Mount Waumbeck via Starr King Trail

Mount Waumbeck is location in Lancaster, Jefferson, Coos County, New Hampshire. Jefferson is a very pretty town. If you can, I highly suggest adding some time here to stop by the museum and statue.

Mount Waumbeck is part of the 48 4,000 footers in New Hampshire.  Learn more about Waumbeck.  There are a few ways to access this peak. We took the shortest route via Starr King Trail. It is direct and to the point, but do not take that lightly, after all you are hiking in the White Mountains.

Starr King Trail is located off of Starr King Road in Jefferson, NH. Starr King Road is off of Cottage Road accessed via Route 2. Map of location.

Starr King Trail to the summit of Starr King is 2.6 miles. The hike is at incline, but gradual with a handful switchbacks.  The terrain is very easy for the White Mountains.  At the 1/4 mile into the ascent or so,  you will pass a well. This is a good land-marker for your descent if you plan to return the same way.

A few images to Starr King Trail:

IMG_3159

IMG_3156

IMG_3164

Summit of Starr King

IMG_3187
IMG_3189

Starr King is a good location to stop, rest and have lunch. Of course, the Admiral chatted through the whole break.

IMG_3173

The trail to Mount Waumbeck from Star King is roughly 1.1 miles. The ridge walk is rather flat and very straight forward.

IMG_8628 2

IMG_8621 2

IMG_8629 2

IMG_8620 2

The summit of Mount Waumbeck is below tree-line, but it a very nice walk on what could be a rainy day. The rain came shortly after our summit of Mount Waumbeck. It made the descent somewhat slippery, but manageable. Though, in a downpour the trail could get really muddy and the moss very slippery rather quickly.

Here are some summit of Mount Waumbeck pictures:

IMG_3204

IMG_3210

\
IMG_3220

Here is the topography map of the trail in 3D

Messages Image(1751594419)

Messages Image(860378885)

Abby’s activity level for the day by Pet Tracker

activitytimeline

Advertisements

Mount Osceola via Tripoli Road

Mount Osceola is a 4,315-foot peak, located in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire. Mount Osceola is named for the early-19th century Seminole leader.

There are two ways to reach the summit of Mount Osceola. One is from Greeley Pond Trail to the northeast of the mountain, which requires crossing the East Peak of Osceola first or from Tripoli Road to the south. We took the southern ascent via the Mount Osceola trail, which is a 3.2 mile/5k  trek to the top, 6.2 mile/10k round trip.

The trailhead is off of Tripoli Road in Waterville Valley, NH. You can access the road off I-93 exit 31. *Note: this road is closed from November to May*  Travel roughly 6.7 miles on Tripoli Rd to the trailhead. The trailhead is located on the left with parking. *There is a fee for parking for those that do not have a yearly parking pass.*.  Tripoli road is paved then becomes a gravel a few miles into the woods. You will pass various camping grounds during the summer it is rather busy so be cautious.

IMG_2858
Trailhead sign

The trail is one of the easiest we have done. There were not many areas that would be problematic for a family hiking with a child. It is a far cry from the ‘death match’ hike of Mount Carrigain, via Signal Ridge Trail. There are a few areas near the summit that you will enjoy a few views and good breezes. In addition, compared to Mount Carrigain the trail path is not so rocky and a good 3 feet wider in certain areas, which is helpful when allowing people to pass.

Here are some images along the trail to the summit.

AbbytrailMtO1
Abby on the trail
AbbytrailMtO2
Abby on the trail
The girls on the trail
The girls on the trail

Our objective with this hike was to train Abby, our rescue canine. This trail is busy, very busy with people and dogs. The climb is rather easy but all the traffic of people and dogs is a great way to solidify training. There were “reactive” dogs on the trail, which was very helpful for training and a few people who were terrified of dogs.  As I said, the trail is very busy and wide, which is great for real life training.

The trail is rather straight forward, a basic up and back with a few switch backs to keep the incline easy to handle. Some part of the trail are under reconstruction, but there are no hurdles to worry about.

Sign about 3/4 mile from the summit
Trail reconstruction sign

As you approach the summit, you will face some rock facings. A few of the facings the incline is rather step and can be very hazardous when wet.  You can either go hand over feet or work your way along the side and up. I highly suggest to plan accordingly.

As you approach the summit there is a path to your left, climb up the rock and look out. You will be able to see Mount Washington and the Presidential’s on a clear day. Double back and take the path to the summit.  The path to the right on your approach leads you to summit, too. We suggest skipping that path the approach from the path straight ahead is way better.

We were not able to find the summit marker for this mountain, but normally with fire tower mountains, we have found there are no summit markers.

If you are looking for an easy up and down with beautiful views this is your mountain. If you are hiking with kids it is definitely something you can do as a family and if you are traveling with a child on your back, it’s a walk in the park compared to other White Mountain trails.

Here are some summit images…

IMG_2844

IMG_2847

IMG_2845

IMG_2853

As usual, please remember to leave no trace especially in areas where bears are more prone. Safety first.
IMG_2860

Lastly, here is the 3D map of our hike.

MapMtOsceola

 

 

 

 

Mount Carrigain, Signal Ridge Trail

Mount Carrigain is part of the 4,000 footers in New Hampshire. Mount Carrigain is located Grafton County, NH. The mountain is named after Phillip Carrigain, NH Secretary of State (1805–10), and is on the south side of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. There are two main paths to the summit. Desolation trail, which is steeper can be accessed by Carrigain Notch Trail, Nancy Pond Trail and a few other trails. The other option is Signal Ridge Trail, not as steep but still a rough terrain with a steep incline. Signal Ridge Trail can be accessed by Sawyer River Road off of Route 302. *Note: Sawyer River Road is closed during the winter months* We took Signal Ridge Trail, which can be found two miles from turning onto Sawyer River Road from Route 302. The trail is on the right just after a bridge with the parking on the left.  In the parking lot area you will see this gem of a tree.

IMG_2446
Tree in parking lot.

The trailhead…

Trailhead for Signal Ridge Trail
Trailhead for Signal Ridge Trail

Note: The trailhead sign misspells “Carrigan”. AMC Link From the trailhead to the junction the trail is rather easy and a pleasant walk minus the mosquitoes. I suggest bringing some repellent. We allowed M to walk some of trail at the beginning because it was that easy.

M on the trail
M on the trail

About 1.5 miles into the hike you will have to cross the river. At the beginning of the spring season this crossing could be extremely difficult or impassable. After the river crossing, you have about  0.2 miles to the junction. You will cross some log bog bridges heading to the junction.

IMG_2466

At this junction you can either head left to continue Signal Ridge trail or head straight on Carrigain Notch trail. We went left, on Signal Ridge trail and shortly into trail is where the terrain became harder. From the junction, it is 3.3 miles to the summit of Mount Carrigain. The trail offers nothing exciting other than incline and rocks. In some ways, it feels like you are on a ‘death march’ to the summit. But, do not worry the views at the top are amazing and even more amazing on a clear day.

If you hike this trail during rain or after take your time with the climb some careful footing is needed especially when the rocks are wet. There is a section of this hike that is pure rock; not large rocks, but those pesky little rocks. Watch your footing, especially on descend.

Here is a small ‘rock climb’ you will face. It’s rather easy, but with larger backpacks or a small child on your back it will take some maneuvering.

signalrdigetrailrock

IMG_2495

Though, there is really no views or excitement to the summit. There are locations were you get what our family “sarcasm” calls “outdoor a/c”. In other words, you will hit areas, where a nice breeze with come through. Of course, that is more towards the ridge line and summit, but on hot days like our hike, we are thankful for what we are given.

You will reach the Signal Ridge at the 4.5 mile marker. You will know its the ridge because straight ahead of you about a half mile away is the summit of Mount Carrigain and the fire tower, to your left you will be some shrubs and trees and  to your right you will see the Presidential Range, Attitash Mountain and on a clear day into Maine.

Mt. Cardigan fire tower
From the Signal Ridge to the summit of Mt. Carrigain fire tower

**Note: Fire towers or lookout towers provides housing and protection for a person known as a “fire lookout “. It provides housing for those on duty searching for fires. Now a days, it is done by airplane. So, when you climb up, think about those that lived and did their job to keep the forests and wildlife safe in the early 1900s. **

The ridge is a great place to take a moment, rest and regroup. The trip up to the summit is short and after your ‘death march’ climb, its really nothing. But remember what goes up must go down. Here are some images from the ridge and summit.

Mount Washington from Carrigain
Mount Washington from Carrigain

Mt Carrigan Hike-Pic1

Mt Carrigan Hike-Pic2

Here are some terrain images by our GPS device. These are after the junction post approaching the ridge and summit.

incline
Basic Map
3D Map
3D Map

Over all this is a great hike. It is a workout, but well worth all of it.

Mount Carrigain in our books, lives up to its name of one of the most un- respected climbs and views of the White Mountains.

Happy Trails!

Mt. Willard – Spring Hike

Hiking season has officially begun! And we are excited to finally hit the trails.

We decided to start with an easy hike and get back into the swing of things. We did a repeat hike, Mt. Willard. We know the terrain and what to expect.

Instead of repeating myself, you can find more about Mt. Willard, here, and the trail details.

However, for those hiking the trails, the current conditions range from dry, wet, mud, snow and ice. You get them all on this hike. So, be careful. You could use micro-spikes, if you want, towards the summit.  We didn’t have them. We walked on the side of the trail and avoided the ice.

If it stays warm, all the snow and ice should be gone in about two weeks. Of course, that means mud and tons of it. Also, the water crossing may be a little tricky.

Here are some images from our hike.

IMG_1999
Heading to the summit
Water crossing
Water crossing while M took a nap.
Crossing the stream
Abby’s way of crossing the stream.
Getting close to the summit, snow and ice conditions
Getting close to the summit, snow and ice conditions
Centennial Pool, a little break
Centennial Pool, a little break
IMG_2019
At the summit, staying hydrated and taking a break.
View from the summit
View from the summit
View from the summit
View from the summit
IMG_2022
Summit photo before heading down.

For the first hike of the season this is a great trail. It was rather busy, if you want more solitude, I suggest skipping this trail.

A short clip from Abby, her view during the submit approach… 

 

Hike for K9 Heroes

This summer one of our family members will be hiking across the White Mountains to raise money for a wonderful nonprofit organization.

Please, stay tuned.

We are finalizing some details and items.  🙂

Mt. Willard Trail – Winter Hike

Mt. Willard is a very easy up and down with an amazing view at the summit. The best time to hike this mountain is during the fall to capture the fall foliage.

Mt. Willard Trail is located in the Crawford Notch State Park. The trailhead is located in the same location as that of Avalon Trail, but instead of going straight, you would take a slight left onto Mt. Willard Trail. Since, we hiked Mt. Tom via Avalon Trail it was very easy to locate.

The trailhead for this hike starts at the Crawford Depot/Visitor Center on Rt. 302, just before the AMC Highland Center.  Anytime we hike in this area, we stop off at the Highland Center to get trail reports and if needed to sign in and out of the hiker log.

Here is the trail from the north view. Our total trip was 4.1 miles from our location at the highland center to the summit and back.

Trail
4D Map Trail
Elevation
Elevation

The trail condition for us was packed snow and easy water crossings. If you are hiking this trail during the winter, I suggest running into the Highland Center and speak with the AMC folks at the desk. Depending on what the weather was before your hike day, water crossings can be hard to pass or not passable at all. There are a few areas of the trail where you will have to duck under or walk around some broken or snow pushed branches. These areas of ‘obstacles’ are very easy to walk around.

We used our micro-spikes for this climb. It is an easy hike on packed snow, but with a moving toddler on your back its helpful to have some grip to the earth.  The climb and descent are very straight forward and rather uneventful.

Here are some images from the trail.

At the start 1
Crawford’s Depot

 

IMG_3034
Trail

 

Us on the trail
Us on the trail

 

Pool Area
Centennial Pool

 

Coming down the trail

Here are some few from the summit…

Mt. Webster

 

Summit Picture

As you can see, we added another family member to our hiking team. This was Abby’s first formal hike and she did very well. It was a little confusing in the beginning since we forgot her gear. The gear is key in helping Abby understand it’s time for ‘work’.  She stayed on her lead the whole trip connected to my pack and loved every moment. Our goal is to have Abby completely condition and trained for longer and harder climbs by this spring where she will join us on each hike.

Week 3 of Training

Put a fork in me, I am done. This was a hard week, not just the workouts, but the solo parenting with a child that is hitting the “terrible threes”. The latter made it more important than ever I get the workouts in. This week was just overly challenging. Great news, next week will be, too. At least, I am prepared and ready for Thanksgiving week. 🙂

This week focused on lifting weight to muscle fatigue with a good amount of cardio (tempo and speed work). So, here we go… week 3 breakdown.

Sunday – 6 miles with 4 at tempo

Monday  –  Easy 6 miles with core & back work, chest, back, triceps and biceps for weight lifting. Remember to work your whole chest then your triceps then to back to biceps. Always work a-posing muscle groups. Hence, the need to work abs then back. Each weight lifting exercise was done 3 times with 12 reps with the last rep being to muscle fatigue. IE, if I did another up and down I would either pull a muscle or not make it. If you have not been there, go an additional 2 to 4 times from the point you think you can’t.

  • Chest workout
    • Flat bench chest press
      • 25 crunches and 25 reverse crunch
      • Superman 25 times.
    • Incline chest press
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
    • Dumbbell Pullovers, I do this move with only my shoulders on a bench, keep your spine inline abs in gauged, knees 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor. After your last set move directly to tricep presses right over your chest as many as you can do.
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
  • Triceps
    • Seated Tricep Extensions
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
    • Tricep Kickbacks
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
  • Back (Thank you to Jack for this workout, he created the workout with dumbbells. Great guy, very helpful and excited to help and even followed up on the workout to make sure it was working).  The fact he is a ‘Bama fan is just an added bonus! 🙂 You can find him on twitter here and his website here, Jack’s website.
    • Single dumbbell bent over row
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Double dumbbell bent over rows (performed standing, no bench involved)
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Bent-over double dumbbell lat fly
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Bent over Dumbbell pull-backs
      • Body weight squats 10
  • Biceps
    • Hammer curls
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Biceps curls
      • Body weight squats 10

Greatest way to know you lifted correctly is move directly into push up position, if you are not shaking during the execution or if you just can’t even perform the push up, you reached your muscle fatigue. Depending on your recovery rate you may be able to do a push up or two. If you are handling this easily, you are stronger than you believe and you need to adjust your lifting to reach the point of muscle fatigue.

Tuesday – Shoot me now, 10 miles on the treadmill followed by 25 8-count body builders. The body builders took me some time, I was a little sore from the day before. Plus, I really really, did I mention really hate body builders. I mean really, who came up with this god forsaken workout, a form of a burpee set to a rhythm count. If I ever met this person, I am not sure I would punch or hug him/her. Either way… another, lovely workout J taught me.  The run on the treadmill was tough mentally. The only thing that got me through this run was “From Paris With Love”. Yes, the weapons fire, explosions, and awesome character playing by John Travolta made 10 miles seems like a walk in the park.

          One of my favorite quotes from the movie is, “Kitchen staff!?! What kitchen staff ?!? Kitchen staff doesn’t shed lead like that.”  Anywhos…..I highly recommend the movie if you have not seen it. Great effects with some awesome movie liners like the one above.

Wednesday – No cardio, just repeat of Mondays weight lifting. Plus, yoga and stretching. I wasn’t overly sore. Weight lifting then cardio helps work out the lactic acid build up. Plus, the more efficient your body becomes the better the recovery.

Thursday –  First off, I am so stoked I completed this. (8.5 miles total) I learned this workout from J. It was a workout he did some many moons ago. Well, half of it. I just repeated the cycle.

  • Block 1
    • Easy warmup one and a half miles. You can make this a mile if you want. I said easy for a reason.
  • Block 2
    • Four quarter-mile sprints with 30 second working recovery* between each set — you can make the rest period up to 45 seconds
    • 45 to one minute working recovery after your last quarter-mile sprint.
    • Two half mile sprints with 60 second working recovery* between each set — you can make the rest period up to 90 seconds
  • Block 3
    • Working recovery* for one mile.
  • Block 4
    • REPEAT Block 2
      • Try and maintain the same pace of your first round of Block 2. By the third half mile repeat or maybe the first half-mile repeat you should be swearing and pushing yourself through the “I want to quit” stage. Just remember, the saying “Pain is inevitable, suffering optional.” You choose suffer through it or push forward. I use a mantra when things get real tough, I find it’s a way to calm my mind and body, it’s rather simple. Be Strong, Be Confident, Believe. Short simple and repeated whenever I need it.
  • Block 5
    • One mile cool down. Add whatever miles you need for cool down. I did 1.5. I have an A-Type personality and the warm up and cool down need to match and the cool down needs to make the total mileage complete or at a half mile. IE after the decimal the number needs to be 0 or 5.

Finished up with core & back work and another 15 8 count body builders **insert sour loving face**.

Friday – Easy 5 mile run.

Saturday – As always family day. I am truly blessed to have a man or maybe a vampire man in my life that when his flight is cancelled on Friday night, he will get a rental car and drive all the way home to arrive Saturday morning for family day. He did this knowing that early Sunday morning like 4AM he was heading back out to the airport and heading back to the location he just left. Saturday’s adventures were very basic, we picked up our fresh turkey from a local family farmer, we did a little more Christmas shopping, of course watched some football, enjoyed building some great architectures, pig piled on the bed for a few Christmas films, made time for J and M to have play time, followed by Abby getting some solo couch time with J and I got 75 minutes of almost uninterrupted peace and not so much quiet time to do adult things. The time flew by, but we will take it. It is about quality over quantity.

*What I mean by working recovery is that you are still moving jogging or at an easy run pace. You are allowing your body to recovery and take in more oxygen at a reduction in intensity, but you are not standing still or allowing your heart rate to drop completely, I stay within 60 – 65% of max heart rate. The Thursday workout is all about working at a high intensity with minor breaks then back to high intensity. You are training you cells to recovery after high intensity and also training your mind to influence your body. Remember, fitness is not how skinny, built, how far you can run/hike/climb/swim or how much you can carry for a certain distance and/or altitude. Fitness is your rate of recovery. The better your fitness rate, the faster you recover, the faster your body returns to homeostasis. The place it wants to be. In times of stress that being fight or flight, work shit, family BS, disagreement with your loved one, you name it, the faster your body and your mind can make the adjustments and return to normal the better for you and your body.

Week Two of Training

I had to make some changes to my plan. This week we had a sick household.  Everyone, but the dogs, got ‘the crud’.  M had a low-grade temperature for several days, so we were the good parents and kept her home from pre-school and kept ‘the crud’ all to ourselves. The good news is we all are over ‘the crud’ and ready to face week three with all cylinders firing at maximum power.

Week Two Workouts:

Sunday: Off. It was supposed to be 8 miles, but ‘the crud’ and a minor hive outbreak made things a little tough. The latter is getting overly exhausting.

Monday:  6 miles

Tuesday: 6 miles and one hour spin class (HIIT workout) — Did not do the spin class.

Wednesday: 5 mile run with a 16lb weight vest and 1 mile 15% incline walk with 16lb weight vest

Thursday: Started off with hives, but did my circuit training, which breaks down as follows:

Each round of exercise is done 3 times for 40 minutes with 20 second recovery then 60 minute recovery between each round. This week was about making friends with the floor for plank position and push ups. Here are the exercises:

  1. Round One
    • Grab a step (like the ones they use in step class) with 2 or 4 rises for each side or a low bench, stand to one side then place one foot up on the step towards the middle, bend to 90 degrees, jump up and return to bent position. Keep the landing light, soft, as quiet as you can. Keep your form, break when you need.
    • Bent over rows
    • Down the floor, plank position, execute a push up. If you cannot do a push up with perfect form, then do a modified push up with perfect form. Return to plank position, then right leg, knee to chest, then another push up, then left leg, knee to chest. Repeat as many times as you can. Remember you form. Form is most important.  If you do the modified push up, move back to the plank position and then knee to chest and back down. No harm and dropping to modified or starting at modified push ups. We all start somewhere, we all have our weaknesses. With that said, we are all stronger in another area. So, don’t get down on yourself if you can’t maintain or start with a push up.
  2. Round two
    • Back to Step, straddle it, bend over and place hands on the far end of the step, then jump your feet up onto the step, landing on your toes and back down to the floor. Controlled and soft landings.
    • Deadlifts
    • Down to the floor for swimmers. Lay on your stomach, leg out (feet a little wider than hip width, arms out in front of you) pull your chest and hips off the floor as high as you can. Both arms and legs up and down as fast as you can while maintain the distance you just pulled up off the floor. This works your hamstrings and back.
  3. Round Three
    • Squats with overhead press
    • Down to the floor, again. Back to plank position for ‘around the world’. From plank position, lift left arm, left leg, right arm, then right leg. Repeat. You can do a left arm/right leg lift then right arm/left leg. If needed, go down to your elbow and perform the ‘around the world’.
    • Front raises, keep your stomach contracted, if needed place one foot slightly in front of the other to protect your back or bend over.
  4. Round Four
    • Jumping jacks with 2.5 lb plate. Arms —  in and out for 20 seconds then arms up to should height and down for 20 seconds. As many as you can. The jacks with in and out arms may require a bit more focus then your regular jacks. 😉

Friday: 6 mile run with stretching. Later that afternoon, a 3 mile walk with my weight vest. The three miles broke out like this;

  • Mile one at 7% incline
  • Mile two at 11% incline
  • Mile three at 15 % incline

I wanted to run 4 miles at a 4% incline. But I toned it down to just sweat at low intensity and work the cold out of my system.

Saturday: Rest day — FAMILY DAY 🙂 It included, Christmas shopping, ‘The Incredibles’ with puzzles, building blocks, play-dough, M barking out commands to Abby and time as family piled on the couch. I’m amazed how two adults, one toddler and two large dogs find a way to fit on the couch. At nap time,  J & I watched the Alabama Football game. Roll Tide! Yes, I am from the north, but I married a man from Mobile, AL.  When ‘Bama is on, I’m watching the game. I have no complaints. ZERO. When the Pats are on, he is game for watching it with no complaints. The joys of being married. Compromise. 🙂

My mileage was a wee-bit better. I did not like cutting out my spinning class, but the chest congestion really made cardio at high rates a wee-bit tricky.  The circuit training suffered do to the chest congestion, so I made the next day’s cardio a bit easier.

The weight vest training went well. Honestly, 16 lbs is a walk in the park, but with the cold the double session was tough. If you are starting out with a weight vest, stay within 2 to 5, maybe 8 lbs max for a few weeks. Work on your form. Weight carrying while running requires very good form and knowledge on how to use it. If not, you will end up with some or sever lower back pain.

There are many items to consider when purchasing a weight vest for running and other workouts. I will write-up a post later this week on the one I use and why. It’s been my lifesaver when training to carry M up and down mountains.

Week One of Training

Oh, it’s that time again. Time to start building for hiking, rock climbing, training for two half-marathons, a 5k for a local SPCA and a Thanksgiving run or race.

Week One Workouts:

Sunday: Easy 6 miles

Monday:  Stretching, Hatha Yoga.

Tuesday: 4 miles and one hour spin class (HIIT workout)

Wednesday: 5 miles, stretching

Thursday: Circuit Training, which breaks down as follows:

— Each exercise is done once, but 3 times for 60 minutes with 20 second recovery then 2.5 minute recovery between each exercise. Here is the exercises:

  • Curtsy lunges with 5 lbs plates in each arm raise up to shoulder height on down of the lunge.
  • Bench Presses
  • Star Jacks
  • Bent over rows to shoulder shrugs.
  • Squats with barbell
  • Crabs with altering hand and foot.  Get into the crab position, like you would if you were ‘crab-walking’. Contract your abs then Left foot to right hand (feet and hand meet in air above belly button) then right foot left hand. Make sure to keep your hips up and abs contracted. The stronger you get the easier it becomes, but NO, DEFINITELY NO, V shape from shoulders to knees. If you are at a V shape, strengthen your body. You can do so by raising your left hand, then right leg, then left hand then right leg. Just remember keep you hips up and stomach contracted.
  • Band strap jacks.
    • Place a resistant band around your ankles, bend knees, jump out and in (like you are doing jumping jacks) Straight knees do build nothing. Bend like a squat, out and in, as fast as you can, remained as low as you can for the full 60 seconds.
  • Deadlifts
  • Burpees with jumps. Oh yeah, my second most hated exercise saved for the end, dead arms, dead legs. All mental. As many in the 60 seconds as you can. Jump as high as you can.

Friday: 6 mile run with stretch and home yoga.

I took 8 classes in college my second to last semester before I graduated. I took one class, yoga, Hatha to be more exact. It was how I kept my sanity with a loaded semester. Through that class, I learned a ton enough to run my own class, so home yoga is focused and  highly structured.

Saturday: Rest day ——> FAMILY DAY 🙂 Play Day. Enjoyed our normal route,  we do very Saturday, no plans, just play and spend the day as a family. I can say it involved some play-dough, tons of dog kisses, buildings made out of blocks, walks, and Mickey Mouse Musketeers.

Overall, not a bad first week. I was a little sore Friday and Saturday. For week one and starting training this week was basic and will be built upon every week. My mileage was very low this week, but it was needed to allow my body to adjust other exercises. Basically, this week and week two (maybe week three) will be used to help my body rebuild its cellular function for increased exercise, intensity and duration.

My Pack Loadout

There is one major question, I get asked all the time when hiking with M. In fact, I get asked it so much I have a standardized the answer to encumber answers to the next several questions that are highly likely to be asked. The most asked question is **drum roll**

How much does your pack weigh?

My answer – My pack weighs between 40 to 45 pounds. It depends on length of the hike, the season, the weather and the weight of M.  M weighs between 30 to 32 pounds.

So, how did I come up with 40 to 45 pounds. Well, as stated M weighs between 30 to 32 pounds. Yes, I weigh her, bi-weekly during hiking season. My only purpose for this to make help make sure my pack states under 45 pounds (per the specs requirement for my pack). By knowing her weight and the weight of water I’m carrying makes it rather easy to pack everything else.

I carry two sources of water. One is a 2 liter Camelbak, which weighs approximately 4.4 pounds. The second is a 1.5 liter Camelbak, which weighs approximately 3.3 lbs that is for M. The great thing about water is that it will be used and my pack gets a wee-bit lighter as I go. But, if needed at huts the water will be partially or completely refilled.  This means at maximum I carry about 7.7 lbs of water.

Let’s calculate that, so you don’t have to break out the calculator, break out the pen and paper or think too hard. I know its been a rough week. 🙂  The weight of M and the weight of water means I carry 37.7 to 39.7 lbs. That leaves me with a remaining weight of 5.3 to 7.3 lbs.

The inside my pack are the items below:

  • 2 to 3 diapers and wipes
  • Plastic bag for dirty diapers
  • long sleeve shirt for M
  • Rain/wind jacket for M
  • Long hiking pants for M (used as backup)
  • Cold weather hat for M (used when its windy)
  • Extra Socks for M (used as backup or if needed as gloves for unexpected weather change)
  • Toddler Medkit
  • Snacks for M and I (homemade trail-mix & bars which is normally carried in my cargo or front pocket)
  • Snack cup
  • Long sleeve shirt for me
  • Rain/wind jacket for me
  • Extra socks for me
  • Medkit for myself
  • Rain/Wind cover for pack
  • Orange Trail Marking Tape
  • Waterproof matches

That is the standard items that HAVE TO come along. The only items that may which to J’s pack is my long sleeve shirt, rain/wind jacket and extra socks.  Again, during the colder season, which for M since she is not moving most of the time really starts towards the end of August/beginning of September. And that is subject to change when hiking the White Mountains. Why, simply because it snowed this year in June. As I always say, being prepared is what is most important and half the battle.

The accessory items (i.e. connected to my pack in a handy location) are as follows:

  • Chap stick (which is 99% of the time is in my front zip pocket)
  • Sunblock
  • Special Ops 6″ tactical knife with pouch (Thank you to J for the lessons in uses and how to use)
  • Emergency whistle
  • Mirror for M
  • Old Fashion compass
  • Map (which is 99% of the time is in my cargo pocket in a waterproof protector)
  • Flashlight

And that folks sums it up. Surprisingly, your clothes and items do not add that much extra weight, but it still counts towards the total weight.

No matter what my pack always always carries emergencies items for M and I. That’s for injuries, unexpected people or animal attack and separation from J. We never want anything to happen, but we rather be prepared for it then be “up sh*ts creek without a paddle”.

And if you are wondering, we have taken a well-used hiking trail in Virginia that we played a real game of “hide and get moving” from a Black Bear. We actually could feel the impact tremors from the Bear’s paw striking the ground and hear the bear growl which means “Exit, stage left or be lunch”. No matter where you go for hiking, remember you are on their land, their territory and its best to respect that, but be prepared.