Monday, July 24, 2017

Overnight on Mt Isolation (NH)

On Saturday morning we set out to hike to Mt Isolation (4004'). With good weather in the forecast, we elected to break up this relatively long hike with a stop overnight and camp just below the summit. This would give us the chance to spend a little more time relaxing and enjoying the views from Mt Isolation, and to enjoy dinner and an evening high in the mountains.
From the Rocky Branch Trailhead we took the Rocky Branch Trail which led us along and across a beautiful river. There were 5 "major" crossing and lots of rock hopping over tributaries in between the crossings At the last river crossing we took the Mt Isolation Trail to the Davis Path which lead us to the summit of Mt Isolation. We arrived at the summit to find mostly clear skies. The views of the Presidential range, including Mt. Washington, were fantastic. We enjoyed lunch and spent some time talking with other hikers, many who came via the Glen Boulder Trail and Boot Spur Path (ridge of Mt Washington).
A brief stop for lunch
At the summit (Mt Washington in background)
Late afternoon brought some high level clouds which was a cue to hike back down the Davis Path to a secluded spot where we set up camp for the night. After a dinner of lentil curry and sip of Maker's Mark we settled in for the night. We enjoyed the sounds of distant fireworks from the Mt Washington Hotel as we fell asleep.
Our secluded campsite
In the middle of the night the the clouds dispersed leaving a stary night. We were so glad we opted to sleep with just the inner tent. We woke to the faint light of dawn which unfolded into a clear, cool and sunny day. The hike back to the car was pleasant as we hopped rocks and crossed streams and rivers.
This leaves just seven more mountains to climb to complete the forty-eight 4000' peaks in New Hampshire.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Zealand & Sedona Together Again

We were happy to have the opportunity to look after Zealand's best friend Sedona over the 4th of July holiday.  Here are a few pictures of their adventures together.

Ready for a road trip?

Tired out after a hike to Black Cap

Hiking is thirsty work!

Its MY stick!

Who is the most popular dog on the trail?

The Osceolas

Last weekend we had fine weather in New Hampshire, so we celebrated with a hike to the Osceolas (East Osceola and Mt Osceola).  It was a straight out-and-back hike with some steep rocky sections along the way.  The trail was quite busy and both summits were teeming with hikers.  Not a wilderness hike by any means, but two more 4000'+ peaks were added to our tally and we had a nice day out on the trail.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Zealand Update

Young Zealand is growing fast.   He is a delightful fellow and a lot of fun to be around.  A few pictures below show his progress.....

Growing bigger.....

Exhausting work being a puppy

Sharing a stick with his best friend Sedona

Hi-jinx in New Hampshire

Please can we go for a ride in the car......

Short visit to England

We both traveled to the Pfizer site in Sandwich UK a few weeks ago for work. While in Sandwich we had very good weather and enjoyed an evening stroll around town. We walked by the river and on the stone town-wall (a medieval relic from the past that encircles the town).  We also were able to watch the locals enjoying an evening of lawn bowling.

This trip also gave us the chance to spend time on the weekend with Bruno's family.  We enjoyed a relaxing day in Solihull on Saturday and a day in Long Marston (where Bruno's brother Dmitri and family live) on Sunday. We were pleased to be able to spend time with Bryony and Keira  (Bruno's nieces) who will be coming to visit us later in the summer.  We have planned a number of activities that should be fun for all!

Lawn bowling in Sandwich UK

An evening walk by the river

The Bell Hotel (our room is on the ground floor)

Sunset in Sandwich

Dinner at Nuthurst Grange (nr Hockey Heath)

Dinner at Nuthurst Grange (nr Hockey Heath)

Whiteface and Passaconaway

Last weekend we were in New Hampshire, and once again we were trying to bag a few peaks whilst avoiding marginal weather.  On Saturday we decided to head out to the Sandwich Range to hike to the summits of Whiteface and Passaconaway (both peaks over 4000' high).  The ascent to Whiteface was via the Blueberry Ledge trail which is one of the hikes on the "Terrifying 25" list.  Thankfully by making a late start (hitting the trail at 12pm) we were able to avoid the rain and we had another great day on the trails.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sandwich Dome via the Algonquin trail

A few weekends ago we were in New Hampshire and the weather was a little iffy, so we decided to do a low-level hike with "interesting" terrain.  Sandwich Dome is the highest peak that is less than 4000-feet, and it can be ascended by the Algonquin trail which is one of the optional hikes on the "Terrifying 25" list.  This seemed like the perfect objective for a early season hike.

We did a little online research to find the way to the trail head, and we dropped Zealand off at 'puppy day-care" promptly at 8am.  We then proceeded to drive south towards the Sandwich range, and onto the dirt road that would take us to the trail head.  The Sandwich Notch Road was quite an exciting drive with lots of drop-offs, narrow sections, and dodgy surface conditions!

Once we were on the hiking trail it was quite overgrown and during the winter a lot of trees had fallen down.  It had also rained heavily during the preceding 24-hours.  Hence, there was quite a bit of bushwhacking to do and in addition we found ourselves scrambling up the trail on steep wet rocks covered with moss and slime!

Eventually we emerged onto a series of rock ledges that gave us some good views of the Sandwich range and peaks beyond.  As we hiked higher the views got better and we were able to sit in the sun and dry off a little.  Finally we reached the summit in time for a late lunch and to meet the first fellow-hikers of the day.

The route back to the car was a reverse of the way up, and it was equally exciting!  Fortunately we avoided seeing any bugs (black flies & mosquitos) which are often prevalent at this time of year, and we made it back to the car in time to pick up Zealand before the doggie day-care closed!