Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cross Training...White Mountains style (a trip report)

This weekend was just what I needed.  After an early Saturday morning long run, Scott, Bella, and I jumped into the truck, camper in tow, and headed North.  We hadn’t been hiking/camping in two seasons, so were happily off to enjoy a long weekend with no electricity.  Aaaaahhhhh..

We had a little bit of a challenge finding available campsites.  We stay away from the family campgrounds (no offense, but when you don’t have young children…..), but also needed to stay with the pet-friendly campgrounds.  The Kancamagus Highway has a plethora of campgrounds that fit our needs, but most of them were full!  Yikes!  We had already driven 2+ hours with a slightly whiney Bella (she’s so not a car dog) and now we were finding nowhere to set up camp.  We ended up finding one that had a perfect site for us at a whopping $16 per night.  Can’t beat that. 

The rest of Saturday was spent setting up our camper with some supplemental tarps, since rain was in the forecast.  Warmed up some pre-prepared pulled pork (say THAT 10 times fast) and washed it down with Mike’s Hard Lemonade for me and a beer for Scott.  It being Bella’s first trip that included camping, she was definitely on guard/exploration duty from beginning to end.  She kept her eyes peeled for both bear and chipmunk.  It did rain that night, but only much later, so we were able to read, talk, and plan our Sunday hike while sitting by a roaring campfire.  No bears though…phew.
We started Sunday with the best camping breakfast ever:  fried eggs, bacon, homefries, and grilled English muffins.  I think the only time we cook bacon is when we go camping.  It’s just one of our camping staples.  We then packed some deli sandwiches, a pkg of Pringles, a handful of Vienna Finger cookies, some Kashi & Clif bars, and lots of water, and headed out for our hike.

Since the clouds were pretty low and heavy, we decided on a lower elevation hike.  In addition, Scott had run 18 miles and I had run 15 miles just the day before, so no need to punish ourselves (or my already sensitive Achilles) too much.  We intentionally chose trails that followed the Pemigwasset River, to allow Bella the ultimate hiking experience.  She lived in that river!  She has quite a fetish with fetching rocks.  And she sure had an abundance of them here!
For approximately 8 miles, we followed Black Pond Trail and then Franconia Falls Trail, where both dog and human can swim and/or slide down natural water slides.  Bella preferred just to swim around.

I preferred to ice my still sensitive achilles/calves in the biggest ice bath ever!

Then we headed back with dreams of a delicious dinner – American chop suey with garlic bread.  Yum.
After our hike, we drove further down the Kancamagus Highway to a hairpin turn that would normally afford us a beautiful, panoramic view.  This was a different beauty – a sort of Ansel Adams beauty, don’t you think?
En route back to our campground, many vehicles coming towards us were flashing their lights at us.  When at home, we assume there’s a cruiser waiting to pull speeders over, but I was more on the lookout for moose.  We got neither.  We happened right along a bad car accident shortly after it happened.  The car had apparently tried to pass someone (bad idea up there) and hit the shoulder, flipping her car completely on its roof.  We pulled over quickly and Scott ran over to see if they needed help, while I attempted to call 911.  What a creepy feeling to try to call for help and have absolutely no cell service.  Fortunately, no one was injured and at that point, all we could do is drive towards town to try to call for help for them.  Shortly after we left the scene, we saw emergency vehicles coming towards us.  So we knew they’d be OK.  Scary stuff.

Sunday night saw a great campfire, a glass red plastic “keg” cup of wine and a beer for Scott, and a great couple of rounds of Backgammon (another camping staple for us). 

Our drive home was when we hit some nasty weather and came across several motorcyclists waiting out the heavy rains under various overpasses.  This one guy did not wait out the rain, but kept going in his speedy little convertible - top down.  I couldn’t resist taking the picture…..and I tell ya, it was pouring!

It’s amazing what one extra day off and approximately 140 miles distance can do to clear your head.  We hiked, we camped, we played backgammon, we introduced Bella to the White Mountains, we played (and iced) in the river, we laughed, we talked.  

Wikipedia defines cross-training as - an athlete training in sports other that the one that athlete competes in with a goal of improving overall performance. It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to neglect the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.

This weekend embraced a perfect combination of effectiveness and improving overall performance


  1. So, life is back to normal. You guys are so amazing in so many ways. It's good to see the "fam" roughing it. Give Bella a memere hug for me.

  2. Thanks Mom, is back to normal. And your grand-dog loves your hugs :)

  3. Ooooooooo, looks like an awesome trip! selfishly happy to have you home, but what a great mini-getaway! (waving to Lisas mom...)

  4. We love the Whites! Reading your blog post brought back so many good memeories! My cousin and I even did a week's long hut to hut adventure, watching the Fourth of July fireworks from atop one of the mountains. Our staple game, though, is cribbage, and my cousin usually wins!

  5. Carla, hiking hut-to-hut sounds awesome! That's something we haven't done (yet). Hoping to get another hike in this Fall...