Sunday, June 19, 2016

Make no mistake, we'll live while we're young, we'll chase down the sun

Hello again!  Since backpacking we have been doing some rock climbing at Deer Leap.  There is a wonderful Irish Pub that runs along the Long Trail and has rock climbing behind it. We stopped there for dinner after backpacking...
I had a Guinness with Guinness Stew and both were fantastic.  While we waited for our food Matthew destroyed me in darts.  Somehow the Guinness didn't improve my aim.  We spent the next day scoping out the rocks, it was too rainy to actually climb.  The following day it was beautiful and sunny, we pulled out our gear and it was wet!  So spent a day at a campsite drying our things.  We made the most of it, it was a pretty place.  We took the opportunity to drink.  I told you about our new friend in the last post.  He gave us a small sample of this Cranberry pear vinegar.  We mixed it with Jack Daniels and Seltzer.  They were wonderful!

We climbed the next day doing two trad climbs that were really fun.  I didn't get us climbing because that would not be safe, but here are a few shots of us repelling!

 And the view 
In this last shot you can see across the street there is a dirt parking lot, we were allowed to stay there overnight which was very convenient!  After climbing that day we debated staying in the parking lot or camping somewhere.  Matthew convinced me to do a short hike to a shelter.  We started the hike around 6pm.  Along the trail we saw a sign that said tent site but didn't have the name posted of the shelter we were looking for so we kept going.  We did a 6 mile hike out to a random campsite.  This was not ideal and we didn't finish hiking until 9pm.  I was very tired and a bit cranky by the end.  We were only supposed to hike 1.6 miles but missed the site and kept going in search of it.  Oops.  We slept in, read our kindles and drank some tea with whiskey until noon.  We hiked back to the truck, hung out and planned to climb the next day.  Since we did 2 Trad climbs we decided this next climb day we would top rope so we could concentrate just on climbing.  Here are a few shots from that day...
 Best Pano shot I've ever taken!  This is the top of Deer Leap
 Taking photos are a bit dangerous with only two people, I was on a secure ledge so this was the only safe shot we could take
And here's Matthew on the same ledge
Chalked and bleeding!  The casualties of climbing.  
Here's a shot from the dirt parking lot across the street.  The building is the pub/Inn, the rock above is where we climbed.  The Pano shot I took is beyond the trees on the top, not visible from the ground (obviously).

Yesterday was an off day.  This means we stayed at a camp and did a bunch of random things. We found a beautiful site near a river 

We took this beautiful warm day to do our laundry and bath in the cool waters.  We set up a hammock,

took care of odds and ends and discussed some more safety things for climbing.  I enjoyed reading in the hammock for a while.  I'm currently reading the Revenant.  I haven't seen the movie but the book is fantastic!  

This morning I made Bannock.  I was looking for a bread I could easily make in or over a fire.  I came across this recipe on Pinterest  I tried it and it was really easy and tasty!  When I looked up the history it has origins in Scotland, it was made on a Bannock Stane - a flat sandstone placed on a fire for cooking.  We like to make tripods for cooking over the fire.  Here's the bannock cooking.. 

It ended up being too much to eat in one sitting but I'm excited about this recipe.  I can half it and since it's bread we have a lot of uses for it.  We are now in Hanover, VT at Dirt Cowboy Cafe sipping on Italian Sodas and blogging.  We are next headed to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  Our Wilderness First Responder Course starts in two days.  I'll report again in about a week and half.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Oops I did it again... (minimal photos)

I have not taken any photos in the past week.  To back track a little before leaving Massachusetts we went rock climbing at Rose Ledge.  I do have a few photos of that.  Matthew actually did a blog post on it  It was a really fun climb and a gorgeous day.  We were the only ones out there and did our first attempt at Trad climbing.  He went up the route first and then I 'cleaned'.  He goes into detail about it on his blog if you are interested.  What he doesn't mention is on the hike out I twisted my left ankle again.  It was worse than last time.  We left the next day for the Green Mountains in Vermont, found a nice private dispersed camping site and hung out for 2 days.  I rested my foot for a day, it felt ok but iffy so I did some of the physical therapy exercises I'd been neglecting to do.  We went for a run, unsure of the distance but somewhere between 4-6 miles.  I massaged it and it felt OK.  We then decided to do a 4 day backpacking trip and this is where I failed you.  I have NO photos from the whole trip.  We expected rain storms so neither of us took a camera aka our cell phones.  It was an amazing trip, and I'm really sad we didn't think to just take a phone in a zip lock bag.  We stopped at 3 ponds and they kept getting more beautiful!  The weather was too cool for a swim but I still wanted to get in really bad.  I'm sad to report I was too much of a chicken to swim.  I got waist deep on the warmest day... which was not that warm.  I did get in more than Matthew, so that's a small victory.  The trails in Vermont are quite muddy.  Apparently it is lovingly called Vermud.  I had wet shoes and socks from day one, it was unavoidable.  Especially when you come across a sign on the trail that says "Trail closed due to flooding, follow yellow path" and your adventurous boyfriend says "Nah, we got this" and stays on the trail anyway.  I was not thrilled but part of this journey is to push past my comfort zones.  They were getting pushed daily.  I have to say, it was worth it. We found a nice camping area and had the whole place to ourselves, also a bonus of backpacking in the middle of the week.  I do have a photo of the map to show where we hiked.
We started at the bottom middle, Stratton Pond Parking.  We only hiked to Stratton pond the first day, about a 4 mile hike.  I wanted to start with low miles and gradually work up.  The next day we went from Stratton pond (to the right of the center) to the left on Lye brook trail then left at Branch pond trail, we stopped for lunch at Branch pond, then went back north to Bourne pond for the night.  Maybe a total of 6 miles that day?  The third day we kept going north to the William B Douglas shelter at the top of the photo, had lunch there, then took the Long Trail/Appalachian trail South back to Stratton pond, about 8 miles that day.  We stayed near the shelter that night and met a few AT through hikers and had some good laughs.  We got lucky, even though it rained that day it didn't rain that night.  On the fourth day we took it easy and did about 4 miles out the way we went in.  We spent that rest of that day in Manchester.  We shared a pizza, did laundry, checked emails and walked the town.  It was a really nice day.  We met an interesting guy named Greg who was working at an Olive and Ives, they have a wonderful selection of oils and vinegar's which we tried a lot of.  We were walking by the store and he just happened to be out smoking a cigarette and started chatting.  It's pretty quiet in the area so he only had 2 customers all day until we showed up around 3pm.  So we shared stories, had delicious samples and made a new friend.  We left the area and headed to the northern part of the Green Mountains in search of rock climbing.  It's rainy today but we scouted out the area with a little hike this morning and are looking forward to climbing tomorrow.  Here's a random photo of me outside a gift shop in Manchester... 

My ankle did well during the hikes, but did ache towards the end of the 8 mile day.  I think the hiking helped strengthen it and I will be more diligent to do my PT exercises.  Anyway, the weather gods claim it will be warm and sunny for the next few days, I'll be good and take photos.