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.
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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

Appalachian Trail backpacking

The boys and I recently took a three-day backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) not far from home. [See photo gallery.] Pam dropped us off at a remote road crossing on Cape Moonshine Road, Lake Armington and just south of Ore Hill.  Andy and John were wearing new backpacks and carrying more than they ever had before, which was helpful, but my pack still managed to weigh in at 52 pounds.  It’s a good thing we didn’t have an aggressive agenda.

Continue reading Appalachian Trail backpacking

A week in the Lake District of England

map showing location of Ambleside in UK
Ambleside is in northwestern England

[see SmugMug gallery for more photos]

Every year I attend the MobiSys conference; this year it was held in the beautiful Lake District of northwestern England.  I had heard so much about this area – a walker’s paradise, people said – so I decided to go early and to bring along my son John.  We flew from Manchester to Manchester (NH to UK, that is) and drove to Ambleside, in the center of the Lake District.  It was pouring rain, but the rental-car agent assured us that it wouldn’t last (more on that later). Continue reading A week in the Lake District of England