Friday, October 8, 2010

Gone Camping...

Although this blog hasn't seen an update since July, rest assured we've been out and about. Thus far 2010 has been my busiest hiking and paddling season since at least 2008. That said, it has been a slow year in terms of gaining and maintaining my mountain fitness. Part of this is because of my new trail dog, Colvin. As an energetic pup he still has a lot to learn, and as a trail human responsible for his short and long term well being I have to apply the brakes to our adventures. While this seems like a big inconvenience, it's really not. Taking it easy for 6-9 months is an investment in the next decade. The last thing I want is a broken down 5 year old dog, and you'd be surprised how many trail dogs are done long before their 10th birthday because of early life overuse injuries. Besides that, he had Lyme disease earlier in the summer and wasn't 100% for a little while.

For my part, following our vacation on the North Carolina Outer Banks, I was sick for several weeks. Finally on the last Sunday of September I felt well enough (with reservations) to go hiking on the Spier Falls tract in Moreau Lake State Park. The backside of Moreau is a gem and lots of fun to spend some time in the forest without any real goals. Our little 5 mile loop which covered 1000ft wasn't exactly noteworthy, but I didn't die, and it felt great to be out. A week later I was at full strength, only completely out of shape from a month of doing nothing.

I had anticipated doing some challenging fall hikes for remote landscape photography back in August, but autumn in the North Country was early, and now almost over. The leaves have browned and fallen off the trees early and unspectacularly due to the warm dry summer. Time now to make the most of the remainder of the best 8 weeks in this part of the world, while looking forward to the second best (but most inconsistent) season in the Northeast...WINTER! While the color and photographic beauty might be gone, this time of the year is still a favorite for a few more weeks. There might be snow and ice on certain sections of trails within a week or two, and certainly on any given day the summits can look wintry, but there will be at least a few windless 60F summit days that allow you to sleep soundly on a summit miles from the nearest distraction. No bugs + less people + a temperate October afternoon on a summit = perfection.

Unlike most years recently, I'm actually pretty up to date with my photography and while I said back in July I had some trip reports pending, keep an eye out because they really are coming.

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