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!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Strawberry fields forever

We have been putting in new strawberry plants the last couple of years.  This spring the conditions have been idea it seems, i.e.,  not to wet, not to cold and plenty of sunshine and warm weather at the right time.  We also covered the strawberries this year with netting which means more for use and less for the birds!  

Zealand has been having fun in the garden too.  He "helps" a bit but picking berries with web feet is challenging.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Visit from DiAnn

We recently had a visit from DiAnn (Sheri's mom) to help out with Zealand whilst Bruno was in Madison.  It was a great visit with lots of puppy fun and games!

Short trip to Madison WI

Bruno writes:

I have been helping to teach a short-course on the basics of pharmaceutical formulation development for about fifteen years now.  The course is organized by the University of Wisconsin, and hence I get the opportunity to travel to Madison each year in May.  This year the weather was mixed, but I did manage to take a short walk to the newly renovated student union terrace and saw our good friends Mike and Sue for dinner.  It was great to see them and to catch up on all of our news.

Nancy Cascades

A few weeks ago we were in New Hampshire for the weekend, and trying to figure out what hike to do in-between the seasons.  The clouds were low, so we opted for a waterfall hike to the Nancy Cascades.  The trailhead was also nearby to our chalet which was another good reason to try out this hike. When we reached the cascades there was quite a bit of snow, so we stopped at that point and didn't attempt to go any further!