll be on the John Muir Trail, I think we can take on something with more distance and elevation gain next week.

I hope all the moms out there had a great Mother's Day.
'Til next week -- Trish

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Belknap After Bronchitis

We were so happy to get back on the trails last Friday!  April was a difficult month.  First, Sage was ill with a high fever and chest congestion for a solid seven days.  Next, Alex fell ill with an even higher fever (104.2!) and had to be taken to the local ER after she became too weak to walk.  She was diagnosed with bacterial bronchitis, which is what I assume Sage had before her.  Now, finally, both girls are healthy and strong enough to resume hiking.

On May 2, we ascended Mt. Belknap.  We chose the short (0.8 mile) Red Trail and descended the gentle Blue Trail (1.1 miles).  This was, by our standards, a tiny hike, but I thought it best to keep things simple for our first post-illness venture.

Up the Red Trail...


Fire tower!

Descending the Blue Trail...

We hope to do a 52 With a View peak next week.  I think we'll stick with the relatively easy 52WAVs until the girls and I are back from an overseas vacation in June...then, from mid-June until August, we'll be all over the Whites, training for the John Muir Trail (health permitting!!!).