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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Well we’ve completed our walk, all 150 miles. I’m embarrassed to admit that I realized my boots were tied too tight, which was why my old boots hurt my feet. Unfortunately, I realized this on about day 10. I think my rain pants, which hooked onto my shoelaces, gradually tightened my boots. Live and learn.

Our last day was the longest and also had the most elevation gain. I was sort of dreading it since before we arrived. Add the sore toes, sore calf, shin splints, and my dread mounted. To make matters worse, as we approached the shoulder of Mount Brandon, we saw two hikers who looked like they just arrived from Mt. Everest. While I only had on a wool undershirt, wool tee shirt, wool leggings and light pants. (I had everything else I might need in my pack),  they each wore at least two down parkas, hat, gloves and looked miserable. They had camped somewhere along the mountain. One loudly told us the weather was very bad on the other side of the mountain; very cold and the wind was howling. Did we have any idea where we were going? And the path down the mountain was treacherous and steep. Did we know what we were getting into? It was very cold and steep. This is all a gullible, chicken like me has to hear.  This is how it looked from our approach.

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But I had read the guide. I knew it would be steep but not impossible. OK, I might not turn around at this point but wait to see what lie ahead. So we walked through cloud cover, still in a tee shirt. And I didn’t get cold. Their weather scare was wrong, the wind had picked up but it was still in the low 50’s. Chicken little?

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When we were ready to start our descent we met another group of hikers headed our way, one in a tee shirt. This made me feel a little better but I should have disregarded their opinion. They were swigging from a bottle of vodka to celebrate their ascent but…they said the way up was HORRIBLE. Very bad, very steep. I sent Tim to the edge to check it out. He’s a much better hiker than me and I trust his judgement. He said it was nothing. Steep for a ways but not unlike the Adirondack mountain trails at home. So away we went. I made it and never got cold. And the sun came out.

Later that night we were celebrating in a pub and enjoying good company. The publican was even telling stories. At some point our table asked for two pints of Guinness.  I said, “make it three”. Tim said he’d like a half pint and so would she. I said, “no I would not, I would like a pint”. The crowd went wild. They almost lynched Tim. “Let her have her pint”, they cried. And so I did. These were people worth listening to.

 

 

 

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Slip (ups)?

The rain abated and we headed out for another walk on a mountain that overlooks a manmade lake. Our first mistake was not bringing lunch and the town, Liausson, had no restaurant or market. Off we went to Octon to a creperie for a bowl of cider (lap it up) and crepes. Then back we came and headed into the hills. 

   
   
All was well for so much of the hike.  When we teached the top, we could see another lilliputian town on the other side of the mountain, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. Why, we could even see Spain from our backyard. 

   
 
Look at that smile. So happy. 

  
Until…we reached a shaded, canted, steep, slippery section on our descent. Let’s just say I didn’t like it one bit. In fact I had a “little” panic attack and Tim had to talk me off the cliff, so to speak, with me gripping his arm as I slipslided away. 

But descend we did with only a little butt sliding on my part. 

I shouldn’t have complained about toilets lacking seats since we encountered this one. 

  
In full disclosure we also found one with a padded seat. Not too bad when there’s no central heat. 

Then we were invited to a friend of our proprietors’ to settle up our bill, after 7. So we ate a hearty soup I made with fresh veggies from the market and headed out. Only to find  appetizers, local wine and a seafood stew bubbling in the pressure cooker. Oops. Who knew?

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Where are we?

We cannot read the hiking maps. An easy walk turned into a 5.5 hour moderately difficult hike. Thank goodness we met a couple from the Isle of Skye, equally confused, who shed some light on where we might be.I became extremely quiet and stated an absolute turnaround time but we confirmed our location before we needed to turn around. 

The trail numbers are variable, Tim thinks he’s got it now, I remain dubious. But the sights, which cannot be captured by camera, were spectaculor. 

We could see our little village of Aniane way off in the distance.  

 We were even higher than the other day. I was surprised when some mountain bikers rode up the trail. 

  Some parts of the road were built more than a thousand years ago and were better than any Adirondack trail.   

We enjoyed some fresh spring water and a cold beer at the end of the hike and all was well with the world.

   
 

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Summer is almost over, the crowds have left and kids (and sorry, teachers) are back in school. So we took advantage of some time off and spent a few glorious days in the woods. We hiked to waterfalls, a gorge, lots of ponds and a mountain, with lots of swimming along the way.

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I packed light with a pair of shorts with zip on legs. However, one zipper was broken and my exposed leg was enjoyed by many mosquitos at dusk. Luckily we had a bandage in our pack and I taped the leg to the shorts but couldn’t make any fancy moves for fear of another mosquito feast.

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We returned to my bountiful garden where there is not much left to do except remember to harvest now and then.

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I’ve used some of my flowers to dye yarn with, so far, mildly disappointing results. I used colorful zinnias, dahlias and day lilies (with an alum mordant) all of which produced a yellow dye.

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I saw so many mushrooms during our hike, I want to learn about mycopigment. In the meantime, I’m soaking various lichen I have collected in ammonia to see what they produce. Early results are promising.

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Balanced rocks and pickles

Yesterday was bracketed by bread and butter pickles. I salted the cukes, peppers and onions before heading out for a hike with friends.

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The day was perfect and we walked to Balanced Rocks, which offered beautiful views of the High Peaks and the slide on Cascade Mountain. The wind was whipping around the top and I’m surprised those rocks (or we) didn’t blow away.

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Here’s a link to my 360 app panorama.
When I got back home, I made bread and butter pickles. Why are they called that?

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Nice view from the top

We had a bonus day today and took a hike. The temperature was in the 50’s. The only problem was I dawdled leaving the house and we didn’t get to the trailhead until 12:30. In all fairness to me, we were waiting for the clouds to clear because we wanted a view. We had a beautiful view.

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We walked the new trail to Jay Mountain and it was great. It is unlike many here, which are basically up stream beds. This was a walk in the woods, pine needles, fallen leaves and a little mud which I managed to slither down. Just the way I like it – the trail not the mud.

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I have to confess, however, that at some point I felt as if I was on a death march. We started late and the day is short; sunset at 4:15. Early into the hike, I realized I didn’t have my headlamp and my trusty guide wasn’t sure he had one either. So I picked up the pace and kept at it. Well he did have one and we made it back with time to spare.

A low pressure system was moving in from the south and the wind nearly knocked me over. But I found a nice spot to sit and scarf down my pb&j sandwich before we headed back.

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A good time was had by all.

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Bonus Fall Day

The weather was perfect yesterday and since I didn’t have to cook, we went for a walk in the woods.

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Icicles hung from the shady side of rocks but we hiked without jackets.

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It was a short walk. We probably spent as much time at the summit as it took us to get there. I have a new panorama app, 360, and played around with it. Here’s a conventional pic,

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And a self portrait

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Here’s the link to my panoramic view

For an interior shot, here’s my house
Now I’m off to knit!

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