Happy Summer!!! I think it's finally, finally here in PA! Are you making plans, working on projects, having picnics, going on vacations? Would love to hear what you're up to!
Believe it or not, I've done some sewing and will have fabric news and projects to share in the coming weeks!
We kicked off our summer last week with a trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. We had beautiful weather and enjoyed 3 fantastic days of strenuous hiking, laughing like crazy and tracking down local and/or organic eateries! Success on all!
Above: Hike up to summit of Mt. Jackson.
As we were going up this very section, a group of boys (probably about fifteen 12-year-olds) was coming down. They were starting to cluster near a ledge as they waited for us to get by, and their adult guide exasperatedly yelled out (clearly he had already said it 50 times on this trip), "Don't stack up! It's too wet and steep to stack up!" I almost peed myself laughing (in my head) - what a great line! Don't stack up. It's a good one to blurt randomly, too. So guess how many times I've told my husband and son 'don't stack up!' since we've been home? Too many to count! My son keeps asking why I love it so much.... no idea. Just do.
Above: Sign spotted on Crawford Path as we descended Mt. Jackson.
1819!!! Wowsers! If you hike, I'm sure it's crossed your mind how these mountain paths were created - and that some person or persons had to do a lot of hard, hard work to make them navigable. Freaking amazing. Last summer we learned that some of the trails in Acadia National Park in Maine were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps under Roosevelt, to give work to unmarried men 18-25.
Above & below: Vistas from our ascent up Mt. Washington, the highest point in the NE United States.
When M and I hiked this 19 years ago, we made it within 1/2 mile of the summit and had to turn around. We were woefully unprepared for the 40-degree drop in temperature, the wind chill and the misting fog. Mt. Washington has unique and extreme weather patterns, and it can change on a dime. Since we didn't make it to the top, it has been taunting me like snarky unfinished business tends to do. An ache to officially check it as 'done.' So we did! Experiencing this hike with my son was the icing on the cake. Double check. We got so, so lucky with this gorgeous day!
Above: The tippy top! Weather at the bottom was 75 degrees and calm as can be. The summit was 40 degrees with 40 mph wind gusts - I had to squat down a few times as we neared the top so as not to lose my footing. Visibility was 85 miles!
The most well-known and oft traveled trail to the top is Tuckerman's Ravine, which is where we hiked 19 years ago. This time, we took the Jewell Trail. It was 10 miles round trip - a longer, slightly more gradual climb. There aren't any truly easy ways to hike up Mt. W, but this was the easiest of the options. I tore my hamstring quite badly in May, and I was really worried I'd have to turn around if the ascent was too steep. M found this path b/c he knew how much getting to the top meant to me (and all of us). Love that lovebird 'o mine!!!
There were hordes of people waiting to trade cameras to get their pictures taken at this summit marker. It was the morning of the Mt. Washington Road Race, where runners make a 7.6-mile pure hillclimb to the top! They were coming in droves! Awesomeness. The guy we happened to trade cameras with recognized the name of our town on M's sweatshirt, and said his college roommate was from here! What are the chances?
Above: The road leading to the trailhead, with Mt. Washington in front of us. The little line in the trees is the cog railway track. See the smoke at the bottom from the train? The red X is just about where I stood to take the picture below.
Below: Standing atop the cog railway tracks. The trail passes right over. Insanely steep!!
p.s. Have a great summer! Don't stack up.