Thursday, April 25, 2019

Michael Chavis–Boston Red Sox Rookie

During his first game as a Red Sox player, Michael Chavis ripped a double over the head of the Tampa Bay Rays all-star center fielder, Kevin Kiermaier. A few games later, Chavis launched a booming home run out of Fenway Park onto Lansdowne Street. In the stands his mom and girlfriend celebrated. What did Chavis do after the celebrating?

He wrote about it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Road Trip in The Rig: Dartmouth College Skiway (Ski Area #1)

View from the top of the Dartmouth Skiway, Holt's Ledge. 

I packed up The Rig for a road trip to Dartmouth's Skiway. Just north of Hanover NH,  the Skiway is 150 miles from Rumford. Hiking ski areas is one of the adventures I most enjoy. I like the quiet of a closed ski area; the ski trails are usually well-groomed in the off season. The Skiway is a grass surface. So's Black Mountain in Maine's. Up on Sunday River, I often hike Lollapalooza that has a crushed rock and gravel access road and in places a grass trail. Saddleback is a typical hiking trail but is always in the sun. Before heading up, I chatted with one of the employees who took a liking to Bailey. He gave me good advice on the driest way up and also explained how to get to the overlook.

Dartmouth Skiway
We hiked up to Holt's Ledge
The temperatures hit 70 during the hike. That's the warmest we've experienced since last October. Bailey found a muddy stream to lie down in half way up the trail. On the way down we were adjacent to a trail with snowmaking, so he spent time rolling around in that. On the way back we stopped in St. Johnsbury as walked around the downtown area. I've stayed in this town for ski meets–they have an artistic cinema and diners plus an independent school called St. Johnsbury Academy.

Ready to roll. 

The trail we hiked called Papoose, seen in the map above, looked like this all the way up. 

Here's the starting hut. 
Note the ski area in the upper right. I wonder if that's Killington, Vermont

Happy Mud Dog 


Up at Holt's Ledge... 

This fellow was an assistant ski coach at Dartmouth for many years. Kind of a fun tribute.  

Heading back down. 

On the way north toward St Johnsbury VT we stopped at a turnoff to look at the flood waters. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

April Showers

Rumford skyline in April (Click on photo to enlarge)

(Click on photo to enlarge)

As I headed off to hike on an overeats day, I drove down Falls Hill in Rumford and notices the clouds forming. I did a u-turn at the bottom of the hill and headed back up to try and get a photo. Just as I climbed out of the car, the rain let loose. Nevertheless, I got the shots. And we didn't hike... the rain made the ski area a hot mess and Red Hill's ascent would have been a quagmire. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Rig's Journal

I'm keeping track of trips and mileage in The Rig's journal. It's fun to keep track of milage and places, though as you'll see, Bailey is simply bored with the idea. Actually, Bailey spent the past 3 days with Sharon and 3 to 4 other BIG dogs, so he's just exhausted from the activity. It's one thing to hike a mountain, but trying to wrestle with other dogs for 3 days is way too much for him.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Red Hill is a go-to climb here in town because the access road is often plowed and that road connects to a series of well-used snow mobile trails.  Thirty minutes up brings us to a step climb, views of Mt. Blue in Weld, and, at certain vantage points, Sunday River and the Presidential Range in New Hampshire. This trip I had a new iPhone, my first, and tried out selfies.

I'm messing about with the phone–trying to see the screen and
press the button. Selfies used to look so simple. Clearly, Bailey's bored. 

Sunday River––in the clouds to the left would be Mt. Washington

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Mount Washington Road Trip

Mount Washington Hotel
On a perfect spring day we headed over to the Mount Washington Hotel. This place is classic. The view also shows the Cog Railway where I worked in 1972 and 1973, and where my brothers worked at different times. The fun fact of this mountain is... our family has a ravine named after us on the mountain: Burt Ravine. It's to the left of the Cog's track about 3/4 of the way up. My grandfather's grandfather Henry M. Burt, founder and publisher of Among the Clouds, the first newspaper published on Mount Washington in the 1860s. Interestingly (at least for our family), my grandfather F. Allen Burt wrote the history of the mountain up until 1961: The Story of Mount Washington.

Mount Washington. On the left you can see the Cog Railway tracks
and to the left of the tracks you can see a sliver of snow that is
our family's ravine... Burt Ravine. :-)  

I took this photo about 20 miles from the hotel
on the drive through Jefferson NH
The Rig. Hand lunch in this scenic turnout. 

Little Road Trips

Our first road trip was a simply drive over to Gorham New Hampshire. I grabbed some food at a BBQ place and then trucked on up to the Mount Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails. There, we ate, looked at the mountains, and fiddled with heat, radio, and other thingies of The Rig.

Trip 2 had us traveling to Boothbay Harbor and on to Brunswick to see our friends, Kate & Gayle. The driving is comfortable, and I've got miles to go before I understand all the little gadgets of the motorhome side of The Rig.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Rig (41/60...still at it!)

So, this happened. Back in the 1980s, I began having this odd obsession with motor homes (a.k.a., RVs). I'd drive down to the dealership in Auburn or over in Berlin, NH, and walk through the rigs. I pictured myself traveling here and there with my toilet and bed in the back seat. My obsession got so bad that one set of close friends bought me an RV Christmas ornament. 

It's difficult to figure how many hundreds of hours I spent visiting RV dealerships and talking about the things with whomever would listen. And once Internet came along, I'd hate to have the figures on hours spent on RV dealership sites, sales sites, Facebook travel sites.... 

In late January, I started to fall off the cliff of reasonability (is that a word?) and in February, on Valentine's Day, I took the plunge. With the substantial help of Bank of America, I bought a 2019 Winnebago Travato 59G. I tried to buy in Maine, but the "dealer" wouldn't deal on price. So, I flew to Ohio and got The Rig for $10,000 less than the price in Maine for a 2018. Crazy. 

My plan is to try it out for 3 years or more (or, I suppose, less). To rent one for a whole month is $6000, so I decided buying made sense. I may come back to discuss the why's of this purchase, but for now... here's to The Rig.