Archive for the ‘hiking’ Category


I thought the cold I had in December had finally cleared up. I was stuffy and tired and my sinuses were clogged for weeks, but after New Year’s things seemed to be back to normal. But early in the week the fatigue seemed to be coming back. Tuesday when we went for our walk, I found myself coughing from the cold air and having trouble catching my breath. Wednesday, after our art class, I had trouble climbing up two flights of stairs — almost had to stop a few steps from the top and catch my breath.

I was worried enough to call the clinic, and they were worried enough to have me come in today and see another doctor, who was worried enough to send me for some tests including a chest x-ray (obvious) and an EKG (startling and scary, but on reflection, not surprising) as well as some blood tests.

Preliminary readings indicate I’m not seriously ill; it’s probably a virus that will have to run its course. I have some nosedrops for nighttime congestion (so I can breathe easier and therefore sleep better) and an inhaler to deal with the asthma symptoms, and I’m supposed to take it easy and get lots of rest and fluids.

So tonight it’s chicken soup and and early to bed. We had been planning to go cross-country skiing today or tomorrow. The inhaler has really improved my symptoms, so I’m thinking I might still go. Not sure the doctor would think that’s taking it easy, though…

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One of the problems with keeping this blog up to date is that when I’m doing interesting things that I’d like to write about, I don’t have time to post. I took my smartphone on the Tuesday-Wednesday hiking trip, but after the hike Tuesday I was too tired to do anything but crash after dinner. I didn’t even stay up for fireplace and goodies with our friends.

Wednesday morning I woke up pretty early — it’s hard to sleep in with the sun shining in your tent — and when I came out of the bathroom, I found this lovely lady waiting for her turn:

luna moth

We saw this luna moth just sitting outside the women’s bathroom in the morning

I didn’t go on the Wednesday hike with Neil; it was longer and more strenuous than I was up for. Instead, I spent the day with my watercolors at Silver Cascade. I really like the way it turned out:

Silver Cascade 20 June 2012

watercolor of Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

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Walking to Sanity

Last week Neil and I attended a talk by Nancy Sporborg and Pat Piper, two New Hampshire women who climbed New England’s 67 mountains taller than 4000 feet. (Note for people from western states: a 4000-foot mountain here is about the equivalent of about a 9-10,000-footer in the Rockies.) Nancy wrote a book about their adventures (It’s Not About the Hike) and now they travel around New England giving inspirational talks about their experience.

Nancy and Pat started with noontime fitness walks and quickly expanded to the challenge of peakbagging. The talk covered what they had learned from their hiking: things like “I’m not ready to give up” and “when we commit to something, you can’t stop us.” They talked about how everybody has their own mountains to climb, and they aren’t all literal, and that we can all live our lives and pursue our passions.

They speak frequently to book clubs, libraries, hiking groups, and women’s groups around New England — if they’re in your area, I highly recommend that you attend. They have some lovely photos, too; it’s worth attending just for that.

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hiking day

Saturday we got up at three in the morning to head to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where Neil led a hike over Bondcliff and the Bonds and out via Zealand Hut, around 20 miles. I dropped them off at the Lincoln Woods visitor center shortly before 7, then drove around via Twin Mountain and up Zealand Road to the end of the trail. Then I hiked in the 2.7 miles to the hut, where I spent a lovely day by the cascades, alternately soaking my feet and dozing in the sun. I brought my pastels and had thoughts of drawing, but…no, just vegging.

Neil and his friends got there just before 5 and we all hiked out together, then drove over to the Woodstock Inn (in Woodstock NH, of course) where we had a lovely supper before heading home. I drove, with three zonked-out hikers snoring away.

We were both pretty wiped out yesterday. I only hiked around 6 miles on easy trails, but that’s still fairly long for me. And it was pretty hot. And on very little sleep.

Today’s much better. Amazing what sleep can do!

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wet hiking

The early summer forest is beautiful in the rain — glossy and green, with the raindrops whispering secrets to the leaves and the streams gurgling more heartily from the extra runoff. Most of the spring flowers are gone and the summer ones aren’t here yet; the only contrast to the green and gray was the occasional big old white birch and now and then a white bunchberry flowers in the low foliage beside the path (bunchberry -- photo from Northeast Photo Journal).

We also saw one cluster of what I think were trout lilies, in an especially moist little valley full of puffy moss and rotting logs. Pretty bright yellow things.

Photo via Northeast Photo Journal — we only took a couple of photos because it was too wet to take the camera out. Too wet to stop to sketch. Too wet and slick to climb the granite slabs to the summit, but a wonderful hike anyway.

Tired, sore, with a bruised foot, but who cares?

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hiking report

Friday night, went to the mountains. Stayed at the outing cabin with a bunch of Neil’s hiking friends — had a great time. Saturday most everybody went either ice climbing or on a long group hike. Because of my still-not-entirely-recovered cold, I stayed at the cabin. Went on a short walk along the Saco River, intending to sketch, but wound up mostly sitting and watching the icy water flow around snow-covered rocks.

Then a group dinner/birthday party for the hike leader.

Saturday night, it snowed, the fluffy sparkly kind that carries magic in every flake. Sunday morning everybody went their separate ways. Neil and I snowshoed along a different part of the Saco River, through those magical sparkly trees and deep powder. The cold clean air made my head feel a lot better, though I am tired and sore now.

And then randomly out of the blue, a short story I hadn’t thought of in like 15 years popped into my head, along with a clear idea of why it didn’t sell then even though everybody kept saying what a good story it was.

All in all, a great weekend.

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walking blog — update

Cross-posted to Walking to Somewhere

I’m not sure how many people are in on this — November was a bad time to suggest starting, what with NaNoWriMo and all. And now the holidays are upon us.

But we did decide that instead of keeping separate tallies, we’re going to count as a group. So each person’s individual daily total will be added to collective mileage. This will accomplish two things:

1. Make it possible to finish the Pacific Crest trail in only a year or two

2. Make sure the slower walkers don’t get left behind to straggle in by themselves. I know this discouraged several people last time.

2a. Also, people will be able to join whenever they want to.

I need to track down maps and locate or write an appropriate widget. Shouldn’t be too much work if I can find time to do it in the next couple of weeks.

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Anybody up for another virtual hike? I’d like to get going again — it’s much easier to keep myself motivated when I know there are people out there expecting me to keep walking.

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where has Bonnie been?

We’ve been on vacation. Very active vacation. We went to the second round of the Duetschebanke golf tournament in Norton and followed Steve Stricker and Adam Scott, among others. We played golf ourselves, here and up in Jefferson NH at the Waumbeck Golf Course. We hiked — I climbed Mt. Starr King and Mt. Waumbeck, and Neil did that plus a hike over the Wildcats. We ate out a lot. It was lots of fun.

Now to get back to work…

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hiking and writing

Friday we went on our annual family hike. This year I went and Steven, who’s working overseas, didn’t. Instead of the usual multi-day hike, we just climbed Mt. Monadnock, one of the most popular local mountains.

I wasn’t expecting a very hard hike. This is a place people take their four-year-olds. It’s only a couple of miles each way. But the day turned much hotter than expected and very humid. I was drenched in sweat but not cooling off, overheating rapidly. And on top of that, Neil forgot to tell me that most of the last mile is a scramble over rocks. Okay, not a terribly difficult scramble, but still a scramble, and scrambling requires a lot of knee strength and flexibility — two things I haven’t got a lot of any more. Up isn’t so bad, but getting down is hard, and then it hurts, and then it’s beyond just pain, looking at a strained knee or a fall.

So there I was, struggling up, wearing myself out, and all because I was so worried about how I was going to get down.

Fortunately I have some smart kids and a supportive family, and I realized what I was doing and just concentrated on getting up to the top. The climb became much easier. Magnificent views from the top, cool and wonderful.

And then going down turned out to not be hard at all. I had to be careful. I was tired and sore. But I made it down easily.

And it occurred to me that I’ve been doing the same thing with my own writing. I’ve been struggling with edit passes because they’re so hard, and I’ve been really really struggling with new writing because I’m so worried about the editing I’ll have to do later.

Dude. Stop worrying and just do the work. You gotta climb the mountain before you can climb down. Writing is hard enough without spending all this energy making it hard for myself.

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