Archive for the ‘Hikes’ Category

Wet in the Whites

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Family, Hikes, Vacation

John had the boys talked into a post-camp pre-school hiking trip. And before the itinerary was finalized, Shawn was roped in too! After a hot dry summer, wouldn’t you know that the forecast called for three days of rain? Undaunted, we packed our raincoats and headed north!

We entered the woods at the Nineteen Mile Brook trail just north of the Wildcat ski area and began our climb to Carter Notch. The trail was gradual at first and the rain showers came and went as we trudged along the stream. Around the half-way point, the trail got steeper, the rain got a bit heavier, and our pace got a little slower. But we all made it and arrived at the warm respite welcomed by the crew of Carter Notch Hut.

The next day was Jacob’s fourteenth birthday! After a little hazing in the bunk room, the celebration continued with a candle and a mammoth chocolate-chip pancake at the breakfast table!

Our original plan had been to leave Shawn and her rusty knees at the hut while John, Josh, and Jake bagged some 4,000 Footers. But alas, the weather was rather uncooperative and Joshua wasn’t feeling all that well. So, we lingered at the breakfast table and waited to see what would happen. When the sky cleared a bit, John and Jake decided to take a shot at Wildcat’s A Peak – about a mile  and 1,100′ away.

Jake announced he’d meet his dad down the trail and stepped out the door. Two minutes later, John stepped out and headed down the trail expecting to find Jake at the lake or elsewhere nearby. A quarter-mile down the trail, John started to wonder where Jake was. John reasoned that either Jake was ahead of him as planned or, if he’d made a wrong turn early on he’d either return to the hut or, as a faster hiker, catch up. He also figured worst case was for Jake to be way up the mountain alone. So, John did his best to pick up the pace all the while yelling ahead and behind for Jake. John made the summit, out of breath and sweaty, and still no Jake. He began an immediate descent, still wondering what had gone on. When John exhaustedly re-entered the hut to find a safe waiting Jake, all was well. Jake had waited for John on the opposite side of the hut at the wrong trailhead. When John hadn’t come along after about 20 minutes, Jake had returned to the hut to see what was up!!  He’d done the right thing by not taking off into the woods – but all were disappointed he’d missed the peak.

So… We spent the afternoon exploring the Ramparts and the Carter Lakes and playing card games in the hut. It wasn’t quite what we had in mind, but it was a lot of fun!

Our final day dawned just a bit clearer with some warming and drying sun! Jacob ventured back into the Ramparts to get some great pictures before we sat down to another great breakfast and began our trip home!

The hike home was a bit tough on Shawn’s knees but she and John eventually made it down – long after the boys had reached the car and come back for Shawn’s pack.

After a stop in North Conway for lunch at Horsefeathers, we were on the road home.

It was a fun adventure despite the rain! We’ll do it again for sure!

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Escape to the Mountains

Posted: June 29, 2009 in Church, Hikes

Some volunteers from our church put together a weekend long retreat that they called the “Escape to the Mountains“. John helped out with some of the planning and communications and volunteered to lead one of the hikes.  So on a damp June Friday night, we packed up the car and headed north.

We stopped at Gordi’s in Lincoln for a bite on the way up and then finished the 160 mile drive to the Horton Center on Pine Mountain just north of Pinkham Notch and Mount Washington. Friday night was pretty much about making plans for Saturday and getting to bed – so we did.

Saturday morning, our large group of 60 or so broke into a number of smaller groups to take on hikes of varying difficulties. John would lead the most challenging hike – a 3,200′ climb on the Carter-Moriah Trail to the top of 4,049′ Mount Moriah. Nine hikers, including Josh and John, would make the 9 mile, 7-1/2 hour round trip hike, puting another notch in their four thousand footer list along the way!!  They made the summit and enjoyed their lunch dry, but were rained upon for most of the decent.  They kept spirits high though and had a blast!

At the same time, Jake made a trip with another group on the Imp Face loop. He thought the pace was a little slow but had a blast talking with his buddy David.  Shawn, meanwhile, still nursing her knee, made a shorter hike to the top of Pine Mountain – just long enough to get drenched in the rain!

Upon return to camp, there was dinner, a cool worship service at Chapel Rock, and a big fun campfire with plenty of singing and s’mores. It was a great time to get to know some of our church friends better and to share in the spirit of the weekend!

Sunday morning we were greeted by another cloudy, wet morning but popped up early to cook breakfast and then, after Jake found a cool Luna Moth, we made a leisurely ride home with a stop at the LL Bean Outlet in North Conway.

Overall, it was an awesome trip!  (Many more pictures here!) We got some great exercise in the fresh mountain air, grew our friendships and our spirits, and had a lot of fun! Can’t wait to do it again!

Mt. Tecumseh

Posted: October 11, 2008 in Hikes

Saturday of Columbus Day weekend was a top 10 day of the year!  John talked only Midnight into accompanying him for a summit attempt at Waterville Valley‘s Mt. Tecumseh.  Midnight was eager to try out her new head harness and couldn’t sit still on the way to the mountain!

After driving to the base of the ski area, the pair headed into the woods. Middie took a few minutes to get used to the new restraint but soon got the hang of it and trudged nimbly up the trail while John tried to keep pace!  (They’re actually darn quick hikers completing the 3:32 book-time round trip in 2:40.) They had a nice lunch while enjoying the foliage views from the summit of this 4000-footer before descending back to the car for the return drive.  Oddly enough, the dawg slept the whole way home.