Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013.06.27 Square Ledge - An Appropriate Name

This is an 8.5 mile hike with a partial loop using the Oliverian Brook trail on the way up and the Passaconoway Cutoff trail on the return.  The elevation gain is only about 1,300 feet but I think 1,299 of those come all at once.  The Oliverian Brook trail is not very well traveled and, as you'll see below, has some bog bridges that are in dire shape.  Bring your balance beam skills!

My wife thinks I came close to death on this hike.  I was still having breathing problems (see blog post The Lost Year) and this hike was a real struggle for me.  The last mile or so up to the very limited view was, to my thinking, rather steep and I simply could not catch my breath.  My wife says I became very ashen and she was increasingly concerned.  In the end, I survived.  Does that make her happy or sad?  :-)

If like me you want the reward of a view during your hikes, I will say that this hike was generally speaking not worth the effort.  Square Ledge has very limited views.  The views of the ledge itself on the climb are beautiful though.

The NH State wildflower - Lady Slipper

 Ever wonder why you are told to bring an extra pair of hiking socks on every trip?  Have you carried them for months or even years and never needed them?  Well, on occassion things like this will happen.  Sue was very glad she had a extra pair of dry, clean socks. Yes, those bog bridges need some maintenance.  Sue stepped on one bridge not realizing that it was completely broken and down into the bog she went.

 The face of this ledge was beautiful to say the least!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

2013.06.16 Mt Roberts - It Often Begins & Ends Here

Mt Roberts is one of our favorite hikes and is most often the first hike we do every year as well as one of the last we do.  Sort of a warm up and cool down.  The views of Lake Winnipesaukee are spectacular and frequent and I particularly like that there are no crowds like those at Mt Major.  I am also always struck by the idyllic setting of horses from Castle in the Clouds grazing in the field as the trail ends.  No where else in NH that I am aware of are you treated with that setting on finishing your hike.

See these other blog posts of mine for more info on Mt Roberts:
Mt Roberts - 2012
Mt Roberts - 2011

We met a friend on the way up...
Where else can you finish a hike and be treated to this?


Saturday, June 1, 2013

2013 - The Lost Year

Beginning in September of 2012 this blog turned cold.  From that point on for what turned out to be in excess of 9 months our hiking adventures were dramatically impacted by my inability to breath when climbing.  Breathing, who needs it?  I say its overrated.  I've been an asthmatic all my life and, shall we say 'portly', so I always huff and puff my way up a mountain but this was different.  No amount of huffing and puffing and wheezing would satisfy my need for oxygen.

There were months of tests and specialists and what seemed likely weekly medical visits of one sort or another.  I had even tried somewhat alternative treatments like chiropractic care, weekly massage therapy and even dozens of acupuncture visits.  At last my primary care provider stumbled upon the cause.  

Turns our I was reacting to a blood pressure medicine that I've been on for some years. Therein lies the difficulty in diagnosing this problem, a long period of using that drug without issue so why the negative reaction now?  We'll probably never know.  The good news is that once my scrip was changed to a different drug, I almost immediately began feeling better.

So, we plodded along in 2013 doing a few hikes but I did not do anything substantive until September (a year after my issues began).  I even lost the enthusiasm for keeping up this blog over that entire period.

We are now back at it for 2014 though so I will post all of our 2013 hikes in a brief form (short description and just a couple of pics) but then begin blogging all of our new trips going forward.