Saturday, September 25, 2010

Me and Ruby on top of Mt. Liberty: Meena's 47th!

#48 Mt. Cabot 9-18-2010

After four intense years of hiking, Ruby completed the 48 on a warm September day with friends! Joining the entourage: Dan, Meena, Peter, Dave and Neil. Also tagging along, Maggie and Phil, dog companions keeping the pace. What a day. After camping in Whitefield we awoke early and packed up the cars. A 4 car caravan drove through Gorham and Berlin and then through the fish hatchery where we stopped to park. York Pond Trail to Bunnell Notch Trail to Kilkenny Ridge to Mt. Cabot . The fog cleared as we neared the summit, meeting up with others for photo shoots! Meena also finishing her 48 on the same day. Meena prepared a pinic for us and we feasted on New York sausage and spicy cheese , PB&J and neil's favorite-lemonade. This peak marked the end of Ruby's quest to hike New Hampshire's 4,000 footers. The end is bittersweet. But there is a silver lining: Neil still needs 28! Throughout this journey, I have made new friends along the way and for thatI am grateful. Thank you everyone!

Friday, August 27, 2010

TECUMSEH! Again, this time in summer. Wild Flowers are here!
#47 MT. Madison

Me and Mike leave Appalachia Trail Head Sunday August 17th with humid temps. Head up Valley Way to Osgood Trail to summit. Lots of hikers along the way including a few that we passed going up, and still going up while we headed down! What a beautiful day. Hit the Madison hut for blueberry pie and lemonade. So good! We hit the summit around 1:00 just as a dozen Cornell University students arrived with lots of photos, lunch and big gray clouds rolling in. Madison was awesome,  I am going back. First time doing Madison was a bitch. This time-piece of cake!

One more peak and Ruby is done. Cabot Mt. Weekend September 18th. It will be a party!!

Monday, August 09, 2010

#46 This is it: OWL'S HEAD

This was a 19 mile adventure I won't soon forget, and neither will Ruby. She is still a little pooped after the journey, but was bounding about today on the trails at Mine Falls.
Saturday August 8, our team of 6 met at the Lincoln Woods Visitor Area at 6:00 am, by 6:30 we were on the trail. Me, I'm still fuzzy from camping out at Big Rock while a bear cruised through the campground all night! I was afraid to leave the tent to pee!
We made steady progress the entire day crossing 4 tricky river crossings, and everyone staying within pace. We met others along the way in similar pursuit with two guys leaving their 200 pound packs at the base of the slide. (Meena lef them some lemonade, that should help). Next: The Harrowing Slide! Our team of Dan, Neil, Chris, Meena , Eileen , me and Ruby fuelled up on snacks and unloaded just a bit. Dan tucked a Pepsi in the river for later refreshment. We are about to take on the Slide! What an adventure, every step of the way. Ruby has no trouble hopping from crevice to crevice, but I fear for her safety on the way down. Will she be too scared to navigate the steep awkward rocks? Here, we find tremendous views, that is , if you have the courage to turn around and look ! At last, exhausted, the Slide comes to an end and we are meandering around the top of this mountain where we encounter a group at the old summit. We are told that just .2 miles we will easily find the marked new summit. It takes a bit of trial and error in staying on the trail, we reach the summit by 12:45 and enjoy peanut butter, cheese, gorp, apples and of course LEMONADE! We take memorable photos and pose with the official "summit rock". It gets chilly. We re-group and begin the descent of the Slide wich now appears 2 times longer and more dangerous. Slowly, we make our way down to a safe landing.We are ready for 8 miles and 4 brook crossings back to the car. The last 5.4 miles I feel weighted and my feetand back are aching. My neck is sore-it appears I've been madly bitten by a blood thirsty insect. The only pain is in my back. I think of songs to put on the soundtrack for this day: "Slip Sliding Away", "8 Miles High", "When will it End...?"
We are only a few miles from the trail and begin to encounter tourists and bike riders once again. The longest mile....It has taken 12 hrs to complete. Hunger, soreness, and fatigue hit. I retrieve my camping equipment from Big Rock and head back to Nashua where clam chowder and a cold Mike's lemonade await. Ruby got roast beef.
The O.H. crew

Monday, July 26, 2010

#45 Mount Moriah

We are getting close. So close that I'm beginning to worry. What happens when we're done and there's no more hikes to do? When we finish 48, then what? Our list is over. For now we are happy and in miserable suffering shape at the same time. It all equals out. Me and Leah head out to Gorham Sunday morning to take on Moriah. It is a little hill at barely over 4,000 ft. but it is a haul getting there. We get to the parking lot a little after 12:00 noon with LOTS of traffic in North Conway. We have no food. We hit the trail running and it is a lovely trail, with few rocks and ample side trails to the brook where Ruby bounds into the water many times. We go up and up. We hit the Moriah-Carter junction and take photos. We encounter one thru hiker named CLOUD from Arkansas. It is another 1.4 miles to Moriah's summit, but there is a difficult pass for Ruby. Me and Leah pick her up and carry her up. We are at the summit. Weather is great and cloudy skies turn to sunshine, only the wind blows from the south. No bugs.  Stomachs are growling and there is no food. I  forgot to pack food again. . We share 2 chewy bars and an old plum. It was good. We head  down, hungry. FOOD is the inspiration.I promise Leah we will go to The Moat for dinner only when we get there it's a 45 minute wait. So, screw that. We found an excellent Thai-Indian restaurant on Rt 16 with excellent curry dishes. We ate every grain of rice! An excellent day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I needed a good dose of ISOLATION!!!
28,883 steps and 14.6 miles to reach this lonely pile of rocks and back again!
Joined by Dan, Meena and Neil , we set out to tackle New Hampshire's remote 4,000 footer Isolation! This was a peak that I had put off due to intense fear of hiking out to this daunting peak. Now, I am pleased I put this off for so long-what an excellent day it was as we sloshed up the Rocky Branch, dodging anacondas, crocodiles, swamp rats and water moccasins. It took true grit, lots of bug spray, and even before the half way point, my fave Adidas hiking shoes are soaked through. It may be the last time for them, but they did me right by Isolation, Adams and many more if I look back through the albums. The thunderstorms, as predicted by the forecasters, all held off and only a few rolls of thunder jangled the nerves. Dan said, "if your poles start vibrating, it's time to worry!"
All in all what a fabulous day with excellent company. Best of all: a cold mud puddle at the summit for Ruby to bathe in. Bliss!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This was it: Mt Adams on Saturday June 26th in the cold, wind and rain. Joining in spirit friends Dan and Meena (and company) in their pursuit of a Presidential Traverse. Originally, I thought we could do Adams AND Madison, but the weather held us back. We left Appalachia parking area at 7:45 and approached Airline Trail on the ascent. Here, the temps and winds were fine! I thought the sun might break through, but NOOOO, we hit treeline and it was all down hill from there. (No, actually it was really UP hill to the extreme.) I was very proud of Lynn and Leah for conquering this mountain and helping Ruby navigate the tough terrain. We were nearly blown off the summit and I'd say winds were 50 - 60 mph. We took Gulfside to the hut where we met black dogs Mrs. Katy and Mrs. Lady who cruised by Ruby having some serious problems descending the sharp rocks. This was a difficult climb for her and it took time for her to get back to the junction from the summit. Once we arrived at the hut the rain started coming down heavily. It was 1:30 and at that point decided to return via Valley Way to Appalachia. All in all it was a great adventure, and we climbed a very difficult peak in challenging conditions!

Monday, June 28, 2010

#42 Wildcat A
August 2009
Mike and I conquered Wildcat A in the FOG. There were no views, there was nothing on the summit but a popsicle stick that read "Wildcat". We came, we saw, we turned around.