Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stuck in the Middle

We're stuck in the middle right now with how to tackle our last weekend day. Should we attend to that every growing list of things to-do or should we go back outside and play? I can tell you which way I am already leaning.

On the Look OUt

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sub Zero Wind Chills

And we're still making it outside. Yay! Check out the snow whiskers.

Snow Whiskers

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mount Washington's Wind Speed Record

As if it wasn't sad in enough that our Old Man of the Mountain fell down in 2003, but now we've also lost one of our state's proudest records. (If you haven't noticed yet- I love saying our old man fell down)

For years New Hampshire's Mount Washington has proudly held the world's fastest wind speed at 231 miles per hour. Now, sadly, much like our Old Man, our record has fallen. The newest fastest wind was recorded in 1996 in Australia. Now after years of investigation it is confirmed to be the new record holder.

I will still think fondly of New Hampshire's White Mountains as having some of the worst weather in the world- even if it may not be the fastest and we no longer have an Old Man watching over the state. Until the next wind storm Mount Washington.

Above Treeline: Fog

It creeps up on you slowly. At first you don't really notice the rolling fog. Maybe you find it calming, maybe you find it cooling against your sweaty clothing since you've been climbing for hours and you're nearing treeline.

It's not until, perhaps, you look back to the trail you've just come from or you finally near the summit, that you realize how far you can see. Not very far at all that is. And now it has become dangerous as you begin to contemplate-- should you head back down before the fog gets worse or continue on?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sort of Smitten

By vintage Backpacker ads.

photo source misstweedledee

New Blog Layout

For those of you who catch up on my blog through google reader or via email, do stop back by my blog. We've been working on an amazing new layout. You'll see not everything is live yet and we're still adding dohickeies and stuff, but it's pretty exciting. The talent behind the look? Leigh-Ann from Freckled Nest.

new blog progress

Catching Snowballs

The Almost Snowball

The Almost Snowball

The Almost Snowball

Where do those snowballs keep going?

Where do those things keep going?

Missed it again

Oh snap, I missed that one.

Where is that snowball?

K I'm ready this time.

Missed it

Snap- to the side again.

The Almost Snowball

Reach for it. Reach for it.

The Almost Snowball


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker

Here is that pileated woodpecker that I mentioned in this post. These are some fairly large birds for New Hampshire and quite the sight to see against the white snow.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Blizzard of 1978

I've survived my fair share of snow and ice storms, hurricanes, and Nor'Easters, but as anyone from New England knows-- it's nothing compared to the Blizzard of '78.

While I didn't personally live through the blizzard, I've heard countless stories about the massive snow drifts, the blinding winds, the zero visibility, the cars parked in the middle of the roads because they couldn't go any further. Since the Blizzard's anniversary is approaching (February), I thought I would go digging through Flickr for some photos to illustrate just how amazing it was.

Knee Deep Snow

While hiking yesterday we found that the snow was much, much deeper than it looked. It's easy to think, while climbing up on the well packed trail, sans snowshoes, that the snow is only a few inches deep.

Snow covered trail

But....when you step off to the side on the summit that is normally strewn with granite slaps at all different heights- you find yourself sinking in up to your knees.

Trudging through the snow

When my boyfriend spotted another dog on the top of the mountain, he attempted to run over and put Misty on a leash. Except he went in at least up to his thighs, fell over on his face, and even showed a little plumber's crack. I nearly died laughing. Especially because Misty got a little scared at all his crazy actions and was like--- what the heck are you doing?

Snow Face Dog

Misty likes to dive in with her face first, thus the snow face

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Outdoor Favorites

Winter Outdoor Favs

1. Mt. Hood Winter Camp, 2. Big White Snow, 3. Blizzard - Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 4. Winter Camp, Mono Lake, 5. Winter camping Kandersteg, Swiss, 6. On a windy day 1, 7. they won't get lost in the snow8. Not available

See above links for photo credits.

Desperately Seeking Cycling Shorts

You may recall from reading past cycling posts that I like to rock the Terry cycling skort while riding. I've actually loved their skorts for over ten years now, but lately feel that I am ready to start mixing it up. I don't always want to throw on a skort for riding for multiple reasons, but due to my limited cycling wardrobe that is basically all I've got.

Misty on Mountain Bike Ride

I've been scouring through all the newest cycling clothes for the upcoming season and this is what I've narrowed it down to.

Specialized Enduro Short

The length looks the simple color (we don't always need to clash colors)... but still can't really get a feel for how the actual short looks. Mock-up drawings just can't quite depict it enough for me to try them out. Plus, the price tag is a bit steep at $120.

Loeka Shell Short in Plaid

I love the length and fun print, but I've never tried this company. Also, they look like they may be a bit of a low rider. Not good for biking since basically every pair of bicycle shorts I've ever owned slides right off my butt while riding. These are still a maybe though. Especially is they are comfortable with a pair of Terry cycling liners underneath.

Breezer Board Short by SheBeest

These are basically the ideal pair of shorts, except that mesh liner part. Mesh liners...I don't know... they just... sound like they rub.

Anyways, let me know if you have any other suggestions. I'm open to ideas. I also like a lot of the outdoor clothing that Outdoor Divas has online, just not any of the cycling shorts right now.

Latest Winter Hike and Plans for 2010

Our most recent winter hike was balmy and warm, with surprisingly little for winds. We're expecting a lot of rain tonight and tomorrow possibly flooding in localized areas, so we decided to hit the trails before the storm.

Enjoying the View

Perfect weekend for it too- the sky was such an amazing azure blue and the trails so quiet. I'm shocked at how much I've been managing to get outside the past few weeks, considering my pile of responsibilities only seems to stack up higher every week.

Snow covered trail

I like my new 2010 mentality. Just get out and go.

In 2004 I came to the realization that I was never going to have enough time or money to say-- now-- now is the time to do all the things I've been dying to try. Coming to that realization, I decided to just throw caution to the wind and try new things. I signed up for lessons in things I was curious about, tried new sports, and did just plain old wild and reckless things.

I signed up for sculling lessons and was the only one to not dump it into the water. Quite the feat considering we sculled twice a week for the whole summer. Nearly everyone took one swim. I joined a women's fast pitch softball league even though I had never really played competitive softball. Camping, climbing, mountain bike racing for the first time. You name it. I just did it.

Anyway, I'm fixin' to have 2010 be a year like that. I've been good and cooped up for way too long. It's time to start trying and checking those things off my "someday" list.

My list to start with--
  • That gosh darn, lobster crate race. this year darn-it.
  • Paddle lake umbaggog. get the campsite now. worry about the canoe later.
  • Trail running race. F--- the bum knee
  • Bond cliffs
  • Shop my favorite giant rummage sale
  • Make it to the Ibex tent sale.
  • Wife carrying championship. I think I finally have Adam-yak on board for this one.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Local Seaplane Landing Base

In between jaunts through the woods, we stopped by this area landing strip on a nearby frozen lake.

Landing Strip

When it has been cold enough- Alton Bay- a popular swimming and boating area on the larger Lake Winipisaukee- becomes a public landing strip for small aircrafts. It's wild to see bright red planes landing next to people wearing double thick pack boots, rows of patched together bob houses, and rusted out pickup trucks.

Landing Strip

Landing Strip

Landing Strip

Landing Strip

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Above Treeline: Blinding Cold

Above treeline in New Hampshire brings a slew of new elements- blinding cold, brutal winds, deep fog, and ice- lots and lots of ice.

On Mount Washington, one of the state's largest mountains, it's currently -33 degrees F. That's painful cold. That's cold that requires double thick, extra windproof mitts, a solid face mask, ski goggles that don't fog up. That's cold enough to whiten any exposed skin within seconds.

Sometimes it gets so cold that it hurts to breath. Your nose doesn't run anymore, because- well- you can figure out why. Oh and stopping to go the bathroom? Just forget about that until your are back down at your car.

One recent sub-temperature treeline hike here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pre Nor'Easter

Just before this weekend's Nor'easter creeped in, we snuck out for a quick three mile hike in the woods.

The Storm is A'brewin

Between blasts of small snow squalls we managed to see a giant woodpecker--- technically the Pileated Woodpecker. I've heard about these giant birds, but I've never come across one. I didn't manage a photo of it but I'll tell you what-- they do not look like they belong in New England. The bright red head, paired with the white belly and jet black back really make this bird look more tropical-- especially since we spotted it during the bland winter months.


I'm not sure that these holes in the tree don't belong to the woodpecker, but I thought they went with the sighting pretty well.

Quarry Misty Tested the Ice on

Misty decided to test the ice by going out on this quarry. Not the best of ideas, but luckily she didn't fall through.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Betty Mountain Girl --- The year 2009 in review


We had an extremely wet spring and summer. Torrential rains for weeks on end-- making things very muddy to say the least.

Muddy Again from Mountain Biking

I love biking

View from Above

Misty and Bike

Misty started to mountain bike with me. She fell in a swamp.

Fourth of July Mountain Biking

I wrote about being tired.

Riding Under Tall Pines

Mountain Bike Panda

I tried to take a Panda photo. It's harder than it looks.


Bicycle Touring

Entering Acadia National Park

I rode my bike with five other friends to Bar Harbor Maine. It took almost a week.

Bike Tripping

Ortlieb Panniers On the Road

I enjoyed many Pringles on the trip. I like Pringles.

Wet Tents in Acadia

The Line

It rained a lot.

Campfire Pizza Making

Drying Out

I learned how to make Campfire Pizzas on that trip. And then I made them again.


More camp cooking

Fruit Cobbler

I tried to make a fruit cobbler on my Jetboil stove. I burnt the crap out of it.

Campfire Cakes

We tried to make Campfire cakes. That didn't work out so well either.


Backpacking- Hiking - Camping- Kayaking

Toliet Papered in the Wilderness

Our Tent in the Whites

Looking Up

My feet in the Pemi

We went backpacking with some friends. We're in bear country and my friend took the time out to toliet paper our tent. Too much fun for just a few days.

Crossing the Pemi

Betty Jumping

We hiked a lot. Jumped around a lot.

One Girl's Ride

We paddled.

Paddle on the water

Looking back-- this past year was a lot of fun. Adam-yak, Nuggets and I are dreaming up an even bigger year for 2010. Can't wait! Thanks for reading everyone. It wouldn't have been nearly as fun without you all along for the ride!