Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Carters

This weekend we joined our friends Paul and Alan on an overnight hiking trip to the Carter range, with a stay at the AMC Carter Notch hut on Friday night.  

As the trip drew closer we watched the weather with interest and when we left the forecast for Friday night and Saturday was for 40-50 mph winds (with gusts of 60-70 mph) and temperatures around 0-degree Fahrenheit!

The hike to the hut on Friday was unexpectedly warm and we shed many layers as we hiked up to the hut.  We arrived before darkness and enjoyed views of the Carter Notch lakes and Wildcat Mountain.  Our "micro spikes" (on our boots) made the hike seem easy!  The hut was cozy and comfortable, and we got a pretty good night's sleep in our new winter sleeping bags.

Saturday dawned sunny and bright, and, after a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and tea, we headed up to Carter Dome for our first 4000+' summit of the day.  The wind was brisk, but not too unpleasant provided we kept our hats and gloves on.  After reaching the summit of Carter Dome we continued on to Mount Hight and enjoyed spectacular views in all directions.  From there we dropped down steeply to Zeta Pass for a picnic lunch and hot soup made by the trail side on Paul's camping stove.  

We continued along the ridge to South Carter and Middle Carter (two more 4000+' peaks) and even saw a grouse on the trail along the way.  More views were enjoyed in every direction before we dropped down to the Imp trail for the hike back to the car.  

Luckily we avoided the wind for most of the day and the conditions were far tamer than had been forecast, so we enjoyed one of the best winter hiking days of the season.  We hiked about 8-miles over some fairly rugged terrain, so we pretty tired when we got back to the cars.

Sheri on the hike into the hut.

Arriving at Carter Notch (looking towards Wildcat A)

A great view all around.

Our evening at the hut

The hut is in the middle of this photo (by the lake, with a green metal roof)

A grouse on the trail on Saturday

Sheri, with views of Mount Washington in the background 

More views of the Presidential Range

Looking north towards Maine and Canada

Sunday, March 13, 2016

In the garden

Ski season may be over but at least we get to play in the dirt in early March!  We spent Sunday clearing up the garden, enriching the beds with compost and manure, and then planted a few seeds.  Bruno got to use the chain saw and Sheri got to clear the tree that came down!

We anticipate salad with micro greens by late April.  Happy early spring.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spring Skiing


We had a relaxing weekend in New Hampshire and enjoyed what might be our last ski weekend of the season.  In spite of very little snow in the last few weeks we found excellent XC ski conditions at Prospect Farm thanks to the groomers at Jackson XC.  Prospect Farm has several trails which are dog-friendly so Kokee was able to ski with us.  We skied in the morning to a favorite spot which affords views of Mt Washington.  Views into Tuckerman Ravine show pretty thin coverage but still there was more snow than in January!  After a break for lunch we skied the Boggy Brook Trail and caught glimpses of Crawford Notch as we skied along.  We have plans in the next few weeks to visit the Carter Notch Hut for a night so it was fun to see the notch from a distance.

On Sunday we did had a relaxed start to the day and after lunch went to Black Mountain with our snowboards.  Black Mountain is a small ski hill in Jackson, literally a few miles down the road from the chalet. It was only partially open with one 3-person chair lift running.  With warm sunny weather the conditions were soft and fun for carving.   We shared the runs with a few others and were able to ride straight onto the lift.

We wrapped our weekend with dinner at the Shovel Handle Pub which sits at the base of Black Mountain.  It was one of the rare occasions when the Shovel Handle was relatively quiet.  We enjoyed some live  music and a nice dinner.  We are looking forward to spring and more adventures on the trails.

 Elevenses on the trail

On the trail at Prospect Farm

 Tuckerman Ravine and Mt Washington

Carrot cake from Vintage Baking Co. for dessert on  Saturday

Riding at Black Mountain

 Bruno enjoying the afternoon sun at Black Mountain

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Chalet update

The last task to complete in the kitchen at the chalet was to install a backsplash under the wall cabinets. We started off by looking at white and off-white subway tiles in various sizes. Somehow this seemed to be a little too plain and we felt that the contemporary style kitchen needed something a little more adventurous. 

One day in the fall when we were hiking we found a single maple leaf with red, yellow, orange, and green colors on it  and we were inspired with a color scheme. After much searching we found a website where we could design a custom tile mosaic pattern. We went through several iterations of prototypes over the winter months and finally found a combination of glass tiles that we liked. 

Atter mail ordering the tiles we spent a couple of evenings laying out the pattern, and then our contractor Chris was able to start work. Chris did a great job and despite some setbacks along the way (including a shifting countertop) the backsplash is now finished. As you can see below it is certainly eye catching and anything but plain. We are really enjoying it as we spend time up at the chalet on our spring ski/hiking trips.