December 13, 2014

Snowshoeing at Clark

Clark Reservation is the closest park to my house, and as a result, long ago became my default spot for quick and easy local outdoor adventures.  Despite this, I'd never taken Frankie hiking there in the winter, simply because of the rugged, rocky terrain.  I just didn't want to risk it on unsteady little feet.  But Frankie is 4 years old now, and it seemed like he would be up to the task.  Still, when Erin and I planned the hike in advance, we carefully selected a route that avoided the cliffs and deep rock crevices we frequent in good weather.  Two feet of snow fell in the days prior, so we decided to snowshoe instead. 

August 29, 2014

Mt. Jo

Mt. Jo 
2,876 feet

Frankie's favorite part of our frequent hikes at Clark Reservation is all the scrambling over rocks, so when it came time to select his next Adirondack hike, Mt. Jo seemed like a good choice: it's short and sweet with lots of rocks to climb.  Before leaving for the holiday weekend in Keene, Frankie and I sat down and looked at photos of his previous Adirondack adventures.  Erwin and I had already been talking up the hike for a few days, but I wanted the visual reminder that the mountains are different from our local hikes.  Looking at the old pictures from Owl's Head also reminded him of 'Murfy, so the smurf came along on this hike, too.  

July 26, 2014

Phelps Redux

4,161 feet  |  ranked 32/46 in height  |  4th peak climbed (repeat)

With both our previous High Peaks hikes of the year out of the AuSable Club trailhead, Erin and I were ready to switch things up a bit.  On the hike out the Lake Road after Sawteeth, we'd discussed our next options and were tempted to take on something more challenging.  Luckily, there are many such options.  Possibly a return to the Sewards?  Or maybe knocking of the rest of the Dix Range?  However, as the middle of the week rolled around and I was drooling all over the weather forecast for the upcoming weekend, Erin expressed some hesitation due to a physical complication that had cropped up since our last hike.  After she consulted her doctor, who wasn't terribly concerned about her going hiking, we talked again.  We both really wanted to get back in the mountains, but weren't entirely sure her doctor fully understood what kind of hike we were contemplating.  The Seward Range is not your average stroll in the park. 

July 5, 2014

Scenic Sawteeth

4,100 feet  |  ranked 35/46 in height  |  25th peak climbed

Knowing we would be driving to the trailhead that morning, and hence not arriving super early, Erin and I were even more worried than normal about finding available parking.  Hiking on holiday weekends is oft-espoused as something to be avoided, and while I can certainly understand that perspective, our opportunities are few enough that we have to seize them when they come, holiday or no.  We decided we'd have the best chance of finding parking at the AuSable Club trailhead, and Sawteeth has been on the short list for a long time.  I'd wanted to hike the Scenic Trail specifically since hiking a loop of the East and West River Trails in 2008, when I first saw the mountain's profile with the jagged teeth to clamber over.  Erin and I had even set a date to hike it in 2011, but in a case of very bad timing, were derailed by the destruction of Hurricane Irene. 

June 21, 2014

Colvin and Blake

4,057 feet  |  ranked 39/46 in height  |  23rd peak climbed
3,960 feet  |  ranked 43/46 in height  |  24th peak climbed

Although we were disappointed not to have managed any May hikes, Erin and I were super excited to finally get up to the Adirondacks for our first hike of the summer.  We decided on Colvin and Blake for our season opener because our four High Peaks hikes last year had been at four different trailheads, but none of them were from the AuSable Club.  We have several hikes left that are traditionally accessed from the Club lands and don't want to leave too much Lake Road for the end.  We selected Colvin/Blake over Nippletop/Dial and Sawteeth, because I'd read on the Forums that both Elk Pass and the Scenic Trail along the Lake were flooded, and avoiding wet feet is certainly as good a reason as any. 

June 4, 2014

Chemin de Nietzsche, France

"All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking." 
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, Or, How to Philosophize With the Hammer

Èze is the only locale in which we stayed during both 2013 and 2014 France trips.  We flew out of Nice both times, and ended up returning simply because our first stay there was so charmed... it felt too short.  The village is storybook, perched high above the Mediterranean.  The views are beyond amazing.  Plus, it is super convenient to the airport: a quick, easy, and scenic jaunt up the coast.  It was when researching the area before our first stay that Erwin read about the Nietzsche Trail.  The path is named for the German philosopher, of course.  Apparently he spent time in Èze-sur-Mer, frequenting the steep path up to Èze village, and perhaps even conceived some of Thus Spoke Zarathustra* on these hikes.  We saw the trailhead when staying in Èze the first time, but we did not attempt the hike.  The trail is approximately a mile and a half with roughly 1,400 feet in elevation change (each way).  Frankie was still 2, not yet ready to navigate such terrain independently, but too heavy to carry without the carrier.  

May 18, 2014

Bald Mountain Fire Tower

Bald Mountain is under 2 miles roundtrip, with about 500 feet elevation gain, and was a natural choice for Frankie's next Adirondack hike.  I've been up Bald before, most recently in 2010 when pregnant, so knew the trail was something Frankie could handle.  The summit ridge has beautiful views out over the Fulton chain of lakes, and an open fire tower – always fun.  Plus, the Old Forge area is much closer than the High Peaks, just a 2-hour drive each way, so within reach for a day trip.  I had this notion we could squeeze in a hike before the bugs came out.  Unfortunately, that part of the mission was not entirely successful, as the black flies were out already.  However, despite the early fliers, we had a great day in the woods.

May 10, 2014

Baby Turtles at Three Rivers

Photo by Erin
Having already been to Clark Reservation once so far this month, and twice in April, we were looking for a change of scenery and decided to hike at Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area.  We met Erin at the parking lot along Sixty Road.  First we checked out the short wildlife viewing boardwalk, then headed westward on the two track north of what is variously called either Green Pond or the 100 Acre Swamp.  Frankie and I hadn't been on this trail in two years, back when he would start hikes on his own power, then ride in the big external frame Kelty carrier when he was tired.  It is fun taking him back to such places so he can claim them for his own.