Hikes with Dogs

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.

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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.

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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!

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Weekend in the Catskills

We spent the past weekend at a cabin, tucked away in the New York Catskill Mountains.

The location was perfect, right in between Indian Head Mountain, West Kill Mountain, and Hunter Mountain. As you probably guessed, we spent the majority of the weekend hiking the trails around us.

Day one was a bit of a flop. We misunderstood the instructions on several different websites, and ended up taking the wrong trailhead. Don’t get me wrong, the hike was still very beautiful. But I just about killed half my hiking gang (lots and lots of uphill) and we didn’t get to the “best view in the Catskills”, like the sites all promised. We did find the correct trailhead towards the end of the hike, but it was already too late in the day to press further.

On day two, we made another trek out to see the “Buck Ridge Lookout”. It was definitely worth the extra six miles and steep hike (2,030 elevation gain) to the top.

Upstate New York really is one of my favorite places. I could definitely see myself living in the Catskills or Adirondacks one day. I need a few more adventures before I decide where I land.

For the full album, see Flickr. Happy trails!

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Friends

The weekend was almost a wash-out, but it cleared up just enough for a hike at Sourland Mountain on Sunday. 
 I think everybody was in need of some outdoor adventures. It was probably the biggest group hike this summer. 
 Dexter and I were excited to finally meet and hike with Katie of  Loistava Kennels . I’ve known Katie for years and have admired her beautiful Finnish Spitz for just as long. Dexter hit it off with her dogs, Kimma and Jari. I loved seeing so many fuzzy orange butts along the trail! 
 Unfortunately, with the threat of rain, I didn’t bring my DSLR or take nearly enough photos. But, there will be a next time!

The weekend was almost a wash-out, but it cleared up just enough for a hike at Sourland Mountain on Sunday.

I think everybody was in need of some outdoor adventures. It was probably the biggest group hike this summer.

Dexter and I were excited to finally meet and hike with Katie of Loistava Kennels. I’ve known Katie for years and have admired her beautiful Finnish Spitz for just as long. Dexter hit it off with her dogs, Kimma and Jari. I loved seeing so many fuzzy orange butts along the trail!

Unfortunately, with the threat of rain, I didn’t bring my DSLR or take nearly enough photos. But, there will be a next time!

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Walks with Dogs

Lots of good hiking this weekend. Friday I stayed relatively local and hiked at Watchung Reservation with Dexter. The trails were covered in horse poop and they’re currently draining out the lake, so it wasn’t the most scenic hike. Lots of pretty flowers to look at, though.

Saturday, I ventured to Jockey Hollow (Morristown, NJ) with Knox. It’s a very beautiful trail with lots of historic spots. It was mega hot and buggy, though. Ah, summer.

Today, Terri and I took Denali up to Abram S. Hewitt State Forest for the Bearfort Ridge / Lake Surprise trails. I’ve never hiked there before, and it was a really awesome trail. It kind of kicked our butts, but mostly because it was so hot and muggy. The Bearfort Ridge trail is very aptly named – we saw a young bear along the way! First time encountering a bear while hiking. Pretty awesome!

This upcoming weekend I’ll be hiking and camping in Texas, which I’m very excited about. I won’t have the pups with me, but I’ll still blog when I get back. Happy trails!

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We hiked at Schooley’s Mountain Park on Saturday. It’s definitely one of our favorite spots in Jersey. We ate Mr. Subs, caught a toad, and played on boulders. 

The summer heat is starting to kick in, so our hikes may be a little less frequent. The dogs are happy enough with their evening chase routine around the yard and I’ll be trading trails for coastlines every so often.

But I can never be away from the woods for too long.

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