Kassandra visits, Nubble Lighthouse, Long Sunday Run

First on the list: be a tourist.

We drove to Maine to see a famous lighthouse and stopped for lunch at When Pigs Fly.

Restaurant stop on the way to the coast: When Pigs Fly.

We saw the lighthouse during a big wind storm so the waves were huge! It was a good day to be at the coast.

Kassandra with Nubble Light behind her.

In the evening we played blackjack and cribbage.

Kassandra teaches me Blackjack with my Obama playing cards. Ahh, remembering when we had an honorable president.

Sunday at 9:30 we started out on our long run. We waited until it warmed up to 27 degrees. Thank goodness for the sun!

Sunday long run up Carter Hill. It’s a huge hill and it was 30 degrees. Glad that run is over. 12.65 miles completed.
Being silly on the run. Just after the big hill. 7 miles to go.

And walking back to the house.

Post-run silliness. She is pointing to the Capitol.

Such a fun weekend. Kassandra was a trooper with the cold temps since she lives in Tucson. I’m so glad it didn’t snow!

Mount Cabot

Mount Cabot

The drive to the trailhead was two hours which included a drive through Berlin and the Berlin Fish Hatchery. It is a true north country town and there were a lot of ATVs out and about.

Mount Cabot
The start of the hike to Mount Cabot.

I really liked the trail and it was extremely hard. All the leaves covering the trails made it tricky to run so it was mostly a fast hike.

Kilkenny Ridge Trail
At the Kilkenny Ridge Trail junction.

My favorite part was running on the Kilkenny Trail which was mostly a ridge run.

Mount Cabot, 4,170 feet.

Kilkenny Ridge Trail
The summit. I really like the Kilkenny Ridge Trail and saw a few trail runners on it. Great hike to the summit.
Bunnell Notch Trail
At the end of the Bunnell Notch Trail. As the sun came out at the end of our hike the colors popped. Gorgeous.

North Twin hike during peak foliage in NH

North Twin October 2018

Saturday’s hike was epic. North Twin 4,761, 8.6 miles round trip during peak New Hampshire foliage.

North Twin from the outlook selfie.

4,000 footer #2 for Winnie and #43 for me!

We had to cross the Little River six times.

The Little River

After slipping on a rock half way through the first crossing I decided for safety I would just walk through the water and not worry about rock hopping. My Injinji socks and Pearl Izumi trail shoes quickly dried enough to not give me blisters.

The fall foliage was beautiful and the lighting just right:

Peak foliage in NH on the North Twin trail.

We saw a few dogs and about 20 people total which isn’t much considering the drive past Lafayette trailhead with cars parked for miles on I-93. I can’t image hiking Lafayette with all those people. One family hiked North Twin with children who looked 5-years-old – amazing! So many smaller groups that loved Winnie and petted her.

Winnie at the top of North Twin on October 6, 2108
North Twin trail sign
Top of the mountain. We took the outlook trail to see the view.

She’s getting less scared of people on the trail which is nice.

A great day to be on the trail. I had great conversations with hikers about hiking the 4,000 footers and other trails.

The view of the trail while almost to the summit.

Then after driving home I met my mom to see to movie, A Star is Born.

Weekend Recap: Sunapee & Liberty/Flume

Mount Liberty Sept 2018

 

On Saturday Winnie and I hiked to the top of Mount Sunapee. The trail was pretty wet and muddy from all the rain. The streams were flowing and Winnie had fun playing in both water and mud.

Sunapee with Winnie. She kept looking uncertainly at the chairs on the chair lift. It was a beautiful, cool fall day at the resort.

We saw a lot of people on the trail and Winnie swam in Lake Solitude. Winnie was beat for the rest of the day. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be taking her to the hike scheduled for Sunday: Flume.  

I hiked the Liberty Spring Trail to the Franconia Ridge Trail. The trail passed over Liberty and then I reached Mount Flume in 2 hours 30 minutes.  I saw a few hikers on the trail going up and about 10 trail runners coming down. I hoped that I would be running down, too.

I tried to run as much as I could but the trail was 75% rock with large roots thrown in for good measure. Once I passed Liberty Spring tent sites I could hear the wind and it got pretty cold. I put on a warmer jacket and a beanie. I didn’t realize that the Franconia Ridge Trail is an exposed ridge only on the northern section that is closer to Lincoln and Lafayette. This part of the ridge was wooded and smelled of pine.

Almost to Liberty, looking north to Lincoln on Franconia Ridge Trail.

The summit rocks of Liberty took my breath away when I saw it for the first time.

My first glance at Liberty – a stunning rock pile

The rock pile seems to rise out of the ground and trees. According to my AMC White Mountain Guide Twenty-fourth edition I hiked Liberty in 1988 and 1991 but don’t remember. I did note that on the 1991 trip I took the same trail starting on the Whitehouse trail. I’m so glad I kept that book over the years. I knew I’d be back to finish all the 4,000 footers.

About 15 people took pictures and hung out on the summit of Liberty. I don’t stop and continued hiking south to Flume; I passed about 10 people headed to Liberty.

Sitting on top of Flume looking south and loving my Altra trail runners.

Since my PI trail shoes were still soaked from yesterday’s hike in the mud at Sunapee I wore my new, not-yet-worn Altra trail running shoes. It was a risk to wear them on this important bag-a-4,000-peak hike but they turned out to be perfect. They got a bit beat up on the rocks and roots, and managed to stay comfortable the entire time.

I did like the Liberty Springs Trail  despite feeling like I walked up stairs for miles on end. As my thoughts started to wander through the sometimes monotonous terrain, I thought about the Grid and wondered if I might try to do it: hike all 4,000 footers in every month.

Sunday’s Total mileage: just about 10 miles round trip. I’m pretty beat and not sure I’d want to do that hike in every month,  but I’ve been thinking about winter hiking and with the right instruction I might give it a try.

Now I’m down to six remaining 4,000 footers: N. Hancock, Waumbek, Cabot, Garfield, N. Twin and Owl’s Head. My plan is to finish them by the end of October. November is too risky with the potential of ice and snow on the trails. I’m hoping that Winnie will hike Waumbek, Cabot, Garfield and N. Twin; the other two are too rocky and long.

Foliage Update: The leaves in northern New Hampshire are just about starting to turn. Next weekend they will be at their peak colors. 

NH 4000 Footer Grid 2018 KL

Last Day of April, Maine Marathon 13 Days Away

The last day of April and I’m sad to see it go; really I am.

April was a relatively good month despite the cold weather and Winnie getting sick with some sort of cough and the medicine that made her pee so much but ultimately made her better. It’s just hard seeing the drinking and peeing after Daisy being sick with the same effects.

April was good, calm, normal. I love my job and I love where I live. Everything is status quo. Training and writing. Working and hiking. The snow has melted, and while it is not quite warm, it is finally starting to feel like spring.

Winnie Dog

Yesterday, Sunday my training plan called for a three hour run. I was hoping for as-close-to 18 miles as possible. The route was to run to Penacook, turn onto Washington St. then turn onto River Rd. then up Carter Hill and home. I forgot what a huge hill Carter Hill is [gasp!]. Final mileage: 16. I’ll take it!

The forecast was rain all day so I didn’t wear headphones. So no music the entire time. It was fine. New running routes help take the pain away. It’s amazing the sense of wonder you can get running in new places.

The sun came out for about five minutes during the entire three hours; it was mostly grey with a bit of green. 

River Road Rain Penacook NH

The two best things about the run: running next to the The Contoocook River and completing the 16 miles under 3 hours, which was about the same time I did the 16 mile Boston Prep Race in January. [proud moment]

Now I have one more high volume week, taper and race.

Maine Marathon