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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cow Hampshire

Back in my dad's day they called it Cow Hampshire as apparently at one time there were more cows than people in New Hampshire. All I know is big huge hills. The Whites kicked my butt "8 ways to Sunday".
In the reading I did a year ago, one book said; when a single season NoBo thru hiker reaches the Whites, they have spent only 20% of the energy needed to finish. Until now I've questioned that statement.
I have aches and pains not felt since GA and NC. The daily mileage is back down to 10 but indeed the views are spectacular:
Btw the word indeed is a man's word. Think about it. If you're one of the women reading this blog
Go ahead and say the word.....indeed. Feels awkward doesn't it? You can use certainly, absolutely, etc. Whenever a guy uses the word indeed, think of him like this:
Speaking of words, the hike and audio audible have given me a great opportunity to further my way along a list I started years ago. The 100 books everyone should read before they die. A couple things about said list; there are a hundred such lists with wide variations yet many books in common. Unfortunately the Bible rarely appears on the list, ironic as it is alive and active not to mention the Worlds best seller for generations. Did you know the first US Congress, the same which wrote of government and religion, actually used tax dollars to print and distribute the Bible as a school primer? So back to the list(s) of 100. Another facet of the list is not to finish so as to prolong ur life, get it? Well there are several books common to most lists regardless of variation and here's how I felt when finally finishing one such most commonly listed:
If you're interested in reading the most verbose(wordiest), blue bloodiest, soap opera yet perfectly well titled books or you're expecting an interview with Loyds of London, try Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. In Ct I came across a retired English teacher who loved the book then laughed admittedly when I said "of course, it's filled with gossiping women".
Gee, this post has taken on a somewhat gendered tone, let's go back to the scenery.
The Whites remind me of PA in some way as there's no small amount of rocks.
Both on and off the trail:
But these rocks are different, they tend to be more level, and stickier though just as hard.
Some rock trails lead up to:
Places like Mt Washington;
On a sunny day no less;
That for a little while got a bit uglier:
Then prettier again:
Then about 2 hours and just 4 miles later I was given a sign saying "stop here".
"Down here at this very place, the Madison Hut"
Ok I did, before crawling up and down that nasty beast behind it. The night before, I tented 4000 ft up to watch the blood moon. This was the moon at 7ish
Unfortunately this camera did not capture the lunar eclipse that looked like a natural orange hanging in the sky at 10:30pm.
Surprised (not) by waking the next morning, to find a morning after what many said would have been the world's end, I was able to capture a great sunrise:
Then at the day's end a great sunset:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Word's Out

Meet Chopper and Murray. What a tremendous encouragement and heart string pulling father and son duo:
Chopper is the handsome guy in the back with the baseball cap, his dad Murray is better looking, in better shape, and at 80 is kickin his son's butt. We played leap frog several times during their 11th year together on the trail. They're sectioners who plan to finish in 2 years. How cool is that? Within a couple days of their last day of their annual 2 week trek, while Jet Ski and his future son in law (not in pic) and I were literally standing in the middle of an intersection, in the middle of nowhere (the "geographical oddity" following me since Georgia) receiving directions, Chopper and Murray popped out, yelled out then essentially adopted us for 2 days. Each with a truck they ferried us to dinner, breakfast, re supply, then after giving us the opp to slack pack treated us to dinner and brew at their shelter. Chopper is a 20 yr Army man(stock rose immediately in my book) he's been flying the latest and greatest helicopters we produce for 10 yrs and training others. Murray was a machine maker and cop for 10 years, we spoke of how insane the recent news has been. 
The Green Mountains of Vermont were nothing short of spectacular. Who doesn't love the smell of pine?
The Greens were verdant, covered, packed and alive.
Certainly not without great vistas:
And reminders that others are still here, though I don't dig graffiti:
I guess no state along the trail is now complete without one of these:
It has come to my attention that what I've witnessed is now making the news, there has been an element, a small portion of hikers, we call hickers, wreaking havoc everywhere and driving businesses, parks and even entire towns to consider banning AT hikers next year. Sad it's really just a small but pervasive percentage of bad apples.
On the lighter side, this one still has me laughing though the guy was def sketch. He is heading south, comes up on me and says "you thru hikin?" I look the part ya know. "Yes sir!" I reply. "You retired?" "What's ur trail name" he asks. "Sparky". Then he launches, "I'm a section hiker , done the trail umpteen times, go out every weekend blah blah blah but totally serious face then says his trail name is "Blaze of Glory" I immediately laughed but he stayed straight and serious. I asked "do you have kids" guessing he's mid fifties. He says "yeah" then proceeds,  he was on the trail down south a few years ago "witnessing" to a young girl (sketcher) when he got up "kissed a tree" then the girl says "your name should be blaze of glory!" Ooookaaayyy. So I can't this go, I said "well at least ur kids will know what to put on ur tombston" He totally straight pan faced just no expression says "well take care" and I walked away (quickly) laughing.
One of my kin says she won't be seen publicly with me till I shave.
Another says when I'm done she's gonna feed me straight lard! Lard like blubber and blab is a perfect word isn't it?
I'm still reading my devo book but can't remember nor have the time to go back and see those I've already sent.
Suffice it to say, the more I see, the more I'm amazed.
There's so much evidence.
I'm in the Whites as I write this and will share more of that next time. Signal is scarce to say the least.
I hope yall are doin well.
Love




Monday, September 21, 2015

A Fungus Amongus

Have you ever felt like things are movin just too fast? Where has the time gone and where's it going? Ahhhhhh just to take a deep relaxing breath to drink in the moment. Walking along a 1 mile stretch of road between Norwich Vt over the Ct River to Hanover NH (home of Dartmouth) I couldn't help but feel the tension amongst the hundreds of commuters inbetwwen traffic lights as I realized it won't be long for me now as this sabbatical's end draws near.
Something's take time.
Scout is fascinated by snakes and mushrooms. We've seen enough snakes but I've been savin up on shrooms since NC.
I actually got a shuttle ride from a young man in Virginia who admitted being in a mushroom club, this country has something for everyone.
They are interesting and varied for sure:
I went on line to learn the Smithsonian has the best guide to mushrooms including testing for consumption. This one looks like a pancake:
Or snicker doodle:
A bouquet
Hen of the woods?


A mushroom anemone 


Something's been nibbling:



One wonders what natural cures might be stored within:
Caulimush
I hope that doesn't itch
Such variety
Mushroom birdbath


Tree coral
Remember Chaga from early post? It worked for me in PA in tea. Only good from birch. Ask prof Google:
This one tree
Was for some reason more attractive as they crawled all the way up
More Hen of the woods?
My brother Mike B taught me about the Artist Mushroom about 5 yrs agp. AKA the Mushroom Conk on the top becomes dark and hard by October.
While underneath is a thin veneer of white. 
Using the right instruments, given the time, inspiration and talent, take a look at a sample of Mike's work:
Looking forward to breakfast soon Mike! Oh yeah bring on the bacon!








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