Last weekend we held a launch party for Andy’s summer project, a Pompeii-style pizza oven. Andy has been dreaming about making a pizza oven for years, and it seemed like a good pre-college summer project. It turns out to be a lot more work than one might expect! We were fortunate to have expert advice and assistance from Doc, who has built several such ovens and whose YouTube video series has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. We chose to simplify the process a bit, by using a kit from Forno Bravo. Doc’s advice was invaluable in making sure we ordered the right kit, used the right kind of mortar, the right kind of bricks, the right methods for construction, down to the right kind of flour and tomato sauce for the pizza. The results were outstanding!
Due to a back injury in early August, I personally helped very little in the actual construction. Andy and Doc did most of it, with help from Pam and Mara. Check out the photo gallery to get a sense of the many steps involved over two and a half months of effort.
Next summer Andy will complete the project, adding tiles and a countertop on the front, tiles on the dome, and structural-skin coating on the sides of the base.
After yesterday’s brief snowfall the weather turned warm and sunny once again, allowing us a beautiful fall afternoon. This morning we woke to dense river-valley fog, so I headed across Lyme to the Dartmouth Skiway and the high point of Holts Ledge. There, well above the fog, I encountered brilliant foliage at the base and an impressive 2″ snowcover on the exposed slopes near the top. Here is one photo from the top, showing Holts Ledge at left and the peaks of Moosilauke, Cube, and Smarts left to right – but don’t miss the gallery for six other full-res photos in brilliant color.
Hike stats: distance = 5.9km gain = 353m time = 1h 37m (including photo stops)
It rained all day yesterday, and rained hard all night long. At first light today, I looked out the window to see blobs of snow falling amongst the raindrops. Although the air temperature was above freezing, it must have been cold higher up. The snow/rain mix continued for about an hour, with little of the snow sticking to the warm, wet ground. It’s a beautiful sight, and also a reminder that the warm side of fall weather may be with us only for a few more weeks.
Today was another spectacular fall day in New Hampshire. I enjoyed a lovely early-morning drive across the rolling hills of center-western portion of the state, around Squam Lake, and past the trailhead for my prior Morgan-Percival hike, to the pretty village of Center Sandwich. My destination was Mt. Israel, seen in photo of fall colors above a roadside wetland. Read on and check out the gallery.
Today I spent a good portion of the morning wandering the woodlands of Lyme. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, the trees were bursting with color, and I was scrambling over moss-covered stone walls in the midst of historic farm country. If there is a better way to spend a Sunday morning, I can’t think of one. Read on and check out the gallery.
The day before I left for Switzerland I sold my car – a 12-year-old Toyota Prius hybrid – with the intent of returning a year later and buying into the all-electric future. I selected the Tesla Model Y. I’ve had it for ten days now; read on for my first impressions.
A beautiful hike through fall foliage to summits that overlook Squam Lake.
The trail sign gave me two choices to reach the summit – via the caves or via the cliffs. Well, I picked the caves of course! Little did I know that the trail would in one place make me squeeze through a passage so narrow I’d need to remove my pack, and that in another place the trail would actually cross over itself like a corkscrew. Read on and check out the gallery for more photos of Mount Morgan and Mount Percival, during fall-foliage season!
I found two sets of crayfish (crawfish? crawdad?) claws on my dock last evening, the leftovers from somebody’s feast. Perhaps an eagle or osprey? Raccoon? Fisher? Mink? I’m not sure what can catch and eat crayfish.
Last summer when I moved to Switzerland I was, despite the excitement of the new adventures I’d encounter there, sad to be leaving New Hampshire during the prime season for rowing (sculling) on the river. So I was, this summer, looking forward to returning to the river to resume rowing in late July. The first few weeks were wonderful, as I slowly built up my strength and re-tuned my skills for rowing on the Connecticut River where it flows beside our home. It was not to last.
It’s been over six years since I was last at the Mount Washington Hotel, one of my favorite places in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Today was a beautiful day, in fall foliage season, so Pam and I decided to drive up there for lunch and a chance to enjoy the views along the way.
Northern New England has been suffering through an extended drought, ending yesterday with a very welcome and drenching rainfall. I’d guess we were two weeks too late for the peak colors at this latitude and elevation, the peak coming about 3-5 weeks ahead of schedule due to the drought. Although the colors were a bit muted today, it was still a beautiful drive.
The Mount Washington Hotel is one of the last great Grand Hotels from the early 20th century, and still carries much of its grandeur despite a thorough renovation and several recent expansions. We found a table on the patio looking out at Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, its granite ridgeline gray above the rust-colored fall foliage on the valley slopes below.
There were quite a few other people there, although it was mid-week, enjoying the clear mountain air and the warm days of early fall weather.
Fortunately, last weekend I explored the back roads of Lyme during what may have been its peak-colors day, and took many photos. I hope to post them soon.