Well another Memorial Day weekend has come and gone. From what I have heard, Sunday was a miserable day in most of New England, but it was a beautiful day in northern New Hampshire on Mt. Cabot! Mt. Cabot is the farthest north of the 4000 footers up in Berlin NH. The trailhead is at one of the NH State Hatcheries, soooooo many trouts!!! We were already up at my inlaws’ house in NH, and from there it was still another 2.5 hours to drive. My sister, Brenda, came up to do this hike with me and my husband too! This was her 3rd 4000 footer, my 40th 4000 footer, and who knows what number it is for my husband haha, over 100?
So we went up Cabot via the Bunnel Notch Trail to the Kilkenny Ridge Trail. In total, the mileage was a little over 9 miles- took us about 6 hours. The trail was in great shape except for some mud which is normal for this time of year. It was a really warm day, many water breaks. There are some nice features along the way- a spot with some beautiful views, an old fire warden’s cabin that you can stay in, and a clearing close to the summit that has the remnants of an old fire tower. Many people stop at the tower clearing thinking that they have made it to the summit…but really you have to continue on and you will get to another clearing with a sign that says Mt. Cabot-4120′, and that still isn’t the summit, you have to go a little further to the true summit at 4170′. Two false summits. We saw many people at the fire tower clearing that never continued on to the actual summit.
On the way home, we stopped at Mountain Fire Pizza in Gorham NH for some dinner and a beer. Jon and I split the maple and bacon pizza, it was amazing. My sister got a pizza with chicken and artichoke on it, it looked great too! If you like thin crust brick oven pizza, then this is the place for you. Gorham is an interesting town, way up in the mountains. We went to Gorham last year for 4th of July fireworks when we were camping at Dolly Cop. ATVs are street legal in the town. Think about that for a second, you can drive 4-wheelers anywhere…to McDonald’s, to get some pizza, to pick up a friend, whatever. Pretty cool place. More pics from Memorial Day on Lake Winnepesaukee tomorrow!!
I hiked Mt. Garfield in December 2014, but we still aren’t quite ready to do any of the 9 remaining mountains I have left to finish the New Hampshire 48 4000 footers, so we did Mt. Garfield on Sunday for my husband’s grid. My husband, Jon, is doing the grid, which is all 48 in all 12 months. It takes years to accomplish for most; probably close to 20 years for Jon. When I did Garfield in December, we were socked in meaning it was a cloudy day with no views. When we did it Sunday there was not one cloud in the sky!!! Mt. Garfield is a part of the Franconia Ridge, so you can see Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack, Mt. Liberty, and Mt. Flume to one side, and North & South Twin, and the Bonds to other side. You can look down into the Pemigewassett River Valley to see Owls Head, and on a really clear day, you can see Mt. Washington past the Bonds. We took the Garfield Ridge Trail up, which is a beautiful trail. The road to the trailhead from Rt 3 is still closed, so that does add 2 miles of walking to the distance. Overall I think it was 12 miles. There are a couple river crossings which were very low/safe for this time of year. Sometimes spring can be tough for river crossings because the melting snow makes for raging rivers. The trail was a sheet of ice for probably the last 2-3 miles to and from the summit. We had our microspikes, and even then it was a little tough. We both really wished that we had our crampons. We saw one couple turn around because they didn’t have any traction, another couple where one didn’t have traction and struggled hardcore, and another couple that shared 1 pair of microspikes (they each had one on their right foot). The happiest and safest folks had microspikes 🙂
Mizpah did an amazing job as usual. She is so athletic, surefooted, and agile. I am constantly impressed by Mizpah out on the trails. She’s so aware of her surroundings and just in tune with the trails. We purposely let her nails stay a little long in the winter/spring until the ice melts because they give her little microspikes of her own. She was the only dog we saw up there, and she got a lot of love from our fellow hikers. This coming weekend, we are planning to do Mt. Cabot, which I do need for my 48, so I am really excited about that!!!
Sunday of this past weekend, my husband Jon, Mizpah, and I headed up to NH for a hike. Jon’s broken toe had healed just in time for our wedding, and we were ready to get back to hiking after almost 2 months away from our favorite mountains. We chose Mt. Moosilauke after reading through Saturday’s trip reports because Mt. Moosilauke had just some soft snow/ice on the Carriage Road trail where some of the mountains still require crampons. The Carriage Road trail is wide and gradual, it was a little over 10 miles and took us a little over 6 hours to do.
At the summit of Mt. Moosilauke, there are remains of the Prospect House built in 1860, later known as the Tip Top House, a hotel similar to the one on the summit of Mt. Washington. It burned down in 1942. The Carriage Road was built in 1870 to bring guests up to the summit.
Breezy Point Road leads to the Carriage Road trailhead. Nathaniel Merrill built a farmhouse there in 1834, and converted the farmhouse in 1860 to serve as an inn called the Merrill Mountain Home. Slightly downhill from there, the larger Breezy Point House was built in 1877. It was destroyed by a fire in 1884, and then the Moosilauke Inn was built there in 1886. In 1915, the Merril Mountain burned down, and in 1953, the Moosilauke Inn burned down.
A smaller motel was built at the inn site which closed in 1981. Crazy history. The spot where the inn was is just a big field. I guess there was even a 9 hole golf course there around 1900. We did find a cellar hole around where the Merrill house could have been.
Then on our way out, we found this cellar hole further downhill from where the inn would have been. Could have been outbuildings from the original Breezy Point House.
Here are some more pictures from our hike. We did Moosilauke back in November too, and in this post, I discuss the link between Moosilauke and Dartmouth College.
So now I have done Moosilauke 3 times. Its great because there are so many different trails up and down it, I have never done it the same way twice. We are going to try to hike the next couple weekends and we have some big hiking plans for this summer. I still have 9 left to complete the 4000 footers in NH. Of course they are all tough, long, or far away hikes- save the craziest for last? I read this article this past week, and it really summed it all up for me. Where do you like to hike!? I love hearing other people’s hiking stories!!
Oh man is this week kicking my butt! Between work, classes, homework, and wedding stuff, it feels like my free time is nonexistent! Today I finally took my wedding dress to get altered though, so that was a huge check off my list! Woo hoo accomplishment! This past weekend, we hiked Mount Jackson and Mount Pierce in NH. These are the southern most mountains in the Presidential Range and the trails start in the beautiful Crawford Notch area. Fun fact- Mount Jackson is actually named after Charles Jackson, the state geologist back in the 19th century NOT Andrew Jackson, our seventh president.
Jon, Mizpah, two friends, and myself set out on Sunday morning around 9 AM. Immediately we all put on our traction, three of us have crampons, and one of our friends just had microspikes. The trail was solid ice from melting snows. Wearing crampons is pretty serious business. You have to be careful of every step, making sure you don’t slice yourself or one of your hiking companions. Super scary with Mizpah running afoot. The day started a little gray, but over the course of the day, the sun came out and blue skies prevailed! We had pretty good views of the rest of the Presidentials. Mizpah had a great hike with the warmer temps and her claws were perfect in the soft ice. She will probably never hike the northern Presidentials (Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison) because of the rocky terrain, but the southern ones are ok. Her hut, the Mizpah Spring Hut, is on Pierce 🙂 Here are some pics from the hike!!!
My fiancé broke his toe the other day soooooo we might not be hiking again until April! Poor guy. I had already done these two mountains, but we were with a friend sort of new to hiking and wanted a short hike with nice views for him. This hike was about 6 1/2 hours. I still have 9 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 4000 Footers. Goal is to finish by the end of this summer!
Hiking, horseback riding, trail running, swimming, biking…I love anything that gets me outside. What do you like to do to get outside? Do you have any outdoorsy goals for this spring/summer??
Yesterday I hiked North and Middle Tripyramid in the Sandwich Range Wilderness of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. They are both little guys, just over 4,100 feet. They are #38 and #39 out of the 48 4000 footers in New Hampshire for me!! We got started just after 10 AM up the Pine Bend Trail to the Mt. Tripyramid Trail. I was able to bareboot it on the trail until we started to climb. Then I had to throw my snow shoes on. Showshoeing for miles, climbing in elevation…..it is hard. This was an in and out hike-we went up over North over to Middle and then back again. There is a South Tripyramid that doesn’t count for “the list” even though it is over 4000 ft because there is not enough elevation dip and gain between Middle and South. If we weren’t pressed for daylight, we would have gone over- maybe when I do it again in the summer sometime.
There are really no views from North Tripyramid. Every once and while, peaking out through the trees, I could see the Presidential Range, Mt. Washington’s recognizable white peak. You can see Mt. Carrigain over that way and the Signal Ridge too.
It was just a quick half hour over to the Middle Tripyramid, and there were some nice views from there. We could see the Waterville Valley Ski Area, Tenney Mountain Ski Area, and we could even see all the way to Killington Ski Resort in VT. We could see Lake Winnipesaukee and Gunstock Mountain Ski Resort too, but I just couldn’t get a decent picture. The Tripyramids are sort of central, you can see a lot of other familiar mountains from there.
It was a hard hike, coming down off North Tripyramid I had to “buttslide” for a lot of it because it was too steep to actually walk down, you just slip and slide anyway. I could have put my crampons on my boots, but honestly crampons are scary and if you think you are going to misstep, they really shouldn’t be worn. You can slice your leg or your hiking companions by mistake with a crampon. My crampons are for climbing up sheets of ice only.
Mizpah came along yesterday, but chances are this will be her last long hike until the weather warms up again. She loves hiking, loves the journey, but girlfran just isn’t equipped for the weather up there. Her paws get cold and no matter what we try- different salves/waxes, many brands of booties- we just can’t find her any relief besides just sitting the hike out. Her little Ruffwear jacket keeps her body warm, but those paws….
So I am now down to single digits. Just 9 mountains left to struggle up 🙂 Then I will probably want to do them all in the winter…..or do the additional 4000 footers in Maine & Vermont…or just hike with my lovely fiancé Jon as he works toward the grid (all 48 in all 12 months). I hope you all had a great weekend, I will takin it easy today, nursing some sore muscles. I am thinking it might be time to do a winter hiking gear post…there’s a lot….if you like buying gear, def get into winter hiking ha!
I can’t believe that 2015 is coming to a close. In some ways, its really no big deal, I just have to remember to write ’16’ when I write out the date. I mean, how do you measure a year? Reminds me of that song from Rent…
Here are my top 5 memories from 2015!
5. Cape Cod getaway- One of my good friends has family on the cape with room to spare, so we headed down on a Wednesday night in August and stayed until Friday. It was so nice to be there during the week, and we managed to do all of our favorite things in that time! We went out to the Woodshed, got lobster rolls at Sesuit Harbor, hung out at the beach, took out our friend’s boat and did some ocean wakeboarding, saw a whale out in the bay, and did some shopping in Chatham.
4. Memorial Day Trip to Isle of Palms/Charleston- The fiancé, me, and 9 friends rented a house in Isle of Palms for Memorial Day weekend. We were right on the beach, went out in Charleston, and just had the best time goofing around the house. We played an epic country song drinking game, went to a rooftop bar with a pool, and made great memories.
3. Las Vegas Trip for one of my best friend’s bachelorette and her amazing wedding at the barn where I ride. Two extremely happy weekends with my favorite girls from the barn. We always have such a good time together.
The centerpieces were beautiful fresh flowers in horse show trophy cups. Metallic sandals were the bridesmaid shoe of choice- here are some of our Jack Rogers taking a break while we danced!
2. Hiking Mt. Washington in March- This year I hiked 22 4000 footers in NH!! We headed up Mt. Washington on a really nice March day. There was no wind, which is crazy for Mt. Washington. It was an amazing hike, a hard hike. Hiking in that area, you always look for Mt. Washington from all the other summits. Finally climbing the summit that I had admired for so long, it was amazing.
1. Getting engaged on the summit of Mt. Madison- ahhhh how to even put this day into words. My fiances favorite summit is Mt. Madison because you pop out of the woods to the most amazing views of the White Mountains. He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him and I said yes. Annnnd then we had to hike over to Mt. Adams, and hike down. It was quite a day! Still so happy just thinking about it.
I hope that you all have a great New Year’s Eve planned, whether its a party or snuggling up on the couch. Thank you to everyone who has followed along this year, I hope that you continue this journey with me into 2016!
Those of you that read my blog or check out my instagram photos know that I am an avid hiker in the White Mountains of NH. Besides being on the back of a horse, being out on the trails is my other happy, calming, mind-clearing place. I have a lot of gear now from hiking and camping up there over the past few years, but I have been in need of a good backpacking sleeping bag. My fiancé got me the REI Flash sleeping bag, rated for 32 deg F. He also got me one of those blow up crash pads to go with it.
We hike all through the winter. I have La Sportiva Nepal boots, gators, waterproof pants, microspikes, crampons, and snowshoes….gear is really important in the winter. This sleeping bag will be at the bottom of my pack this winter, because you always have to be ready to survive in the cold in the case of an emergency. Bag and tag is what Jon calls it. Jon always brings his, and now I will have mine too, just in case. It will also be perfect for some of the overnight hikes we have planned this summer for me to finish the NH 48 4000 footers!
It might sound corny, but this sleeping bag is more than just, “I wanna camp with you”. For winter hikers, this sleeping bag is more like, “I wanna keep you safe and warm always”. My sleeping bag just became a way more romantic gift huh?? Plus I know he probably spent hours researching which bag to get me!
It’s Monday and Christmas has come and gone. We had an awesomely busy weekend, family Christmas gatherings from Christmas Eve straight through yesterday. Yesterday we got my mother’s family together at our family restaurant, Kitty’s in North Reading. My great-uncle was the head chef there from the beginning and they still use his recipe for many things, including their amazing pizza.
As far as gifts go, of course being with my family, having my parents up from Florida and my sister having some time off were the best gifts! For the gifts that you have to unwrap though, I got some great stuff from LLBean!!!
One of my aunt’s got me this amazing LLBean back pack. Its smaller than my backpacking pack, and will be perfect for small hikes where I want to pack light. I can’t wait to use it, probably not until this summer though. Winter hikes require the bigger backpack to bring my sleeping bag in case of emergencies.
My sister gave me the two pack of cotton ragg camp socks . I have these socks in the boot length as well. They are great socks, very soft and comfortable. They are definitely my second favorite socks only to smart wool. The thing that they do have over smart wool though is they come in more classic solid colors.
I was given two LLBean scarves this Christmas. They have both sold out though on the website!! The one on the left is a wool blend scarf from my parents, and the one on the right is 100% Irish lambswool made by John Hanley of Ireland for LLBean from my sister. They are both awesome scarves, warm and stylish.
My parents gave me the heritage fair isle mittens and hat set from LLBean. The inside of the mittens is a nice soft fleece, and the hat is also lined with fleece so your forehead doesn’t itch. These are also sold out on the LLBean website!
Two lovely LLBean sweaters made their way to me this Christmas as well. My fiancé’s parents gave me a black double L cotton cable knit sweater. This is a great staple item in your wardrobe. Crew neck sweaters and button downs are basically my fall to winter uniform. Between my cousins and my other aunt, I got some LLBean gift cards, so I stopped by the LLBean in Burlington yesterday and picked up the cream fisherman sweater from the signature collection. I usually size down for most LLBean tops, but for this sweater, I got my true size. I wanted it to be a little more roomy on me, sort of like a boyfriend sweater.
Finally, with my gift cards, I was able to almost cover a pair of the LLBean Boots Rubber Mocs. I think I had to chip in like, $24 of my own money. I am in love. They are awesome because they are waterproof, comfortable, and they just slip on!!! So great for New England weather when you have to take your pup out all times of day.
Some other LLBean gifts in my family were these moccasins that my sister got and this awesome fleece lined flannel shirt that my fiancé got. Don’t fret about sold out items on LLBean.com. If it doesn’t come up as backordered, then it is just gone for the season and will come out again next year with some new tweaks usually. I have this week off so I had some day trips planned, but we will see if the weather cooperates. Tomorrow, southern New England will see its first snowflakes!!! I am so excited, but of course the weather will probably keep me from going to see friends in RI……typical New England problems. What were your favorite Christmas gifts!? I hope you all had a lovely Christmas weekend!!
Wow, last week was crazy! My goal is to do at least 3 posts a week, and I failed terribly last week. Good news is I finished my grad class for the fall semester, and just about finished my Christmas shopping! Woo! High fives all around!
Two holiday/Christmas parties, an awesome charity 5k run, and hiking South and North Hancock sums up my weekend. I am definitely feeling a little worn out today. The Hancocks are #36 and #37 of the New Hampshire 48 4000footers for me, so I just have 11 left! It has been an amazing journey, and honestly once I finish, its not really an ending. Hiking in all seasons here in New England has become a very happy and healthy part of my life, I love it, its right up there with horseback riding 🙂
This hike is a lollipop hike. You go walk a pretty flat trail down the Hancock Notch Trail to the Cedar Brook Trail to the Hancock Loop Trail. Then you start to climb and can choose to head toward North or South first. We went to North first because that trail is rougher terrain which is easier to climb up. We went up and over North which has nice views, over to the tree covered South summit, and then back down to the stick of the lollipop.
It was such an unseasonably warm day, no jacket needed. I did wear my microspikes for 2 sections.
The red bows on the summits of both peaks were a surprise. I enjoyed them, BUT they do violate the Leave No Trace policy we all try to hike by. Its tough, most hikers that consider themselves stewards of these ranges don’t approve of anything that could become litter or could disrupt the existence of the animals/plants living there. The fact that this little decoration is in support of the holiday season also ticks some off, nature is neutral I was told. I hope that whoever put them up will come back to dispose of them, but I don’t see harm in the intent behind them. I am a holiday romantic, what can I say??
And on that note, yesterday was National Hot Cocoa Day! I celebrated with a mug that I painted at Clay Time in Shrewsbury MA. I used really cool silk screens to decorate my mug, it was so fun!
Hope you all had a good weekend! I will be better this week about posting, promise!
I hope that you all had a good Thanksgiving and a great weekend!! I spent the weekend up in NH with my fiancé and his family. We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then his birthday on Saturday with an awesome hike to #optoutside on Friday in between.
I only have 7 hikes left to complete the NH 48 4000-footers…..but they are all pretty long. We wanted to be back, showered, and ready to go for dinner & drinks at Poor People’s Pub (good grub, cheap beer) Friday night, so we chose Mt. Moosilauke for our hike. The trail we picked, the Gorge Brook Trail, had a book time of 5 hours. We did it in 4.5, but we had to add an hour because the gate to the access road was shut and locked so we had to walk another 1.5 miles in and out from the trail head. That happens in the fall/winter.
The Gorge Brook Trail, Al Merrill Loop, Ridge Trail, and Snapper Ski Trail all start near the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. The lodge and bunkhouses are owned by the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) from Dartmouth College in Hanover NH. The DOC is legendary in the White Mountains. Their love for outdoor activities, particularly winter sports has made the White Mountains what it is today, a region dotted with ski resorts, and home to cross country ski trails, snowshoeing trails, and backcountry skiing. Really many of the first mountaineers in the Whites were from the DOC, some from Harvard too. These were the first mountaineers out west in many cases too. They were men that loved sport, competition, and endurance….and had the privilege and opportunity to travel and play in the mountains.
I have already hiked Mt. Moosilauke from a trail on the other side of the mountain, Glencliff, so this was my first time seeing the lodge. It’s really neat, bunkhouses named after different classes, a swimming hole for the class of 07, and the lodge itself is huge! They offer lodging to the public, students/alumni get a discount, and offer meals too. It’s also home to the trail crew, a group of students that maintain 17 cabins and ~50 miles of trails between the lodge and the campus in Hanover.
The hike itself was great, trail was not too rocky, lots of rock stairs, some ice towards the summit. The trails are very well marked by orange signs and very well taken care of. There are a couple re-routes which can be annoying, but are also signs of good trail stewardship. For this mountain, they have been moving the trails up and away from the riverside because of erosion and damage from hurricanes in the past.
Dartmouth owns the Gorge Brook watershed, something like 4500 acres on Mt. Moosilauke and the surrounding area. It is named after C. Ross McKenney, an avid woodsman who oversaw the building of the main lodge in 1938. The lodge was saved after many years of disuse in the 50s by Al Merrill, the Director of Outdoor Programs and Ski Coach at the time.
The summit of Moosilauke is above treeline. It can be extremely windy up there because its the furthest west of the 4000 footers and catches undeterred wind all the way from Vermont. There is a stone foundation up on the summit, the remains of an old hotel up there in 1860. It was first called the Prospect House, later called the Tip Top House. The Carriage Road Trail was originally used to reach the hotel. It was lovingly run by Dartmouth students from 1920 until it burned down in 1942. The hotel on Mt. Washington was also called the Tip Top House. I just couldn’t get a pic of it on this hike, the wind was gusting to ~50 mph. It was tough to stand up and walk at times.
I absolutely love the history in the White Mountains. All the old hotels, mountain huts & shelters from a time when the train was the only way to get up there. To see what it looked like up there in its hey day. Not all of it was good of course, the White Mountain National Forest was almost leveled for lumber and to create farmland. I definitely prefer it with the trees, but the glimpses of the past are much appreciated.
I would like to explore the lodge more when its open. They open in May and close November 1st. Don’t worry, my fiancé is doing the grid for the 48, so he has done Moosilauke in 3 months so far, 9 more to go!
What did you do to #optoutside on Friday? Have I inspired anyone to come to NH and see the Ivy League accommodations at the ravine lodge? Please say yes! 🙂