Monday, May 31, 2021

Shakedown Cruises


"Where to now?"

How do you and your old dog move from a 14-room house to a one-room van? Practice. 

At first, packing up and traveling are just a plain old hassle. Especially in the rain. And the dog treats stink and permeate the van. Yesterday, he ate a long skiing fish stick treat from Bark Box. I hate fish and doubly hate the smell. I also worry about Bailey getting hot spots and being uncomfortable while traveling. Finally, I'm concerned about laundry, though that worry seems just plain silly.  Every little town has a laundry, so why does this get to me?  

Just the other day in the driveway, I tried out the propane stove units for the first time. Slick. Yet, except for heating up stuff in the microwave, I haven't cooked anything in the van. Normally, I pack cold cuts, cheese, a salad, a Diet Coke, and a treat for me. I've also been known to buy a Subway sandwich and eat half for lunch and half for dinner. But when I head out for longer periods, I really need to have a couple of eggs once in a while along with chicken and a bit of read meat. It should't be that hard. But, add in a curious old dog who's always hungry and whose big nose pokes at everything...? 

I'm not convinced that Bailey loves traveling in the van. He sits up front and watches the road for a while and then lies down as seen above. When he's had his fill of that, he climbs down, has a drink of water, and then reclines between the front seats on the floor. Yesterday on our way back from Sugarloaf, he looked relaxed on the floor. We'd just climbed up a mile of steeps up to the snow on the mountain, so he may have been pooped.  

So this past week we've done day trips to Errol NH up toward Canaan VT; the Mahoosucs; the Height of Land in Rangeley; and Sugarloaf. I definitely felt more comfortable--now we need to do a 3- to 4-day trip out to New York. We'll see. 

Usually Bailey faces forward to watch the road. 

Information turnoff just outside Grafton Notch SP

Sugarloaf parking lot after our hike

Outside Grafton Notch SP

Sugarloaf parking lot

Old Speck, Grafton Notch SP

One happy dog on Sugarloaf

There are several large patches of snow left
on the mountain. Usually, they're on steep downs
or in transitions where the snow settles in. 

The Bigelow Preserve. 

Trail signs. 

More of the Bigelow Preserves. 

Rest area near Sugarloaf. 

Dinner at the Height of Land

Never-ever gets old

Sugarloaf in the winter time. 

Random picture of me. 


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Celebrating Indy


Road Skiing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 
May 1978

Celebrating Today’s Indianapolis 500 

The Indianapolis 500 is upon us and my claim to fame as a ski racer is that I roller skied the Motor Speedway in early May of 1977. Here’s the story. 

Forty-five years ago, I moved from Rumford, Maine, to the flatlands of Indianapolis for work. For those who know Rumford, I skied for Chummy Broomhall and Herb Adams; later I became Rumford’s coach. 

For exercise after work, I road skied the straight, flat streets of Indy. Everyone stared. Some flagged me down and asked questions; others pointed and laughed. On a rural road just beyond the suburbs, a carload of teenagers drove up behind me, blared the car horn and screamed out the windows—I went ass over tea kettle into the soft shoulder. 

During the winter of ’78, we had a wicked blizzard in Indiana. Everything in the city shut down for nearly a week—except me. I corked in Special Blue and had a blast. 

The next summer I wrote an article about my skiing experience in Indianapolis. With a photographer friend in tow, I skied the city streets and then snuck onto the Speedway. As I cruised down the straightaway toward the yard of bricks—going the wrong way—a metallic voice blasted over the speakers: “Now there’s something you don’t see at Indy every day.” Tourists pointed and car mechanics looked away from the cars… and I didn't get arrested. Soon after, I moved back to Maine. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Once again into the Breach

 Whitecap Redux... Hike #82

View of Sunday River & Washington

Yesterday, we had a good day on the mountain with temps in the 60's and 70's. Today, it's 91 degrees. I can't breathe and Bailey is panting. We walked for 20 minutes along the Swift River in the shaded park and that was tolerable. Tomorrow, and for the next 4-5 days, we're back to late May weather with temps in the 60's and 70's. I could do without the heat and humidity. 

I love having Whitecap a quick ride away from the house. We ran into two sets of regulars. Ilse Dunbar who is the administrator of Maine Hiking and Christine and Donnie St. Cyr who hike 2-3 times a week and post regular evening photographs on "You Know Your [sic] from Rumford, If..." Facebook site. Yes, an unfortunate typo that is discussed at length every few weeks by newcomers who are aghast that we haven't fixed the flaw. Thing is, all the posts disappear when the title on a group is changed.

No hiking today. I'm sure I'd have the big one. Onward and HYOH.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Calendar Year Triple Crown


Sammy Potter & Jackson Parell with Bailey Tuckerman 
Click on photos to enlarge. 

BACKPACKING 7,938 MILES…. Last fall, I read about two Stanford University students planning to escape Zoom classes to attempt the Triple Crown of backpacking: The Appalachian Trail (AT, 2,184 miles), the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT, 2,654 miles), and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT, 3,100 miles). Sammy Potter is a Mainer from Yarmouth whose trail name is Buzz; Jackson Parell is a Floridian whose trail name is Woody. (Yes, Toy Story.) 

Background: One of my research interests as a professor involves athletes’ writing (e.g., How does writing about a game, practice, or a performance like hiking help athletes learn and improve? In January, I wrote to Jackson and Sammy and asked if they’d be writing about their hike. Sure enough, they were. Since then, I’ve followed their trek on the Appalachian Trail and their midwinter transfers to the CDT and PCT.  

So here’s the fun part: Early this morning I saw a photo on Instagram that Sammy and Jackson posted from the Mahoosuc Mountain range here in western Maine right near where I live. I recognized the view and after some quick calculations, I headed north with Bailey. We drove to the Height of Land near Rangeley and hiked south on the Appalachian Trail. After a few hours on the AT we headed back to the Height of Land. Something told me to hang out for a bit longer and within 20 minutes, there’s Sammy, then Jackson. Random. Fun. 

To follow their attempt of the Calendar Year Triple Crown on Instagram go to @cytriplecrown. They’re good guys, and you’ll get a kick out of their posts, especially their video SnackChats.

Sammy & Jackson with Stanford classmate Evan


Off they go, NoBo: Northbound to Mt Kathadin

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Trail 728.... Hike #76.... HYOH

It kind of looks like I mowed Prospect Avenue; 
I can guarantee that I did not. 
Click photos to enlarge. 

Mowing my lawn always seemed like a good workout and fairly simple. These days, I feel the challenge. It has to be the hills and the weight of the mower. Today, the first mow of the season, also saw the heat soaring up to the mid-70's. That's wicked hot for mid-May.   

Birthday Hike!


The Birthday Boy


Bailey hit the Big 11 today, May 14th, on Rumford's Whitecap. 
Hike #75 of 2021 and on we go. HYOH.

Father & Son. 

Old Speck in the distance

Sunday River and The White Mountains

Trail with phallus in the distance. (Sorry.)

That might be the back side of Puzzle Mt

Bailey and Carin

The Presidential Range in the distance

A sign

Carins toward Bailey's Carin

More signage

New bridge on new trail 

Even more signage