Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pet update

On Saturday we welcomed a young pup, Zealand, into our family. He is 3/4 poodle and 1/4 golden retriever and he comes from near Fryeburg, New Hampshire. He is 9 weeks old today and is fully of energy and awe for the world. Needless to say we aren't getting as much sleep as we should! The cats are also re-learning what it's like to have a share their house and owners with a dog.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mount Moosilauke

Mount Moosilauke is one of the 4000 footers in the White Mountains that we have been eager to climb.  It is situated on the western edge of the White Mountains and is a favorite summit for hikers for the 360 degree views which include the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York.

Plans to climb "The Moose" on April 23rd had been in the making for several months and were hoping for a clear day so we could make the most of the views.  After several days of clouds and rain we woke to a clear day with temperatures predicted to reach the low 60's by late morning.

We approached the summit from the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge using the Gorge Brook Trail.  The trail surface was packed snow and we found microspikes helpful for the entire ascent. Plenty of others were in boots but watching them slip and slide made us thankful for our 'spikes.

We arrive at the summit in full sunshine and were rewarded with the views we had heard so much about from fellow hikers.   We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the top while we chatted with a few other seasoned hikers.  We were amused by a few novice hikers who showed up in tank tops and shorts that were incredulous over the 4-5' of snow still clinging to the summit.

We descended via the Carriage Road, and connected back to the Gorge Brook Trail using the Snapper Trail.  By early afternoon the snow had softened and we were happy to have snowshoes for the descent.  We were speeding past others in boots and microspikes and leaving the trail in good conditions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hiking in Evans Notch: Blueberry Hill

On Saturday April 22,  March for Science and Earth Day, we were in Fryeburg Maine visiting with our 5-week old puppy.  Since we were so close to the Evan's Notch area we decided to hike to Blueberry Mountain.  We have wanted to hike in the Evan's Notch area for sometime.  It is a bit of a drive from our Chalet in Intervale.  Also, many hikes in Evan's Notch  are inaccessible in the winter, and still were on this day in April.  However, the trail to Blueberry was accessible and was an obvious choice for the day.  

We fueled up with coffee in Stow, ME at the General Store. You can't miss it, it is right in the center of town.  The coffee was fresh, the proprieter friendly and the baked goods tempting.  At the trail head, which was still under a little snow we set off with our microspikes and a light lunch in our packs.. We never needed the microspikes but the lunch was welcome at the summit wich afforded views of trees within a 10ft range.  

Although the day wasn't as clear as we hoped, there was a lot to keep us interested at low level, streams, rocky ledges and a gorge that was full with rushing waters from snow and ice melt at higher elevations.  The large pool at the end of the gorge was beautiful and would be a great place for a swim on a warmer day.  We plan to make a return trip in the summer on a clear day with a puppy who would love a swim!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Puppy Pick Day

While we were sorry to miss the March for Science and Earth Day celebrations in New England, we were very excited to pick our new puppy today. The puppy is one of nine  Goldendoodles (Dam is a poodle, and Sire is a  goldendoodle).  All the puppies were great and we would have been happy with any one of them (or two or three?). The pups ranged from dark red to light apricot shades. They are 3/4 poodle and 1/4 golden and most have wavy or curly coats which means they are non-shedding and hypoallergenic (to most!).

After much deliberation we chose "Green" boy, as indicated by a green ribbon.  We are looking forward to seeing him in three weeks when he comes come with us. In the meantime we are catching up on sleep and thinking of suitable names.   For those who are interested here the rules on names:

1. No food names (e.g., biscuit, cookie muffin)
2. Two syllables, and preferably starting with.a hard sound.
3. No common "people" names  (e.g., Tom, Dick or Harrry)
4. Must be able to shout 3 times from your front door or in the dog park and feel good about it

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dale & Ray

Last weekend we celebrated our anniversary with a trip to the Stone Mountain Arts Center to see a performance by Dale Watson and Ray Benson (of Asleep at the Wheel).  We are fans of both artists and they have recently released an album together.  It was a fine evening of traditional country music tinged with a strong sense of humor.

You can listen to a track from the album here.

Image result for dale and ray

Back in the mountains

Last weekend we made a trip to New Hampshire to enjoy the end of the winter season.  We were blessed with decent weather, so we were able to enjoy one last day on our cross country skis and a hike using our new snowshoes.

On Day-1 we went to Prospect Farm in Jackson and skied practically every trail there.  Conditions were possibly the best conditions of the season because it had snowed earlier in the week and there were very few people out on the trails.

On Day-2 we drove to the Waterville Valley and enjoyed hiking up Mt Tecumseh (4003').  This summit is next to a down-hill ski area and we were able to get great views of the slopes along the way.  They still had plenty of snow, and the sun shone on the skiers and hikers below.  To finish the day we had dinner at the newly re-opened Thompson House Eatery (T.H.E.) in Jackson and really enjoyed the experience.

Perfect conditions at Prospect Farm

A dead moose.  Was it hit by a skier?

Bright skies and sunshine on the trail

Fantastic views

Using our new snowshoes

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Getting Back in the Groove

Bruno writes:

In early January I had noticed that I was breathless after ascending the two flights of stairs to my office at work.  At the time I attributed this to a very bad chest cold, and I was treated with a course of antibiotics.  It certainly made snowboarding / ski-ing harder work and I struggled to keep up with Sheri and our friends on the trails!

A month or so later when my cold was gone I still felt the same, so I made a return trip to see my family doctor.  I went for a series of tests and it was discovered that I had developed a heart arrhythmia know as "atrial flutter".  My resting heart rate was about 160-bpm and the blood was not being properly pumped around my body. This explained everything!

The short term treatment was drugs - beta-blockers to slow my heart and anticoagulants to prevent bold clots and a stroke.  And for the past month our usual winter activities have been severely curtailed.  Even going for a short walk down the road left me short of breath and it was hard to imagine going for a hike in the mountains or out for a few hours on my cross-country skis.  And our purchase of new snow-shoes seemed to be very optimistic!

Today I went to the hospital for a procedure known as "cardioversion".   Essentially the heart is restarted with an electric shock and in most cases normal rhythm is restored.  In about 50% of cases this is a long term fix, and I am hopeful that I will be in that half of the population!

At the moment I am recovering from the anesthetic and hoping that we can soon get back to a normal routine.  We are expecting a new puppy to arrive in our lives in mid-May, so this would be a great outcome.  Of course nothing is guaranteed, so we are taking life one day at a time and trying to be cautiously optimistic.

ECG traces of my 'before' and 'after' heart rate