Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Why yes, I dream of having a writing retreat some day. Somewhere. Somehow. I’ve been dreaming about it for years.

I used to think it was difficult to impossible to get away when the kids were in school. There were always gymnastics/dance performance/big tests/band performance/etc. that required both parents. I did manage to get away for a couple of writing seminars or a long weekend alone. For those, I just booked a room at the Sheraton in nearby Portsmouth NH where I could go down for a meal if I needed a break or order room service for minimal interruption. Or go out and wander around the downtown if I was temporarily stuck.

I always thought it would be easier after the kids left home and we retired. No obligations, no kids to take priority, no…

No money.

Well, not exactly no money. But not a lot, either. And would I rather spend it on a week away somewhere to write, or on going to visit the kids and the pending grandbaby? If I have to choose between a week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with spouse, or a week in a cabin alone with my thoughts and my notebook? What about two weeks in China? Writing is important, but it’s chugging along. Do I really need a retreat? Do I even want it?

Even though the answer has been no so far, I still dream of spending weeks or months in Italy soaking up the sun and alternating painting, writing, and hiking or biking. Maybe a villa in Umbria, maybe an apartment in Rome. But I know myself well enough to know that I’d most likely spend all the time doing things, seeing art galleries, finding new trattorias and gelato stands, going to concerts, and generally being more of a tourist than a writer.

Which makes me think that the way things are working out is just fine 🙂

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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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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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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