Sunday’s Scenes From The Trail

Here are some of my favorite shots from my recent hikes:

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Because sometimes it isn’t what you expect when you get there.
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Because you should hold your head high and be proud of who you are.
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Because sometimes you have to make the most out of a bad situation.
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Because sometimes the bad situation isn’t as bad as it seems. (Banded water snake, not water moccasin.)

If you enjoyed this week’s photos, check back next Sunday for more Scenes From The Trail.

Sunday’s Scenes From The Trail

Here are some of my favorite shots from my recent hikes:

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Because you should always show your true colors.
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Because I had the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song in my head for a week after seeing these gator turtles fighting.
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Because you don’t get to see this every day.
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Because X marks the spot.

If you enjoyed this week’s photos, check back next Sunday for more Scenes From The Trail.

Sunday’s Scenes From The Trail

Here are some of my favorite shots from my recent hikes:

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Because sometimes nature inspires imagination (and makes you feel like a Hobbit).
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Because it pays to watch your step.
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Because sometimes you have to make your own place in the world.
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Because you don’t have to be a stereotype.

If you enjoyed this week’s photos, check back next Sunday for more Scenes From The Trail!

Sunday’s Scenes From The Trail

Here are some of my favorite shots from my recent hikes:

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Because who doesn’t need a little more sweetness in their life?
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Because it feels great when you’re quick enough to get the shot.
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Because sometimes you have to grow even when you’re not in the best position.
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Because sometimes you want to be alone – and that’s okay!

If you enjoyed this week’s photos, check back next Sunday for more Scenes From The Trail!

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves

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lostriver1lostriverLast month, thanks to an awesome deal through Groupon, we went and explored Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves in Woodstock, New Hampshire. This attraction features a series of over 1000 stairs leading you up, down, and through a glacial gorge notched into huge slabs of granite rock. Winding your way past a series of cascades, you can’t help but feel the weight of the passage of time upon the landscape. And while I wasn’t feeling the caves that day, (I proved myself enough at the Polar Caves in Rumney), there were a ton of tight, twisty little passages for spelunkers to explore. This is a fun excursion, easily lengthened by numerous hiking trails. While there, I highly recommend exploring the great towns of Woodstock and Lincoln, and taking in  the gorgeous views, especially if you find your way to the Kancamagus Highway.

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Mortal Fall by Christine Carbo ~ Fiction Book Review

25987140Christine Carbo is an excellent writer. She draws the reader into her characters’ world, making them see what they see, putting the reader into their fictional shoes. Her descriptions and insights are wonderful. That said, for a suspense novel, her writing is a little too good. By that I mean that perhaps it’s too literary. The wonderfully crafted sentences detract from the story’s momentum.

Maybe I’m alone in this as a reader and a writer, but I feel there’s a huge distinction between sentences that leave you breathless due to beautifully crafted language and those that leave you breathless due to magnificently crafted suspense. It’s hard for the two to meet. Not impossible, but hard.

The good news is that over the course of the hundreds of pages of a novel, there’s a time and a place for both. Reading is like breathing. When the tension mounts, the sentences, like our breathes, need to become shorter – quick, simple and easy, with nothing to take the reader out of the zone. Wordiness bogs the reader down, slowing their pace, their breathing, their heartbeat. It brings them back to reality, and who wants that?

I enjoyed this book, but found it a little too slow because of the good writing. Is that a valid complaint? Carbo in a new author and I have a feeling she’s got wonderful things in store for her readers. I love reading about Montana’s wilderness and Glacier National Park. 4-4.5 stars.

 

Mount Washington, NH ~ through the hiker’s lens

At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest mountain in the northeastern United States, and one of the 48 New Hampshire 4000 footers. Home to a weather observatory, a cog rail, and an auto road, it’s accessible to anyone in the area that wants to visit. For those who choose to hike to the summit, it’s an entirely different experience – one as beautiful as it is dangerous. The view as seen from the trail:

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North and South Twin Mountains

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We recently hiked North and South Twin Mountain, making us officially 50% done with the New Hampshire 4000 footers! We began the hike off Haystack road, approaching from the north. There were some crazy river crossings on this trail, including a scoot across a fallen log over a raging torrent of rushing water – perhaps approaching from this side is a better idea when there hasn’t been heavy rains in the area?

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After what seemed like forever (but was really only 3.5 hours), we reached the overlook for North Twin. Although only 1.3 miles from the summit of South Twin, the distance looked long and daunting, especially since this hike was and in and out instead of a loop, which meant hiking over to South Twin, then back over to North before heading down. Basically hiking up – down – up – down – up – down. There’s no way your legs aren’t going to feel that :-/

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At 4902 feet, South Twin is the 8th highest of the 4000 footers (North is 12th). This hike was a challenge, but the views were incredible! The 11 mile hike took us just under 8 hours, which would have been shorter if my knee had been a little more agreeable on the way down. All in all, an awesome hike with breathtaking payoffs at the top. If you approach from the south, the AMC’s Galehead Hut is about a mile from the South summit, providing an alternative for those who don’t want to tackle the hike in a single day.

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(Surprise) to Mount Moriah – Another 4000 footer bites the dust!

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So . . . what can I say that’s nice about this hike? The view was gorgeous. And that’s about it. While incredibly beautiful, Moriah was one nasty lady on the day we hiked her. Or maybe I shouldn’t blame her. Maybe it’s not her fault. Maybe it’s that the surprise part of hiking over (and especially back over, on  the way down) Mount Surprise is that it seems to never end. Ever. Twilight Zone, stuck doing the same thing forever, never. Surprise!

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Of course, it could also be that we hiked it on what was the hottest day of the year so far. And being 4000+ feet closer to the sun really does seem to make it feel hotter. Especially when you’re drinking over a pound of water an hour and sweating it out twice as fast as you can drink it. Then there’s that whole searing heat radiating up from the sun baked rock thing. It could be that some of that added to the sour taste this hike left in my mouth.

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Whatever the case, I didn’t love this hike. Except when it was over. Actually, not until it was several days done with, but who’s counting (besides me). The important thing is that we completed the 9 miles safely. Some hikes are better than others. Some days make conditions more difficult. That’s what we prepare for. It isn’t always easy, but most things worth working for aren’t. The next hike will be better.

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At 4049 feet, Mount Moriah is #41 on New Hampshire’s list of 48 4000 footers.

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