Beat the Heat

Summer returned with vengeance last week, and temperatures in the 80s and 90s meant no runs for my little team. It’s finally starting to cool off, but we still have to take it slow. This morning was still around 60 degrees, so we only did a quick half mile around the neighborhood.  Dexter has been running better than last season, though it’s too soon to make any real judgements. Denali has been easily distracted by squirrels, but she’s getting better with every run. Knox is doing well, although he tries to pull over and yap at a Labrador we pass by in a fenced yard. The team needs work all around, but they’re doing gret for so early in the season. We have some cooler temperatures coming in on Sunday, so I’m planning to take the team out to Six Mile Run. Fingers crossed it stays nice and cold!

Summer returned with vengeance last week, and temperatures in the 80s and 90s meant no runs for my little team.

It’s finally starting to cool off, but we still have to take it slow. This morning was still around 60 degrees, so we only did a quick half mile around the neighborhood. 

Dexter has been running better than last season, though it’s too soon to make any real judgements. Denali has been easily distracted by squirrels, but she’s getting better with every run. Knox is doing well, although he tries to pull over and yap at a Labrador we pass by in a fenced yard. The team needs work all around, but they’re doing gret for so early in the season.

We have some cooler temperatures coming in on Sunday, so I’m planning to take the team out to Six Mile Run. Fingers crossed it stays nice and cold!

Keep Exploring Everyday

Keep exploring. Everyday.

Keep exploring. Everyday.

Mt. Washington (from below)

We were really looking forward to driving up Mt. Washington at the end of our New Hampshire trip. We even woke up at 4 AM to make it there as the sun was rising. But remember what I said about making plans? 

On the way to the mountain, we realized the road was closed until 8:30 AM, so scaling the peak for sunrise wasn’t an option. That was disappointing, but we kept going.

Then we realized there was a little asterisk next to September 21st on their website. It was ATV day, and the auto road was closed to cars. 

We considered taking a guided tour up the mountain, since those were still running. Or taking the cog railway. But both would require at least two hours to complete and we couldn’t leave Denali alone in the car for that long.

So, we were shit outta luck. We still got to see the sun rise and watch the mountains’ colors change from dark green to blue to purple. I’ve never been too far west, so these were the tallest peaks I’ve ever seen.

We’ll leave that peak for another adventure.

Again, the full album is on my Flickr.

Camping in New Hampshire

When you’re camping, especially in colder weather, the majority of your time is devoted to starting and maintaining a fire. The rest is spent cooking and eating around said fire, and sleeping.

It may be boring to some, but I love how primitive and natural it feels. In the cellphone service free woods of New Hampshire, all you have left is each other and the stars.

Sugarloaf

These photos are from our hike around New Hampshire’s White Mountains. This was the Middle Sugarloaf trail, right around the corner from our campsite. We weren’t too sure which trail would offer the best views, but I think we nailed it.

It was a short but steep hike, and we encountered so many active older ladies on the trail. It was pretty inspiring to see seniors kicking that mountain’s ass. 

More photos to come. I certainly can’t choose just ten favorites from the weekend’s adventure.

Or if you’re anxious, the full album is on Flickr.

Mushing Season Begins

I took Denali camping up in New  Hampshire this past weekend, but I haven’t had time to go through the 500+ photos. So for now, here’s a picture from our first official run of the 2014-2015 season. Happy fall!

I took Denali camping up in New  Hampshire this past weekend, but I haven’t had time to go through the 500+ photos. So for now, here’s a picture from our first official run of the 2014-2015 season.

Happy fall!

Stairway to Heaven

We finally hiked the “Stairway to Heaven” section of the Appalachian Trail, from Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista and back. This was definitely one of the most versatile hikes I’ve been on. 

The trail starts out on a mile of boardwalk over marshes and through fields of wildflowers. You eventually make your way through a forest, then back out over train tracks and through a cow pasture. The last mile or so is a steep incline up to the Pinwheel Vista viewpoint.

The hike is a solid 7.4 miles from the entrance point on 517, to the viewpoint, and back. Most of it is easy, though – except for that last “stairway” up to the top. Definitely worth checking out!

Planning on Planning

I’m a planner. I’ve got note books with me everywhere I go to keep track of plans. My Evernote account is filled with reminders for things I need to get done. If I write it down, it’s the first step towards fruition.

Of course, circumstances change and the things you plan for don’t always work out. That’s why you make back-up plans, and back-up back-up plans.

I planned to go on a cross-country, dryland-mushing road trip this fall. I wanted to hit a few national parks, camp out with the dogs, and experience amazing new places. I even had enough vacation time to make the trip do-able (though it would basically drain my PTO for awhile).

As much as I wanted to make this trip happen this year, there were too many things weighing against it. Aside from some personal matters and job related concerns, the main issue was my equipment.

I’ve got two dryland dog rigs/gigs/carts (whatever you want to call them):

image

The smaller one on the left is about 40 pounds and I can lift it, by myself, onto my bike rack. It’s what I primarily use when I travel around NJ trails, but it’s not really the most comfortable or sturdy contraption. The steering bar is far from intuitive and the wheels aren’t big enough to go over branches.

The larger rig is close to 90 pounds. It’s clunky and doesn’t fold down, so there’s no easy way to hang it from my bike rack. I ended up buying a cheap, China-made trailer to transport it. Which works, but I don’t trust it for a 4,000+ mile journey.

So, now what? I obviously need a safe, easily transported cart to make this journey possible. I found myself circling around the Arctis Carts website, as I tend to do at least once per season. I’ve wanted one of these dog carts since I first started mushing, before I even had enough dogs to pull it. The price tag and shipping cost always pushed me away, but I decided it was finally time to take the plunge:

image

imageimage

(Photos via Arctis Carts)

Since things never work out as you plan, I couldn’t actually place my order for this season. The manufacturer is back-logged until next year. In this case, it works out for the best – they’ll be traveling to the Northeast next summer, so I can avoid the shipping cost and pick the cart up directly from maker. So then, just maybe, I can start making plans again.