Merrimack River Outdoor Education & Conservation Area hike

Dogs Running by the Merrimack River

Thursday, May 24 Kendra and I took our dogs on the most beautiful hike at the Merrimack River Outdoor Education & Conservation Area on Portsmouth St in Concord. The mosquitos were awful but the hike was fantastic. We saw so many kids and dogs on our hike and no one (but me) seemed to be bothered by the bugs.

Merrimack River Outdoor Education & Conservation Area

It’s a flat, tree-filled hike and I highly recommend it.

Merrimack River Outdoor Education & Conservation Area

Daily Stats (May 24):
Hike: 1.5
Run: 0
Swim: 0
Bike: 16

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

Spring Hike on Mount Kearsarge

Winslow Trail Spring 2018

Jeff and I attempted to hike Mount Kearsarge last Saturday, April 21. It was finally a beautiful blue sky day and we arrived at the Winslow State Park trailhead to find over 10 cars lined up outside the gated entrance. The road to the trail was snow packed.

This was not a good sign.

We started the gradual uphill climb and passed a few groups heading down. We ask a man about trail conditions and he told us the Winslow trail would be tough going down without spikes on our shoes. We realized then it would be a short hike and continued on.

This was our first view of the valley looking northwest.

Winslow State Park

Then we got on the snowy trail heading north on the Barlow Trail.

We met many people coming down; some who made it to the top, with spikes, and many who were turning around. We walked about half a mile then turned around. We would get to the top another day.

We headed down and then drove straight to the Henniker Brewing Company for a flight.

Henniker Brewing Company

Seen at Henniker Brewing Company:

4000 footers in NH

Christmas Party in February, Reflecting on Friendship

Love & Light

This past weekend I attended a Yankee Swap Christmas Party with my friend Jeff. This group of friends have know each other for almost 30 years. To me, that is simply amazing. While I have friends I’ve stayed in touch with for about 25 years, we don’t see each other regularly much less have an annual gathering. The party was delayed from December so that everyone could attend. I love that – the day was changed several times to allow all (about 40) people to come.  

Jeff and I have been friends since around 1995 when we worked together at an insurance company in Portsmouth, NH. He’s visited me in all the places I’ve lived: Bethel, Maine, Killington, Vermont, Granby, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona.

The invitation to the party came through text: “Would you be up for a scary group gathering for a few hours, meet new people?”

Ha! Attend an event with a group of people I don’t know. OMG. The invitation made me laugh and since I’m trying to do things that force me to break out of my comfort zone I replied, “Oh sure I need to have new experiences.”

The night was very fun and Jeff’s friends are pretty awesome. Everyone was very friendly. Doing what introverts do, Jeff and I sat on the sofa and played cribbage. I almost won. I rarely win against Jeff, however I was 5 points from the win when he came from behind with a great hand. 

The especially fun part of the night was the Yankee Swap. I drew #21 – a good number to pick a gift I really liked. My gift was a beautiful, heavy blanket. I loved it and kept it. But a few numbers later I lost it to a bag of gifts that contained a Love pillow, candle and lottery ticket.

I left before the food came and headed home to beat a snow storm. I got home and thought about the evening and my gift.

Here’s what I think:

I really enjoy hanging out with people my age.

I think the evening was very symbolic especially at a time in my life where I’m more reflective than normal. I’m writing more than ever, and once again, trying to figure out how all the pieces of my life fit: career, relationships, travel, adventure, faith.

I am so thankful for the friends in my life who show up, call, text, email and invite me on adventures. I’m especially thankful for my parents. 

The Yankee Swap gift was symbolic:

  • The LOVE pillow: I need more love in my life. I need to give love and be more open to love.
  • The candle: I need more light in my life – give light, be the light.
  • The (losing) Lottery Ticket: I don’t need more money or things. Having enough money is good but I have what I need.

Travel Light, Be the Light