Wednesday, January 31, 2024

A First


Bailey at one year old

Back when Bailey was a feisty young dog, we were running the cross-country trail at Black Mountain in the late afternoon heat of July. At one point I turned up a hill to head toward the alpine slopes, but Bailey just stopped. He looked at me as I continued running, and then he headed back to the ski area's parking lot. He lay down at the back of my car in the shade and waited for me. The mountain manager, Jim, thought I might have had the big one, but a few minutes later I appeared running down the alpine slope. Bailey never did that again, and I would never again just let him head off on his own. 

Today, I warmed up the van to take it out for a 30- to 45-minute spin to charge up the chassis battery and the house batteries. I take it out once a week or so, depending on the weather. I brought Bailey out onto the driveway once the van was warmed up; I opened the sliding door to let him in; he just stood there looking from a distance. I walked toward him to guide him to the van but he walked away to the garage door. A first. No ride was the message. 

Inside the house, I fixed him a bone and left him chewing away while I drove up toward Andover. When I got back, he was happy to see me. 

Bailey's back hips hurt him. Jumping in to the car or van is tough. Even jumping up on the couch is a struggle. The last two weeks he's been up a lot at night gagging and coughing with his collapsed trachea--that means I've been up, too. As much as I hoped to do some kind of spring trip with him (Georgia? AZ or California?), I'm afraid that may not work for him. BUT! We'll see. He might rally with warmer weather. As my Christian friends say and their bible expresses, "For everything there is a season..."  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). 

A Pristine Day on Whitecap

Old Speck in the distance. 
Click on photos to enlarge. 

On the 29th of January, Bailey and I hiked up Red Hill (My AllTrails Hike Review). It's a combination of back road and snow mobile trail. On leash, Bailey kept right up with me. I was quite please. On the 30th, Bailey went to Sharon's daycare while I sat in on a meeting and then (!) headed up Whitecap to the western overlook on Yellow trail. What a good time with just microspikes. The temp was 20 degrees but zero wind! The sun turned its magic. 

That's Bailey's cairn covered in snow. 

That's another view from Bailey's cairn.  

Old Speck in the distance

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Trudging up Whitecap's Orange Trail in Heavy Snow


Honestly, I'm not complaining... today's hike in the new wet snow proved to be great exercise. Other hikers and back-country skiers had packed part of the trail, so that made it doable for these two old dogs. We met a couple of skiers and on the parallel trail, Yellow, we could hear skiers trekking up the glades' access path. We only did 3 miles, but it proved to be a good challenge. In the video above, Bailey had gone off trail into the deep snow. No idea why he did that because post-holing is tough work for him. 


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Anne & Joe... getting an electric Mustang in your 80's... Why not?


The EV Mustang! 
Click on photos to enlarge.

Anne and Joe continue to amaze. This time, purchasing an electric Ford Mustang. Honestly, I think these two should teach lessons in life and living. Off to the theater, the cinema, a concert, to lunch... inviting friends over for visits... serving clients at the Food Pantry each week on Wednesdays from 3pm to 6pm... and now buying an electric vehicle. I study their lives and aspire to the energy and enthusiasm they have for life.   

Monday, January 22, 2024

Coffee with Bill and his Girls

Friends from the fields and slopes 

Bill and I coached for 21 years at Rumford HS and
Mountain Valley HS. I also brought my high school English 
students to his 5th grade class to do some writing and tutoring
with his kids. Bill, his wife Mary, and daughter Terry took 
several Maine Teams of girls to England with me as well. 
We've had a long-time friendship. He's a true gentleman. 

Bill and his two girls, Terry and Mary Ellen, visited this morning after a mass that celebrated Bill's late wife Mary. We had coffee, pastry, and loads of fun conversation for a couple of hours. I asked  

I posted the photograph above and the caption below welcoming Bill's former students and athletes to say hello to their 92-year-old former mentor. Six hours later, 80 student-athletes and friends "liked" the photo and many wrote comments. (Bill, if you're reading this, I'll follow-up with any more comments tomorrow.)

Here's the Facebook post that has prompted now 84 people to respond: 

By 7pm this evening, here are many of the comments and the people who gave a shout out to our Mr. Morgan: 

Hiking Black Mountain

AllTrails Hiking App

After a fun coffee with Bill Morgan and his girls, I fought off a nap and hiked the Black Mountain Ski Resort loop. The temps had gone up 20+ degrees, so we were at 35 degrees on the base of the mountain. Felt like spring hiking. Today's hike wasn't a good one for Bailey, so he hung out with Sharon and Emi. 

Bald Mountain and the Saddle

Mt Blue, Weld