Yesterday afternoon Neil came home, found me sitting on the couch knitting, and suggested we go for a hike! It was just our usual hike up to Laraway Lookout. We do it often, but I’ve never gotten tired of it. Instead of showing you the view, this time I’m going to show you the ice.
There are these amazing cliff faces just before the lookout, and since they’re west facing the snow melts, trickles down, and forms these icicles.
They’re kinda BIG truth be told. Icicles sound like they should be little and sparkley. I need a different word for these big guys. They may be sparkly, but you don’t want to be around when the fall!
Of course I didn’t get nearly as much knitting done yesterday as I needed to. This is why my deadline projects need catching up. Gee, life is so hard…
Neil and I went for a lovely (if chilly) hike on Saturday. The high for the day was about 15F but once we got moving this really wasn’t much of a problem. When the wind is low I happily hike wearing just a heavy sweater and light gloves*. I tend to take my hat and mittens off within the first 10 minutes because I need the ventilation…
The hike up to Laraway mountain lookout** is one that we do frequently. It’s a nice 5.6 mile trip perfect for a half day or a wintery day when the sun sets early. This time Neil decided we should have tea at the lookout. He loves to make tea at the break on a winter hike. There’s really nothing quite like sipping steaming hot tea when surrounded by snow and cold and gorgeous views.
Wait, what does this have to do with the powers of wool? Hang on, I’m getting there. Unfortunately in the process of making tea his hands got all wet. Do I need to point out that at 15F you REALLY don’t want to be wandering around with wet hands and bare skin all exposed? And all he had for his hand were gortex hiking gloves. After about 3 minutes his fingers HURT from the cold, so I offered him my wool mittens. At 5 minutes his hands were already much happier and by 15 minutes he was asking why he didn’t have a pair of wool mittens of his very own***. Halfway down the mountain he was so happy he requested that I swap out his sock request for a pair of mittens.
The moral of this story appears to be that woolen mittens are The Best. Better than the real hiking gloves that did squat for his hands. And so wonderful that he wants them even more than a new pair of socks (and boy oh boy does he need new socks)
Wool: Keeping hikers warm even when wet since, um, forever?
*this heavy sweater and those light gloves. Projects linked for easy reference.
**It’s not actually the summit. That’s half a mile further up. But the summit is tree covered and the lookout is gorgeous, so we (and many other people) just stop there…
***correct answer is: because the dogs ate your last pair and I didn’t make you another
Starting 2012 off on the right foot Neil and I took the dogs, met up with some friends, and went for a hike. We started at the local lookout, prospect rock:
Followed the trail down through the woods,
Over the ridge that divides Johnson from Waterville, and soon you could see our valley.
The weather wasn’t perfect, but that did make for some excellent cloud viewing:
The dogs had a great time running up and down the trail. And in spite of my wet socks (good thing wool is warm even when wet) I had a great first day of 2012. I hope you did too!
Sunday was about the most beautiful day you could possibly imagine. Neil and I packed up the boys, the camera, and went for a walk.
1. whiteface, 2. crazy fungus 3, 3. crazy fungus 4, 4. crazy fungus 2, 5. crazy fungi, 6. fuzzy moss, 7. ferny moss, 8. water droplets, 9. red maple, 10. reggie, 11. valley view, 12. stream bed, 13. spider web
Along with a ridiculous number of fungi we also saw TWO baby trout swimming in streams so small you wouldn’t have believed they’d support fish of any kind. We ate sun warmed apples directly off the tree, let the dogs wallow in the river, and generally had the best time possible.
Sunday was so beautiful Neil and I packed up the dogs and went for a hike up Camel’s Hump.
I made a poor choice for shoes. But despite being betrayed by my feet we made it to the summit in time for lunch. The hike back down took us around, and under! the steep cliff face that is the back side of the summit.
My new smartphone as an app that tracks hikes. So I can see average speed, total time and distance traveled, elevation change… It’s a really cool toy, especially since I remember hiking when my grandmother had the state of the art watch with a GPS unit in it – that had to be calibrated at the start of every hike, was only accurate within 50ft, and you still had to keep track and do the math if you wanted to know your total elevation gain. So I can tell you that 8.99 miles round trip, and a total elevation gain of 2170ft will make for two very tired dogs:
The second pattern in the Time on my Hands e-book is Bewitching Hour.
You can read the pattern details on this page, and see the e-book details here.
I had so much fun with this photo shoot. I’ll admit I still love a chance to play dress up!
The stone building is a little chapel on the grounds at Trapp Family Lodge. It’s a perfect fairytale setting, the way it’s hidden out in the woods, up a hill through the sun-dappled leaves.
Of course the sun dappling through the leaves made for some interesting color challenges in the photo editing.
The gloves are great, I love the US grown and spun wools made by Quince & Co. Chickadee is a sport weight yarn, which means these gloves knit up faster than fingering weight gloves, but still have a fabric that doesn’t feel thick and funny between the fingers.
And if you don’t have a lot of chances to wear ball gowns, that’s ok. These gloves work just fine with a regular coat. The long cuffs do a superb job keeping the cold wind out of your sleeves.
We went snowshoeing a while ago, but I’m only just now pulling the photos off my camera. It seems like an appropriate day to mention how much I love:
Jake and Reggie
And, for sheer amazing-ness, have some tree sized icicles:
That part of the hike was amazing, and terrifying – both the possibility of falling ice, and of falling off the cliff on the left hand side of the trail…
Sunday evening, after spending entirely too much of the weekend on the computer, I invited Jake and Reggie into the car and we headed out for a short sunset hike.
Round Top shelter, a stop over on the Long Trail, is visible from the bottom of my driveway. The trail crossing is just 3 miles up the road from us, so we think of the shelter as our own little hiking destination. Neil actually camped there a whole week in February while in still in college. The shelter has always been known to us, since before we moved to the neighborhood.
The late afternoon sun glowed through the forest as the boy raced down the trail to check in on me,
and then raced up the trail again. They come back constantly to make sure I’m still hiking…
(yes, they are constant blurs in real life too)
It’s a quick hike up to the shelter, a beautiful 3 sided lean-to with sky lights to let the sunshine in and keep the wind out.
I’d allowed entirely too much time, so we arrived well before sunset.
We shared some water, and picked some raspberries, and enjoyed the breeze and the songs of the hermit thrushes.
Before I knew it, the sun was setting
and it was time to head for home.
Jake and Reggie had fun too, and by the end of the hike they stuck right near my side.