We cruised through the jumble of boulders that fill the basin of Mahoosic Notch. The kids jumped, scurried and scrambled over, around and through them. Orion, with his pads toughened by almost two thousand miles of trail, scrambled and scratched his way up steep slopes and fearlessly charged head-first down and around the granite obstacles in his path. Read More
The Mahoosic Range must be one of the coolest mountain traverses on the east coast. Towering mountains, sweeping vistas, rugged climbing, and near solitude due to their relative anonymity and inaccessibility. We crossed from New Hampshire into Maine and there’s a real sense of being home. Read More
Today as we wound our way down the Rattle River the kids were engrossed in a make-believe of their own creation. Jack Frost had stolen the enchanted crystal from Orie the Outdoors Fairy, and if Cartwheel and RobinHood couldn’t get it back, no one would ever love the outdoors again. They had wands made by braiding grass strands over knobbly twigs and they raced down the trail living their own action adventure.
Sometimes the awe and beauty of the mountains can stop you in your tracks, erase all from your mind that is not present in that moment, and focus you on the here-and-now in a way not readily achieved in our daily lives. Like the runner’s high achieved by the long distance runner, it is a euphoric trance that centers you in the moment and in the world. It is the restorative power of wilderness and the reason so many work so hard to protect such wilderness experiences. In the early evening hours, as we crested Carter’s Dome, we were treated to a divine display of sun and clouds as the realm of the Appalachian Trail and surrounding mountains stretched out before us. This is why we hike.
All In woke up early to catch the alpine sunrise with Orion while the rest of the family slept a little later. They packed up before the Croo set the breakfast tables for the paying guests. Then we enjoyed a slow morning and had some breakfast leftovers. Afterwards we helped the Croo sweep out the bunk rooms and the dining room. Read More
The climb up Mount Washington was blessed with a high cloud layer that permitted views of the distant peaks but shielded us from most of the suns rays. With the humidity we still dripped with sweat, but the Whites have a well-deserved reputation for mountain majesty. We stopped in at Mitzvah Hut for some tea and baked goods, then we lucked-out with a work-for-stay at the Lake of the Clouds. Read More
The scenery in the Whites has been spectacular and it’s been nice to be in a position to slow down and enjoy ourselves. We stopped for some leftover breakfast at Zealand Falls Hut, then cruised along some easy trail with ample opportunities for swimming. Read More
An early morning climb of the remainder of Franconia Ridge gave us the reward for the previous day’s hard work. Mama Bear’s parents enjoyed some of the splendor of the presidentials and we basked in the vistas before they turned around to head back to their car and we continued north. Read More
Mama Bears parents were put through a long day of ups and downs, heading over the Kinsmans and then up Franconia Ridge. It was a lot of elevation gain and some hard walking all the way around but we were all treated to the full experience of the Whites (including being pushed to the limit). Read More
Getting off trail for a few days always makes it difficult to get back on; seeing friends and family and indulging in the ease of off trail life seems to cause homesickness to kick in hardcore, especially for the kids. Cartwheel had a hard time leaving the comforts of off-trail life to return to the woods. Robin Hood did his best to cheer her up; he even made her a stick doll with a birch bark skirt. Her grandparents tried as well. And her stuffed bear, fuzzy, accompanied her back on the trail for a few days. All to no avail. Read More