Armington weekend

We spent the weekend camping at our property on Lake Armington, NH.  We try to have a family camping trip every year, and this year we decided to do some car-camping and to spend effort clearing some of the extensive undergrowth on our lakeside lot.  We worked really hard for several hours each day, but still only made a dent in the brush-clearing that is needed.

Early morning view of Lake Armington and Mt. Piermont

We took time out to swim and canoe in the lake. The lake was especially peaceful, with a pair of loons calling to each other and, at one point, paddling over to investigate us as we were swimming.  Although the weather was nice on Sunday, on Monday it clouded up and really let loose during dinner and overnight.  We had decided to try out the 40-year-old canvas tent, which I once used as a child, and which apparently does not have a fly.  It stood up in the pouring rain remarkably well, but  enough rain found its way inside to leave our feet in a bit of a puddle and our sleeping bags pretty wet. Good thing it was the second night!

One cool thing was my discovery of a bioluminescent fungus.  I went out the first night to see the stars, and came across a disturbed area where a rotten stick had become exposed – all the bits were glowing!  Wish I had a photo of that.  In the photo gallery you can see the stick, in daylight, and some nice photos of clear skies on Sunday morning.

Westport weekend

We spent the weekend of August 17-19 picking up the kids at Camp Dudley – Mara from Camp Dudley at Kiniya in Colchester VT, then John and Andy from Camp Dudley in Westport NY, on opposite sides of Lake Champlain.  Though the weather was a bit threatening on Friday afternoon, the rest of the weekend was gloriously beautiful and we had a great time.  You can see photos of the kids at Dudley here, and photos from the weekend here.

I write mostly to share a couple of photos of the Lake, a sunset view from Kiniya and a sunrise view from Westport.

Pam and the kids – Andy, Mara, and John – at the Dudley family day.

Flying Seattle!

I usually get to altitude by climbing mountains, but yesterday I had the incredible opportunity to fly around the Seattle area with my former student Jon Howell, who now has his pilot’s license and loves to fly. After crawling through Bellevue rush hour we arrived at the Renton airport and went through pre-flight checks on the little Cessna Skyhawk II. The plan was to fly up to Friday Harbor in the San Juan islands, for dinner, but the clouds meant he would need to fly IFR (instrument) rather than VFR (visual) rules. Jon is qualified for IFR but there one of the lights was out and there were reports of something flaky in one radio… discretion being the better part of valor, we instead took a VFR spin around Seattle under the cloud deck, cruising at 1500′. Quite exciting! Nice views of the city and lakes and sound. We even flew right over SeaTac airport while jetliners landed below us. Wow. Check out the photo gallery.

And for dessert, we picked big juicy blackberries along the access road.

Thanks Jon!

Four days, Six hikes

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend three nights at the beautiful and historic Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH, in the heart of the White Mountains and in full view of the Presidential Range.  I took a few photos of the resort and its view.

Mt. Washington Hotel and Presies
Mt. Washington Hotel and Presidential Range

Although I was there for an office retreat, I took advantage of the free time before breakfast, and before dinner, to enjoy six short hikes around the area. On top of my longer hike to Mount Ellen on Sunday, it’s been a 30.3-mile week.  You can view all photos, in roughly reverse order, or check out each hike below.

  • Tue PM: Mount Hale [photos] 4.4mi
  • Wed AM: Mount Willard [photos] 3.2mi
  • Wed PM: Ammonoosic River [photos] 3.0mi
  • Thu AM: Sugarloaf mountains [photos] 3.2mi
  • Fri AM: Mount Oscar [photos] ~3mi
  • Fri PM: Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliffs [photos] 5.1mi

Although these are small peaks – only Mount Hale counts as a 4000’er – most of them have great views. Indeed, only Mount Hale had no view at all. My favorites were Willard, Sugarloaf, and Ammonosic Upper Falls and Arethusa Falls. On Mount Oscar (the top of Bretton Woods ski area) I had views west at Mount Hale and the Sugarloafs, and east to a glorious sunrise over Mount Washington. I also found that early mornings are great for spotting wildlife – a large turkey on the Willard trail and a bear cub near the Sugarloafs. What a great week!

David on Frankenstein Cliffs
David on Frankenstein Cliffs