hike

Snow in the Summer

I found some snow while hiking at Mt. Rainier National Forest. Only 181 more days ‘til winter.

I found some snow while hiking at Mt. Rainier National Forest. Only 181 more days ‘til winter.

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Keep Exploring Everyday

Keep exploring. Everyday.

Keep exploring. Everyday.

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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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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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Out in Texas

It was almost impossible to choose just ten photos from our camping trip at Enchanted Rock State Park. The area is so beautiful and so different from the Northeast. 

When we first arrived, we were assigned a campsite in an open, grassy area near a playground and bathroom. We set off to hike up the Rock and realized there were WAY cooler sites along the base. So we did what any good camper would do: we picked up the tent and stole a better spot.

We were extremely lucky with the weather. It monsooned on Thursday and was blistering hot Saturday afternoon into Sunday. But Friday, when we camped, was rain-free and unusually mild. We would not have made it up the Rock if it were sunny and 100 degrees.

The only downside: we couldn’t see any stars (which are apparently super bright from the Rock) and we didn’t catch a good sunrise. Just lots of overcast. Next time!

I’ve got more photos to share from our hike at Pedernales on Saturday and kayaking at Inks Lake on Sunday. Stay tuned!

Full album on Flickr.

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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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Hiking

Father’s Day meant a quick hike at Hacklebarney State Park in Long Valley, NJ before family time. The park was loaded with people hiking and picnicking with their dads. It reminded me of all my childhood hikes with mom and dad (and sister, when she joined the pack). 

I need to get them out into the woods again soon.

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Harriman

Harriman State Park is an enormous, beautiful spot just across the NJ/NY state line. Much like Ramapo and Pyramid Mountain, Harriman is full of steep inclines and plenty of boulders.

I know you’re not supposed to pick favorites, but Knox is by far my favorite dog to hike with. Dexter is great for off-leash hikes, but he tends to wander and pee on everything. Denali is way more focused, but she never stops pulling.

Knox, on the other hand, keeps a steady pace without pulling me over. He also seems to love climbing mountains as much as I do. I call him my little “billy goat”. He’s my usual choice for the longer, more intense hiking trips.

About two hours into our hike, I was pretty lost. We were on a trail, but Harriman is a huge park with many, many miles of trail. They don’t mean much if they don’t lead back to your parking lot. 

Luckily, we hit a road that cut through the park, and I was able to follow that for awhile before dipping back into the woods, onto a trail I knew would lead us back. Also, props to a dad and his two kids for steering us in the right direction.

The whole hike lasted over four hours and probably close to nine miles. I’m already eager to go back, though, since the park is so gigantic and has so many more awesome spots to see.

Full album on Flickr.

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