Searching for covered bridges, hiking and memories

Mark and I headed north on Saturday in the wind and rain. He was interested is seeing covered bridges. Here is one of the more famous ones: Jackson, NH covered bridge.

Jackson NH Covered Bridge
We were seeking covered bridges and found this famous one in Jackson, NH.

On Sunday, the best weather day, we hiked on my favorite trail: Marjory Swope Park trail in Concord.

Mark hiking on my favorite trail

One of the momentos from our our trip north is a pint glass from a restaurant we stopped at in North Conway. It the Tuckerman Brewery glass below, third from the right. I realized all the glasses and mugs I’ve accumulated over the years remind me of some fun times all over the country.

Memory Glasses and Mugs
Each one means something

Pint glasses (from the left): finishing the Houston marathon 2017, 2nd place sprint triathlon finish prize Tucson 2014, Pemberton 50K trail run finisher prize 2013, Tuckerman Brewery Conway NH 2018, visit to Mississippi 2013, Tucson dog benefit 2105.

Mugs (from the left): 2009 1st Ironman mug, 2016 second St. George 70.3 race, a mug from my time living in Vermont 2001-3, Ironman Wisconsin with Mark 2013, my Christmas present from George from Rocky Mountain National Park.

Such great memories of time spend in mountain and Ironman towns.

Run 1,000 Miles – Goal Update

My mileage as of 10/31/18 is 760. Just 240 miles to run/hike until I meet my 2018 goal. Additional goals I’m hoping to reach by 12/31/18:

  1. Finish the 4,000 footers
  2. Run a 50K

I have just two 4,000 footers left and I hope to hike them before the new year. I’ve been reading the trail conditions report every day and there are several hikes reported to North Hancock so that one I think will be finished this year but Owl’s Head is just such a long day. I’m not ready for a winter camping in the Pemi Wilderness quite yet, but maybe. Maybe. There is still time to get the gear and practice using it.

I have some visitors this month so I’m not able to get out there to try Owl’s Head again. But it will happen.

My visitors are coming north from Texas and Arizona. I’m glad it’s not too cold, yet. This weekend Mark and I will head to Conway and check out some waterfalls and Mount Washington. Next weekend Kassandra and I will find an adventure somewhere north in the White Mountains. Happy, Happy November. 

What it’s all about

One Love Brewery Beer

I picked up the local newspaper when I was in Lincoln on Sunday. In it I read an article by Tom Ryan about hiking with his dog Atticus. Ryan said that hiking is not about bagging a peak and heading back down. Hiking is about the journey of getting to the top and somehow finding your way home. It’s about being somewhere that isn’t as safe as your living room.

The article reminded me that every time I am about 5 minutes from a trailhead I’m scared. As I get closer to the start I get really nervous about getting lost, kidnapped, killed. All the irrational fears appear. Maybe not all irrational because I do watch, listen and read the news. All my outdoor activities take me out of my comfort zone. Not knowing the outcome is hard for a control freak – and let’s be honest – we are all control freaks.

I always forget about that fear as I’m planning the next hike. The feeling is similar to fear I have prior to flying and traveling to a new place; thinking of all the bad things that could happen.

What I like about Tom Ryan’s article is how he loved the end of day when he was simply exhausted and fell asleep getting ready for bed. That is a great feeling. 

At the end of Sunday’s hike, that didn’t result in bagging another 4,000 peak, I stopped at the One Love Brewery. I’ve been meaning to go there just because I love the name. They can your choice of beer behind the bar. I chose the Octoberfest beer.

After hiking for 12 miles hike with my dog on a trail that meandered into a wilderness, I got home safely, I enjoyed a One Love beer and fell asleep exhausted. It was a good day. 

A walk in the wilderness, Pemigewasset Wilderness

Sunday we took to the wilderness. We didn’t quite make our destination of Owl’s Head but the journey was filled with rivers, rocks, roots and beauty.

Must be winter. The Lincoln Woods Parking Lot is normally overflowing.
Into the Pemigewasset Wilderness we go.
Next time we will try this trail up to Flume.
Another bridge, another river crossing.
Side trip on Black Pond Trail to Black Pond. I loved the colors and the big roots.
As we got off the Lincoln Woods Trail and onto Lincoln Brook Trail we saw more snow.
The beavers on the Franconia Brook Trail have been busy.

New Hiking Gear Winter 2018

Sunrise Concord NH

One of the positive aspects of changing from triathlon to trail  & mountain running/hiking/backpacking is all the new gear I get to buy.

While some of the winter running and biking winter clothing transitions well but there are some accessories I must invest in.

Number 1: Water filtration system

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L
Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L

I chose a collapsible water filter option so I could back it pretty easily in a small running pack. I’ll be trying the Katadyn BeFree on the long hike to Owl’s Head this week so we’ll see how it does. This is new technology for me so I can’t wait to see how it works on the trail.

Number 2: New hiking boots

Salomon X Ultra 3 – Day One, 1.4 miles

I’ve been hiking in trail running shoes for so many years and never considered hiking boots. I always thought that trail running shoes were less impactful on a trail and even when hiking sometimes I like to run.  This year is different and I’m winter hiking so I knew I needed to invest in a good boot. The hiking boots I currently own were given to me when I was a Colorado gear tester back in 2008. I still have them but they are pretty beat up. I’ve been reading so many hiking and backpacking websites and blogs, and one trail review writer recommended Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boots so I researched them. I liked the other reviews I read and decided to give them a try. The first break-in hike was this morning [see first photo in this post, a hike with a sunrise]. I’m not bringing them for the hike this weekend; this one’s a biggie and didn’t want to wear boots that need to be broken in. I’ll stick with the tried and true trail runners; probably my Ultra trail runners.

It’s good to get back into mountain sports. There is so much more equipment to research and try. Next up: tent and stove.