Friday, December 6, 2013

The Next Act

"There is immeasurably more left inside than what comes out in words." ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I'd say that all has been quiet since my last posting, but it definitely hasn't. I'd also say that I've been slacking, but that hasn't really been the case either. Up until the last few years, goals haven't been my strong suite, and I set two whoppers for this year. For whatever reason, I haven't been able to figure out when I decided to do them, but there we have it. The two goals were these: 1000 hiking miles for the year (I've been keeping a spreadsheet), and getting to the psychological halfway point (mileage) in my redlining journey.

One of those goals is now complete, and then some. On 11/21, almost a full 6 weeks ahead of goal, and somewhere in the middle of the Guinea Pond Trail, I reached the halfway point (720.2 miles) of my WMG Redlining journey. Since then, I've added another 15 miles to that total. Now in the throes of a push to get that seemingly elusive 1000 miles, today happened (rain), and I stayed home.

Since my last writing (11/1), here are some numbers (haha, maths):

Miles: 123.9
Elevation gain: 24037'
Peaks: 6
# of solo days: 8 out of 9
Times above 4000': 0
Miles left to do: 80.7

I'm finding myself wanting to be alone, more and more, as time goes on. It's not that I don't enjoy company, it's that I haven't wanted any. To say I do some of my best hiking (and picture taking) alone, is generally an understatement. I don't want anyone that I've hiked with (or those that might want to) to get the impression that I won't hike with them. It's really a matter of circumstances lately, schedules have to align, and I haven't been especially outgoing when it comes to seeking out people to hike with. If you want to hike, just ask! I'll probably be amenable to the idea.

The fact that I'm not hiking to popular destinations probably doesn't help matters. I'm not so much done with the 4000-footers, but I've realized that there's much more to the White Mountains than just the high peaks. This redlining experience has brought me to the highest of heights, and the lowest (swampiest) of lows. It's challenged me like nothing else, and given me a new appreciation for the area and its varied history. I'm head over heels, my love for it knows no bounds, and it's been repaid a thousand-fold.

For the remainder of this year, it's going to be a bit of a struggle. First and foremost, I need to figure a way to truncate my trip reports, and make them less cumbersome to do after the end of a long day (or the next day). Secondly, I have to do them in the first place! Thirdly, mileage, mileage, mileage. Nine hiking days undocumented (by words at least), that's a backlog that I don't have the time or energy to overcome. I will, however, share a picture or two from each of these days, that I'm particularly happy with.

Some angular boulders along Middle Sister Trail 11/2

Old buckets along Thoreau Falls Trail 11/8

Shoal Pond Trail 11/8

Reflecting on Province Pond Trail 11/14

Crystallized on East Pond Trail 11/16

Proper reflection on Lovequist Loop 11/16

Mt. Whiteface over Flat Mountain Pond 11/20

Section of rail on Flat Mountain Pond Trail 11/20

Morning colors near the Maine/NH border on Rt.25 11/21

Ice on Black Mountain Pond Trail 11/21

Guinea Pond Trail 11/21

Morning colors on Long Lake in Harrison, ME 11/29

Lenticular cloud over Wild River 11/29

Crystalline goodness on Albany Brook Trail 11/29

South Baldface over Mountain Pond 11/30

Evans Notch from Eastman Mountain 11/30

Awesome clouds from Slippery Brook Road 11/30

Weeks Brook Trail 12/4

The Sandwich Range from Kearsarge North 12/4

Carter Notch over the Doubleheads 12/4
With a bit of luck, I'll be able to document what's next. To help matters, a new camera was ordered today! I'll be headed to Baxter between Christmas and New Years, to attempt winter ascents of Katahdin and Hamlin... my skis may well be used, stay tuned for that. Going forward, expect a slightly different, more streamlined and truncated style of trip report, that I hope will not only be a pleasure (and easy) to put together, but a pleasure for you all to read.

Until then, cheers to you all, and stay safe out there!


  1. Excellent posting Bill, especially since I can relate to so much of what you wrote.

    For the past few years, I've been hiking to destinations that lack fame and status. Like you, I've realized that there is so much more to explore and enjoy other that the popular high peaks.

    And yes, I too have been struggling to find a way to abbreviate my trip reports so that they are less time-consuming to prepare. Although I'm dissatisfied with it, my recent technique has been to simply be more selective about the hikes that I include in my Blog. It's a bit disconcerting to exclude many of my hikes, but it certainly has freed up a lot of that precious commodity called "time"!

    And last but certainly not least, I truly admire the selection of fine photos that you included in this posting!

    Best wishes to you for achieving your goals!


    1. Thanks for your comments John! Your blog has been the impetus for some of my recent hikes, and many of them just so happen to coincide with some of my redlining "needs". I'm looking forward to what the future holds!