September 27/28

I've got Academy stuff on Saturday and won't be hitting the hills - besides, we've got rain in the forecast for the end of the week. Sunday may be a little damp, but at this point it's looking like it'll be the better of the two days.

Nothing in mind, and may even do house chores ... but it's also tempting to get in the first long run of the 2008 foliage season.


[Update 9/26, 5pm] Forget it. Heavy rain all weekend. I'm getting indoor chores done. See you next weekend.

[Update 9/28, 6am] tMail, Riley and the PM wrestled Moosilauke on Friday, before the heavy rains. The pics from both featured new foot covers, stalking fog and socks made for sexy parties. Mutha meanwhile is doing house chores and discovered yet another beaver dam in a section of growth-chocked backyard Danville that had been overlooked.... and possibly a bear print.

Moosilauke: tMail Pics, PM Pics


Franconia Ridge Loop: 2:30

Today, in perfect conditions, I not only broke through the 2:45 glass floor, but I nailed 2:30 on the dot. It was huge for me because I thought the loop couldn't be done in under 2:45 (by me). Part of the success was getting from the Parking Lot to Haystack in 0:58. I never believed it could be done in under an hour (3,000ft, 3.1 miles).

Working In My Favor:

  • I drove blind. Instead of using my stopwatch, I used the altimeter 'logbook' function with Elevation vs. Time
    60sec sampling interval. I didn't note the time when I stepped off the parking lot onto the sidewalk so I never knew my progress until I got back to the car. And my actual time could have been anywhere from 2:29:30 to 2:30:30, but when my foot hit the parking lot I stopped the logbook and the time indicated 1:00pm on the dot from a 10:30am start.
  • Pristine Weather Conditions: low 70's in the parking lot, low 60's on the ridge. bright blue skies and no wind.
  • Excellent Trail Conditions: Very little water on the trail, exposed rock was all dry.
  • Drank 24oz of water the entire event and sucked down one Hammer Gel (Espresso) on Lincoln. I used my lumbar Camelback.
  • I'm a little more daring on the ascents. Not quite in the same league as you other yahoos, but I'm getting closer.
Working Against Me:
  • Remnants of a cold
  • One of the busiest days on the trails. I couldn't find a parking space (at 10:30am on a great Saturday) at the campground parking aread, or on the east side of 93. I eventually parked by popping the Impreza up over the curb and parking on some grass on the east-side lot.
  • Crowds: I had to battle MANY hikers. On the trail up Falling Waters I passed over 100 hikers - many in groups of 6 or more. It was a constant "excuse me", "on your left", "thank you", etc. On the way down the OBP it wasn't as bad, but there were a LOT of people. I feel obliged to obey the "yield to ascending hikers" rule, but there weren't that many - maybe 20 or thereabouts.
  • The deciduous trees are starting to lose their leaves and it made the footing a little sketchy in parts - but it wasn't that bad.
The new target is sub-2:30.


Slow Friday Night

Things have been really busy this last week, and chances are my adventures this weekend (in spite of the glorious weather) will probably be limited to a quick hike on saturday morning and that's about it. I've got tons of things to do this weekend.

tMail has been coaching me in swimming and at this point I feel like I've found the missing link: an activity that I should have been doing all along. Better late than never. Under tMails mentoring, I went from thrashing around like a drowning lunatic to swimming pretty smoothly. I've got a lot of kinks to work out of course - but after 5, half-hour sessions so far I feel really comfortable in the water even if I'm not the greatest swimmer.

The best part of this story is that he did all his coaching while we hiked Kinsman Ridge. He showed the motions while standing vertically and we discussed the techniques, principles and points to remember. He even emailed me a training plan! I call the method iSwim.

Go Coach tMail!


Kinsman Ridge

tMail and I cranked through all 18 (or is it 16) miles (Update: 16.9 miles, 5,750ft) of Kinsman Ridge, from the Cannon Mtn trailhead at the Tram parking lot to the Cannon Balls to the Kinsmans to Mt. Wolf to the Kanc. Highlights included:

mutha'z trip report:

  1. tMail is very fast on the ascent and in the trail trot. very fast.
  2. I love/hate the Cannon Balls
  3. Time flies when you are being instructed in the nuances of swimming. Who knew tMail knew so much?? But I was asking for it.
  4. Quebecers in the parking lot are worth almost an hour of chit-chat.
  5. See pic at right for elevation vs. time graph (click to zoom)

tMail's Trip Report:

What a day we had...it was great to get out for some good amount of time...
  1. Vasque Trail Runners still perform great.
  2. MZ great to get back on the long adventures again.
  3. Conversation was great from "Rockets to Green Hornet Lunch Boxes"
  4. Canadians...EY
  5. I wish I was back and school and had Mutha for a teacher.
  6. I can't wait for my Muthaville getaway in October and November (stay tuned for details)


Pre-PuppetMaster-Presi Preparations

Things are looking pretty stormy this weekend and I'm reluctant to get hit by lightning. I don't mind rain, drizzle or snow, but stormy weather is best left to others.

From the looks of the image to the right (archived from about 8:30 this morning) there may be a gap in the weather between late morning and early evening so I may head down to Franconia Notch for a quickie.

In the meantime, the PM's Presi Project next weekend may run headlong into plans by Hurricane Ike - although at this point Ike probably won't make landfall until very late in the week.

At this point we don't have the PM's specifics (is he still in Maine?) but we do know he either wants to go North->South or South->North. Anything else would be sheer folly and could result in aimless wandering around New Brunswick.