1.18.2009

Passaconaway & Whiteface: Peggy O'Brien's Story

There's something about spending seven hours with in a small group in these circumstances that leads to a kind of peculiar conversation style. It's hard to put into words but since most (if not all) readers of this blog are part of that very group I think it's okay to not try to describe it. That said, I guess we should let the trip reports speak for themselves:

Mad Dog's Trip Report: Thanks for the participation, boys. A nice time out, and a nice workout. I need more of them. Some things that me chuckle, grimace, and sneer:

Chuckles occur constantly like when:
- We rediscovered of Peggy O'Brien. A bit of Irish lore, Italian love, and Jewish lunch food. What a combination for the trail. You just had to be there.
- I called Tmail and Mutha at 9pm the night before (while Tmail's in bed with his teddy goat and Mutha's wining and dining) that nearly all my stuff was stuck in the trunk of my Prius, and not accessible so I might have to bail.
- The rapid call-up of gear resources by Mutha and Tmail, due to the above situation. I think the technique being applied was something like, "just throw the shit in a bag for him".
- Being able to make it to the rendezvous exit on the first pass. Amazing!

Sneering is what occurs when you:
- Confront people like Hiker #3.

Grimace is what happens when:
- You eat Ashland pizza, I did it but it was painful, really painful.
- Mutha eats Ashland pizza with a 7 pepper sauce.
- When you stop for 5-6 minutes, anywhere in the Sandwich range on cold day. The hands just go in a flash.
Mutha's Trip Report (link to picture gallery): This part of the Sandwich Range is kind of uninteresting in that it lacks the ruggedness of the Presidentials and the drama of Franconia Ridge. It is, however, not without its serene beauty. It's also a really great place to spend seven hours with tMail & MadDog in extremely cold weather. Some specific notes:
  • There was no wind on the mountain, just the cold. Temperature regulation was a challenge as we slogged up and down but I discovered something specific about neck-warmers (or balaclavas with an integrated neck warmer). I need those exposed arteries in my neck to radiate heat. I had to repeatedly remove my neck-warmer to cool down my core temperature, and re-apply it when I began to chill. I think I'll make one with velcro fasteners rather than the over-the-head 'tube' style.
  • When MadDog reported (the night before) that all his gear was locked in his car, tMail and I scrambled to round up gear and found we had enough to outfit two more guys with no stuff.
  • Never eat at the Ashland House of Pizza - even if you think it's a good idea for a simple slice of pizza. The pizza sucks. The hot-sauce is fantastic but the owner doesn't sell it. One of the desserts looks like a dead jungle bug and the waitress can't pronounce it. It's Kataife (ka-ta-EE-fee) but just say it, don't order it.
  • For some reason, this trip was really funny. It was like a comedy show punctuated by dripping snot and sweating.
  • To hiker #3: maybe your orange snowshoes didn't work because you're a retard.
  • Peggy O'Brien: a singable sandwich, and edible song, a sentimental journey down memory lane, a memory of an edible sandwich... I guess all of the above. The Lyrics:
    On the fourth of July nineteen eighty six

    We set sail from the sweet Rhode Island
    We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
    For the grand farms and slums of Long Island.
    She was a wonderful sandwich,
    Or maybe a girl which

    Just set poor MadDog a-cryin'.
    She withstood several bites (she had chiggers and mites)
    And they called her the Peggy O'Brien
  • I know that song made no sense, so here's the sandwich. You can make it any way you want, but it has to have the following characteristics all rolled into one sandwich: sweet, wet/drippy, vinegar, tart, fishy, fatty (just enough to go down smoothly):
    Two sliced of whole-grain bread.
    - spread on one slice: cranberry/walnut relish

    - spread on the other slice: hot mango relish
    - lay pickled peppers on the mango relish
    - the rest of sandwich: smoked mackeral, whitefish, trout or whatever smoked fish you want. add any other stuff, like capers, lemon juice, tomato slice, avocado, thin-sliced onion, etc.
tMail's Trip Report (link to picture gallery): My trip report starts on Friday night. I am fully packed, laying on the couch with some tea and watching Peggy O'brien does Federal Hill and the phone rings...thus starts the report:

1. "Tmail, its MadDog...we got problems in Doggland"
2. "What MadDog"..."The Prius ate my backpack and everything in it...I can't get trunk open...can you gather an entire winter pack for me...O Tmail take a sleeping bag as well"
2a. Sleeping bag = Sherpa Tmail
3. Contigency plan was working to perfection...then ring ring..."Tmail I got the trunk open...through smashing, pulling, smashing..see you tomorrow"
4. Both cars parked back to back while running create a environmentalists dream.
5. Whoever Dicey is can go to hell with Tom Wiggins.
6. On the ascent up I heard that Mutha built a program that can tell you how much cheese there is, where it is shipped, what inventory is, who eats it, what cows utter it comes from...Steve Jobs the world will be ok without you...
7. It took about 10 minutes for all of us to lose all ability to produce heat on Passaconaway...
8. The stories picked up on the way to Whiteface (Asians, the lore of Peggy O'brien part mountain spirit part i don't know what, stairmasters, shaving legs, Peggy O'brien sandwich, Peggy O'brien love song, bunk beds in college)
9. To hiker #3...you are "The man" nobody deserves the summits like you...hope you froze to death last night.
10. MD was talking about UFOs while walking back to the car.
11. Ashland Pizza and Jimmy the Greek...well worth it.
12. 7 kinds of peppers and drink vinegar for acid reflex. Medical advice for the new healthcare administration to digest.
13. The Bonnie and Clyde episode at Dunkin Donuts...
14. Excellent day boys MD congrats on #43 and #44...looking forward to the final assualts...thanks for the laughs!

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