Monthly Archives: October 2012

#37 Eastman: Excerpt

Tough Cookie goofs off on the way up Eastman Mountain.

She is dragging, not because Janelle is tired or the weather isn’t cooperating. In fact, we had plenty of sleep the night before and for mid-October, the weather is as clear and warm as possible.

Rather, she knows that her hiking friends Alex and Sage are here, one trail and a couple of miles over, and she badly wants to be hiking with them. The Herr ladies, along with a whole troop of some of our favorite hikers are taking a different route up toward the Baldfaces, while we left earlier and are slogging our way up Eastman Mountain. We’ll join them in a couple of hours to complete their and our loop. But Eastman is on our list, it’s near the Baldfaces and once we reach the ridge, we can just hop over to join the others.

But first we must tag Eastman. No amount of cajoling, encouragement or reason seems to be working. Those two equally tough hiker girls are within shouting distance and the universe has conspired to put Janelle just out of their reach. I’m not particularly concerned about our inch-worm speed, but we did set a time and place on the mountain to meet them and I’m worried only that we’re going to be late and they will have to sit at some windy perch getting cold waiting for us.

But there’s nothing I can do. Alas, the real victim here is Eastman Mountain. The trail is moderate and beautiful. But this obscure peak is destined to become only a footnote in Janelle’s journey, the mountain we had to climb in order to get to Alex and Sage. I settle in to our pace, and accept our fate, and the girl and I move up Eastman with thoughts of our friends weighing heavily on our minds.

Join us tomorrow for Part 2 of our hike, and the full trail info and location report. Until then, here’s a couple wonderful links on our hike to explore.

Mark Truman’s Ramblings Blog about the hike. Great report and fantastic pictures: The Baldfaces, Eagle Crag and a Grand Plan

Michael Serdehely’s wonderful photo gallery: Hiking the Baldface Loop Trail

Categories: Excerpts and 52WAV Mountain Stats | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

A successful traverse brings us to #40!

Success! Amazing weather, mountains and friends yesterday contributed to an epic day. The numbers: 13 miles, 11.5 hours, 4 summits. Tough Cookie showed us what she was made of! This brings our number to 40. Today, we’re recovering and going through pics. If are not yet a friend of Dan or a fan of our Facebook page, please do. There’s lots more pics up there right now. We’ll have a excerpt and pics here soon.

Categories: Updates and Plans | 2 Comments

Timetables, updates, big plans and a moose

Janelle meets her first moose.

We’re in the home stretch!

Tomorrow, Janelle and I will attempt the longest and most difficult day-hike of our adventure, a four-peak marathon (Eastman, N and S Baldface and Eagle Crag) that will cover more than 12 miles and take us through some of the most rugged terrain of our journey so far. If we are able to complete that hike, it will leave us with only 12 mountains to go. And we should be able to complete them in about 8 hikes, by Nov. 12.

But first Thursday. The good news is that Janelle has worked hard to reach this level. She’s strong, excited and ready for such a hike. Also, it looks like we’ll be hiking with a larger group for part of the way that will include Trish, Alex and Sage, and a couple other long time hiking friends we’re excited to finally get to the hills with. Preparations are under way, as this hike will force us to bring more extensive gear and food than we have brought before. Also, it’s likely that we’ll be finishing in the dark, so there’s a lot of firsts here!

If you’d like to see some other pics and read a great trip report from our recent Mt. Shaw hike with Trish and the girls, you can check out their website here: Tuesday Trip Report

Zoom in on Mr. Moose.

In the meantime, as promised here are some pictures from Janelle’s first encounter with one of New Hampshire North Country’s most famous denizens. This young buck was casually grazing along Route 302 as we made our way down to the Davis Path to begin our overnight hike up Stairs Mountain. Janelle and I have looked nearly desperately for a moose for months, searching side roads at dusk for any indication. We’ve found moose beds, moose tracks and fresh moose scat on the trails.

But for Janelle’s first moose, she got another bonus. She was with Meena when we came across him. We had brought two cars for our hike and the ladies were behind me when Mr. Moose came into view. Needless to say, Janelle freaked out and we pulled over for a closer look along with dozens of other curious tourists.

The nice moose did not seem to care one bit about the paparazzi (though I’ll bet if anybody made the mistake of boxing him in, he’d care!). Anyway, chalk up another experience for Janelle. Click this link for more moose pictures: Mr. Moose meets Janelle

Finally, if you’re reading this and have a Facebook account, don’t forget to go over there and LIKE our new Facebook page. You can just click the button in the right column. If you already have, thanks! And thank you everyone for your support. We’ll be back Friday with an update.


B & TC

Categories: Updates and Plans | 9 Comments

#36 Shaw: Excerpt

Little hikers, big views. Tough Cookie makes new friends atop Mt. Shaw.

In New Hampshire family hiking circles, climbing with Trish, Alex and Sage is big leagues; like tossing baskets with Michael Jordan or having Don Hall read your poetry. The trails the Herr family have blazed are legendary. You can check out their website and read about Trish’s book here: Trish, Alex and Sage. They had graciously agreed to hike with us just after getting home from a whirlwind highpointing trip where they bagged three peaks in the Southwest over 13,000 feet.

But apparently, that’s just me. Janelle doesn’t have stars in her eyes. She just sees two kids, about her age, who can climb mountains, like her. She sees peers, and girls no less!

I should have learned this lesson from her time last spring in the fitness program, Girls on the Run. Maybe it is that easy.

The three little ones barrel up the mountain like tiny locomotives, instant friends. Like usual, at first I worry. Will Janelle be able to keep up? She’s soft-spoken and intense, will Alex and Sage’s sisterly bond and outgoing manner be too much for her? Will she be fussy or have I taught her well enough to hike with far more seasoned hikers?

Will she make me look bad?

Such pedestrian concerns, so adult of me and yet so childish. After a time, my foolish worries evaporate like the morning chill, replaced by wonder. I watch her interact, hike and laugh. The adults are there when the kids trip, or need a break, or maybe some trail directions. But today Janelle doesn’t actually need me, not when Alex and Sage are there with her. Perhaps not when any kids of her age and ability would be there with her.

I swallow hard at the thought and quicken my pace just a little, unwilling to let her lose sight of me quite yet.

Mt. Shaw (10/13/12)

Height: 2,990 feet

Location: Near Moultonborough and Castle in the Clouds, I-93 to exit 23 to Route 104 east to Route 3 north to Route 25 northeast to Route 109 southeast to Route 171 east. The trailhead is unmarked but can be found on the right, just after Sodom Road.

Our trailhead: Mt. Shaw Trail up and back (with 1 mile round trip on the spur path to Black Snout Mountain).

Distance: 8 miles round trip. (Trail Confusion: The latest copy of the AMC Southern New Hampshire Guide, 2010, warns of a land dispute near the bottom of this trail and suggests taking another. That dispute must be smoothed over as the trail is wide, well used and fairly well-marked with dark red blazes. There were half a dozen cars in the parking area and a dozen or so hikers on the trail when we were there.)

Categories: Excerpts and 52WAV Mountain Stats | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

There are no limits!

Janelle, Sage and Alex on Mt. Shaw, making it look easy. Pics and report to come on Monday.

Categories: Updates and Plans | 2 Comments

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