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!

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

Saturday Hike, Run, Walk (for a cause) Plan for Sunday

Saturday dawned with a big list of things to do (all accomplished by the way). I need the list to get things done. I’ve learned that when I have a list when I go to bed the night before everything gets done.

  1. Hike with Winnie
  2. 4 Mile run (because it was the plan)
  3. Out of the Darkness Benefit Walk with Jeff & Winnie
  4. Lunch with Mom & Dad (we love the Common Man)
  5. Plan for Sunday’s hike
  6. Work outing at Mel’s
    I’m pooped and reading to head north tomorrow for a great hike in finally cool temps. High for tomorrow: 65!

Oh Canada, I love your politics, your people and your landscape

I just got back from a long weekend trip to Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.

Oh, how I love Canada – my friends to the north. Loved traveling through your countryside. However, Montreal, your highway is a bit of a mess. 

About a year ago I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant thinking what a great location for a race. I’d never been west of Montreal.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking that Mary wanted to go and Mark followed suit. Why the heck not. I can drive to the race and not fly. With my bike in the car I could bring all the gear I needed. My plan was to train like heck on the hills in Concord and run all the hills in the mountains. 

Sweet!

Heading into the weekend I thought I was prepared. Kind of. Well…….. hmmm. I’m not sure…. Some things didn’t go as planned such as motivation and sticking to a training plan. I forget that when it comes to my plans and future goals  – it  is truly a crapshoot.

Crapshoot definition: a risky or uncertain matter.

Yep sounds like my life. And I’m okay with it. Really, really I am. 

Okay – truth: I’ve DNF my last two big races in the last 12 months leading up to the weekend in Mont Tremblant. Ego wise – I needed to finish the %^&$#@%^ thing and retire from Ironman.

Again ….. Well …… I didn’t finish this race, but I had a wicked, awesome vacation and swam 2.4 miles and biked a crazy, hilly 56 miles (I still can’t convert to metric despite loving me some Canada). Holy schnikes Batman, those hills were obscene. I admire every single person who crossed that finish line. Well deserved kudos to every… single …. one!

I’m breaking up with Ironman. I have fallen out of love with you  Ironman – it’s not you, it’s me.

Mont Tremblant had a little to do with it but I was not in love with the bike course. However, I do have to call out the race director, who hugged me and told me how I have to come back soon, after I crashed the finish line with the pros.

Here are the highlights of the road trip north with some pretty cool people. I’d say I’d try it again but I’m retired.

Marianne & Richard – Two peas in a pod. Fun. Adventurous. Kind. Thoughtful. Silly. Richard is a comedian and Marianne gets punchy at 10 pm. They helped me turn the DNF into sherpa-ing and, seriously, it was probably easier to finish the race. 


Mark #13 Ironman. Headed to Kona. Driven. Kind. Accomplished. Steadfast. Travel Buddy. Friend. I admire Mark’s tenacity and his single minded pursuit of a goal. 

The village at Mont Tremblant – so European and beautiful. Am I in Paris or Mont Tremblant? You decide.