Friday, December 7, 2018

Holiday Challenge

Touching base on my Outdoor Doings. This top photo is obviously what I would like to do on a more regular basis but there are things on my plate like children, job, dog, laundry so I must be content with where I am.
I have been participating in the Winter Warrior for a couple years. I stick to the basic 1 mile outside from January 1st until January 31st. Last year I added the extended version and kept at it until March 31st. You can miss 2 days but the third strike you are out. I can't recall missing a day during that time.
This year I decided to jump into the Holiday Challenge which means I need to be moving at least 1 mile a day from Thanksgiving until New year's Eve.
Phew! Did you follow all that? Basically I will be walking outside everyday until forever and I'm happy with that.
I have included a few photos of my views. I try to find joy whether I am on a Main Street or a mountain because really it's there if you look.

Here is my 2 week status check. I'm really hoping the miles continue as they have. I am joining a few woman for a couple evening strolls a week and if I'm lucky I will be logging some more snow shoe miles.
Happy Moving!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mt Pemigewasset

I've been thinking about where I can keep hiking for Winter that is not a 4000 footer. This should be easy, just pick a place but really I am overwhelmed with ideas. I need a cruise director to manage this shit for me.
I want to hike all the places!!!
So maybe I can tick off some 52 with a view peaks. I have a few but there are almost 50 left to see. This being one of them. It is also right around the corner from the Notch Hostel where I stayed so I scored my normal hash and eggs breakfast and headed out. 
To the wrong lot of course. 
After loading up and hiking about 50 feet in, I finally think Nah this isn't it you fool. I jump back in my car drive back to the previous lot for the Flume Gorge and " wah-lah".
Fun little fact-I rarely get lost in the woods but I frequently roam around looking for the start of a trail. I mean I have maps and all but I need the "look behind the red shed " directions which you need to locate on the internet. 
And away I go, with the big yellow arrow for the blind girl with the bifocals. 1.5 miles to go at 9:15am.

A really cool part-I think it is all cool honestly- but you must walk under the roads and that included 3 tunnels. This brings me to something that it always on my mind when I am up North. When people drive these roads and highways in and around the White Mountains I am sure they think look at that mountain, foliage, snow, ect.
I think about the people. I am in love with the idea of tiny people traveling on these incredible mountains. I see them walking along the roadside and I know they are starting or finishing a journey. I see the cars parked with frosted windows and I know they are camped out there somewhere. Living on only what they carried in on their back. They may have bikes or skis or tents with them and I smile. These people are doing incredibly huge things and I am excited to be part of that. We might be traveling solo but we are together in our love of the outdoors.

Once I walked through the tunnels I was happily deposited into these woods. There was water bubbling all around for most of the hike. I crossed or walked along it many times but it was minimal and easy to cross this time of year.  I was slightly conscious of my breathing, number of stops and heat management. It is the coolest thing to look over your shoulder and see steam.The reminder I needed to drink more water. Today was much more manageable than yesterday. In the 30's I went down to my base layer and took off the neck gaiter. The gloves and hat were a lighter version and I took the hat off often to vent. If only it could stay 25-30 all Winter I would be fine.
I was told to walk around to the front of the mountain once I reached the cliff and I would say this is a cliff. Stunning! Once I walked around I caught a little glimpse of Franconia Ridge over the top of the trees.

I wanted to make it a loop so just after you leave the Summit there is a fork in the trail and I took the left. The trail was definitely less used and looked to be bare boots and dog paws only. I ascended in micro spikes but decided to put on snow shoes for the descent. The beginning turned out to be on the narrow side but it was good practice in balance and swearing under my breathe. 

Once I made it through that it was a gradual and peaceful walk in the woods. The trail widened and was sprinkled with gold leaves.

I bumped into a family making their way up so I knew I was getting closer to the end. What I didn't expect was this little gem. See the tunnels on the Pemigewasset trail were almost as wide as a car so as I walked towards this I was thinking-I MUST be going the wrong way but the footsteps all come this way. To my left is a wire fence to keep me off private property and from walking onto the highway and to my right is a riverbed so straight is all I can do.

Nope, this is it. I'm under the highway. Weird isn't it?

A short time later I step into the parking lot for the Indian Head trail and unstrap the snow shoes. I have a 1 mile uphill road walk. I think there is supposed to be a bike path or trail across the street but I just stuck to the road. The view wasn't too bad and although I forgot some advice I was given about doing this in the opposite direction it was a great hike. 
Even the parking lot views were great. 
Back to the Subaru by 1pm.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lets go Snow Shoein'

I left my house at 3:32 am which was just what I had planned to have time for gas, coffee, breakfast at Peg's and make it to the Highland Center by 8am. The ride was smooth with little traffic and a great view of the giant Full Beaver Moon. It really got interesting as the sun rose and the moon started to dip behind the mountains as I got farther north. Wish I could have got some photos of it but I am only using an iPhone at this point. While driving on 302 just before arriving at our meeting place this was my view. This gorgeous sky with the rainbow reflection. There is a name for it but none of us could remember.
We started out with Brenda emptying her pack and explaining what she carried and why. We talked about layering and de-layering to regulate your heat, water and how to keep it from freezing, footwear and everything in between. She had 2 friends come along as well so there were only 5 of us. A good amount of experience for Rachel and I to draw from.

After everyone got loaded up we headed across the street to Crawford Path . It is an over 100 year old path that was involved in the start of this whole crazy thing where people like to walk up mountains.
Our journey started at about 9:45am.
The thing about learning is there has to be stops while everyone figures stuff out and what better to do when you stop but look around, especially up.

Now I am not sure if it is because there was so much white everywhere but I don't have a better explanation for how blue the sky seemed. It was just jaw dropping.

After almost 3 miles we came out of the woods and into the wind and colder temperatures but the view.....
It was as if someone has just dropped piles of frosting on everything. Trees were heavy with it and it was the most pristine white I have ever seen.

When I left the Cape it was 15 degrees. It was maybe 10 at the trail head and I heard 0 at the Pierce summit. I need to add a thermometer to my pack. As I get better gear I am sure there is some gadget that can tell me all I need to know but gear is a process.

After a final stop to cover all skin and add any additional layers you might need we started the trek around the back side of Mt Pierce towards the summit. I am grateful to the others who took some really incredible photos showing the tougher parts. Not that it was tough hiking but the trees afforded us a lot of protection and now we were exposed for the short trip to the Summit.

I also got to ask someone else to take my picture with Mt Eisenhower and Washington in the background. That person was kind enough to also snap my picture as I tripped over my own snowshoe and fell squarely on my ass. I am okay with that, laughing is the best part. 


It was hard not to stay looking at this and all around for that matter for a very long time. In warmer weather this would have been my lunch spot and I definitely want to walk this ridge to Eisenhower again but for today as a group we decided to turn around and head back down. In a group you make the best decision for all involved and you stick together.
The photo below is obviously the Summit Selfie that is required plus a creepy photo bomb guy.
The photo to the side is the view from the Summit when we turned around.

Our fantastic leader for the day Brenda next to the Summit Cairn.

The descent and one of my favorite pictures of the day below.  The trip down was pretty quick. We made great time getting back to the lot at about 3:15. We traveled about 6.5 miles in about 5.5 hours. I'm pretty proud of that. We made many stops which took a little longer and still killed it. One of the greatest pieces of knowledge I found was "The only way to be a better Winter hiker is to keep hiking." This covers all hiking I would say.
Oh and throw your give a shit out the window. Don't compare your journeys to others. It will kill you and you will miss out on the greatest of what you are doing.

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Happy Thanksgiving!
I am working today and then spending the evening with my closest peeps for dinner. It couldn't be a better way to spend the day, well maybe if I got to cook all the deliciousness but it's just as good to have my Mom do it. I'm happy that she can have us all at her house. I'm also very grateful that she agreed to make her homemade broccoli and cheese sauce for me.
Small things are so very important.
Today I decided to put some dates in my head so I back tracked through by blog because it was my lifelog for so long.
First of all I found I have been hiking for approximately 3 years. It started with a trip to Acadia in October of 2014. Wow, that was fun, then I went back to running. I decided to try hiking solo because I really wanted to get back to it but didn't have any friends into it. That Christmas my Mom gave me an AMC membership so I joined a group hike. A too big group hike which lead me back to hiking alone.
And away I went. Baby steps through some peaks in Massachusetts and Southern NH and then what the hell kind of shit like Franconia Ridge Loop after only hiking for maybe a year.
Since then I have hiked 28 of the 48 4000 Footers of the White Mountains. I spent a week hiking all over Acadia. I have checked off many smaller peaks and found some great local spots when time and life kept me busy.
I also noted that I dabbled in running from year to year. I ran a 10 miler in 2015 and the Falmouth Road Race a few times during this time as well.
I have also had a few health kicks to the gut which completely side lined me for a couple of months 3 separate times. God, those were frustrating!
Most importantly is I have a terrific family which I for the most part raise and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love to see them grow into little adults. I hope to pass on my love of life and not my previous scars and fears. I hope they grasp life with the excitement I now have. We have a great life. We love to camp and I love that we do it all-3 girls killing it without any help.  We adventure whenever we can.

Why am I listing all of these things? I am so uncomfortable about anything I have accomplished that I don't even like using that word. Although this is the abridged version of a jammed pack 3 years I am struck by the sheer volume of life that it involves. It is huge. We have done huge things. I have done huge things, yet while scrolling I was sad to find years of posts where I spoke truthfully but painfully about my inadequacies. My lists of things that I needed to work on.

I did find this:

I am not saying that I wouldn't want to have experienced my last 18 months as I learned a great amount of stuff and had some fun but I will never think less of myself or my needs. I will never deny or question that feeling in my belly. I will never be afraid to speak my feelings for fear of your reaction. I will never be afraid to walk away.
It is sort of amazing when you decide to be queen of your own castle. 

Tomorrow I am venturing out with a group of women I don't know in 0 degree weather to climb a mountain. 4 years ago I NEVER would have done this. I am excited by my life, scared shitless too but it wouldn't be fun if I wasn't a little scared. 
So although these posts make me sad I needed to do it to get here. To this great place in my castle that I built.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Monroe on the Fly

 In my quest to open myself up and find my Tribe, I find I have met quite a few interesting people via the Internet. One of which suggested this spot to catch the sunset last Wednesday night. Being a person who lives in a tourist town I know you should always ask a local for the good spots!!
This one did not disappoint. It was surprisingly chilly as I traveled through 80 degree and was only in shorts, a t-shirt and bare feet.
 I woke up early. I had set an alarm but didn't want to wake anyone else in the room. 5:25 I tiptoed out of the hostel with a breakfast sandwich in my hand. I had a 45 minute drive to the trail and was super worried about time. I love it in the mountains in the morning. Like the sun hasn't reached all the crevices yet. This is Franconia Parkway and the sun was just warming the top of Cannon.
I wanted to park in the same place where we parked in November and when I arrived there were already a few cars there. The top lot cut off about .5 miles. The trailhead is  not so clearly marked on the map I had and I had no memory of where we entered but I remembered a trail sign and kiosk with a map.. As I am aimlessly walking around the Cog Railway lot I am approached by a man driving a Gator who informs me that I need to pay to park. I learned that the lower lot was White Mountain Forest and I could use my parking sticker but up here I was on Cog land and they wanted their $10.
So in true Fooseberry fashion I found the one thing I had forgotten to bring ( there is always 1 thing but it changes every trip). I got back in my car and drove all the way down Base Rd to an ATM for cash. Sure I could have parked in the lower lot but I needed cash for the Hut. They sell the most delicious soup and baked good but you must have cash!!
 So about 45 minutes later I finally get to the trail. The temp when I set out was about 42. Yes, it's July and I am happy and prepared. The Ammonoosuc Ravine trail afforded me a lot of time to waterfalls. I stepped off the trail and took a bazillion photos and hopefully chose the best ones for this post.

 This is the Gem Pool. I was torn between wanting to sit in it and enjoy and thinking I wouldn't want to ruin it. The photo below is the trail as it crosses over the pool.

 I didn't have my usual printed map from the WMGO and I didn't look at my other 4000 footer guide so I didn't have the skinny on sights to be looking for but on a whim I see a side trail with a large tree across it. I figure WTH, let's look.
Holy Falls! This phot is only 1 but there were 2 and they came down into the coolest pool and then proceeded past me. I climbed all over the place trying to get it all into 1 photo but it was too large and the view point too close.
 There are a few side effects of hiking in New Hampshire. Some are good and some are not so good but one is that you are always looking down. The trails are tough sometimes. This time I am still in awe of these falls and I see this little fella. I held him in my hand and he was about the size of a half dollar. I moved him to the side and went on my way.

 I have mixed feelings about this picture. I understand the history of trains, the development of the White Mountains because of them but I also know that today it's more about modern business so I was a little annoyed to see the plumes of black smoke, the noise they generated as they opened for business and the smell as I came back down and it was trapped in the ravine far from the tracks. 
 After the Gem pool this trail becomes all business. The stones may be formed into stairs but they at points don't feel like they are taking you to heaven. I do know it will feel like heaven if I make it to the Hut and then to the Summit. The sky is looking grey and I want to get this done and back to tree line if it turns it's cheek on me. This is my view from the bench outside Lakes of the Clouds. ALmost there.
 Mother Nature has a sense of humor if you pay attention. Like cresting this trail and seeing the real Summit ahead if you keep following the cairns. I didn't mind though. The view was amazing. The trail dotted with tiny white flowers and bees. I was amazed at the bees buzzing around them.
 And here I am atop my 28th mountain. Actually it is way more than that because this is just a stupid list I am working on but I have been to many more before I was so list oriented and I just realized that as I am typing.
God, I've probably hiked 40 mountains.
See I was going to delete this photo that a fellow hiker offered to take of me. "Climb up on that flat rock so we can get the Lakes and Mount Washington in the picture." Self critical of my speed, shape, ability. Instead of the fact that I am on my 28th 4000 foot mountain and I will be on many more. I am forgetting why I do this and it isn't to be the fastest but to stand in awe of the beauty.

 I'm thinking there was a marker but a human did what they do once again.
 The trip back down was slow. The knee injury from last year is coming back slowly but it's there. Running and Mountains are proving to be kicking this old ladies ass this week but I refuse to quit. I have places to go.

I found this memorial cool. A man had died in the area in 1928. As I stand here in full expensive gear imagining what there trails would be like in those conditions I am amazed. The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains tells some of the history of these trails and it is pretty amazing. Get a copy if you can find it.

Race Results

09/07/07 Main Street Mile 11:44
05/18/08 YPD 5k 52:57 17:05
06/14/08 Walpole Village 5K 35:27 11:26
06/21/08 Mashpee Fun Run 34:21 11:05
07/19/08 Mashpee Woodlands 36.49 11:52
08/10/08 Falmouth Road Race 1:29:31
08/25/08 Women Running Wild 35:40 11:30
10/25/08 Mashpee Firefighters 37:47 12:10
05/02/09 Cape Abilities 5K 34:59 11:17
05/17/09 YPD 5K 36:41 11:50
08/09/09 Falmouth Road Race 7mi 1:37
10/31/09 Mashpee Firefighters 5K 37:15 12:00
09/11/11 Main Street Mile 12:31
10/29/11 Screech to the Beach 5K 39.13 12:20
08/12/12 Falmouth Road Race 1:34:24 13:29
05/18/14 YPD 5k 44.25 14:17
06/1/14 June Jog 4mi 1:04 16:00
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:42:04 14:35
09/27/14 Girly Girl 5K 37:24 12:02
10/26/14 Pell Bridge Run 4mi 48:41 12:10
11/27/14 Turkey Trot in VA 5K 35:22 11:23
12/06/14 Jingle Jog 5K 34:42 11:11
03/29/15 Thomas Guinta Memorial 5K 34:14 11:03
04/19/15 St. Margaret's 5K 31:11 10:21
05/17/15 YPD Blues 5K 34:58 11:17
06/07/15 Newport 10 Miler 1:56:09 11:36
06/20/15 Mackenzie's 5K 33:55 10:54
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:33:51 13:24
10/31/15 Screech at the Beach 36:19 11:40
5/20/18 YPD Run to Remember 37.37 12:08
9/19/18 Falmouth Road Race 1:35:06 13:35