Friday, June 1, 2012

June - Vacation from Vacation

29 June, Fri:  Rain upon arising but it disappeared by 8:15; the sun came out hot and HOTTER reaching 90 degrees.  Our plans for an early hike were thwarted by a lot of conversation at breakfast.  We parked  on the road where the hike ended yesterday north of Woodstock VT and ventured forth INTO a 15 foot long patch of poison ivy that sprawled over the poorly maintained trail.  Well - one of us had the good sense to have worn long pants and told the other one, "Stay put and I will find an alternate route."  The other one, being an independent woman, slid her shorts down to her ankles to provide cover for her legs not realizing the shorts pick up the oils and plant them on the skin when they are pulled back up again.  It was fun to see three hikers appear from behind us who did not notice the poison ivy!  Not much further on POORLY MAINTAINED NEW ENGLAND AT - was a mud bath.  By the time we reached the next road, Cynthia was elated that a super nice guy offered us a ride back to the car.  Today's hike was about three miles.  Woodstock's General Store carried Fels Naptha;  we will see if the scrub will prevent poison ivy popping out on that independent woman!  

28 June, Thurs: Glorious day.  Interesting to see Okie in Woodstock in his little red jeep!  We parked on Route 12 at the AT, dropped off a styrofoam cooler filled with fruit (Trail Magic) and hiked NOBO for what seemed like an eternity but it was only 1.5 one way.  This is where Southside turned around after walking into a poison ivy patch last summer also frustrated that the hike over mountain was only 1.5.  Of course, we turned back to hike to the car which gave us 3 miles RT.  But we are doing maintenance to get back into condition after a three day hiatus.  Dinner at Choice's Restaurant in Killington.

27 June, Wed: Rain, eat, sleep.  OOPS!  The weather dried up enough we had a nice two hour hike to the sink holes and back with Orange Lighting - a most unique individual doing a through hike. Ron taught him about trail maintenance before we boogied off for a delightful dinner at Little Harry's with this terrific individual whose occupation is "changing lightbulbs" at Syracuse University.   You know he is a one of a kind great guy when Syracuse U did a video presentation posted on YouTube just about him - as well as a three page article.  Go to You Tube and enter Paul Longchamps.  When we returned to the ILT the place was full of hikers enjoying the Pub.  A lot of fun was had by all of the survivors.

26 June, Tues: It rained; we went back to bed after breakfast and it rained.  We had lunch and went back to bed to sleep for an hour.  It is still raining at 7 PM but we are catching up on work.  Wrangel edits to review, receipts to record,  Medicare book to memorize, Trail Journals to read and now it is time for dinner.  OOPS  Sad journal entry by Achilles about his friend Parkside who drowned in a pond in Maine evidently from leg cramps.  Achilles tried to find and save him.  Losing a child, a 20 year old young man full of life is the worst nightmare a parent can face.  God bless and comfort his parents and friends.  Good Night.

25 June: Mon: It looked like rain; we went back to sleep for two hours after breakfast hoping to hike in the afternoon.  It rained.

24 June, Sun: Who would have thunk it?  A very unique hotel called Porches in the old factory town of North Adams Mass was our "home" for the evening; it is indeed a splendid spot, created out of Victorian mill-workers row houses, each room designed like a front porch with marvelous sky-lites in contemporary open beam ceilings.  Evidently, it is part of the new contemporary art museum.  Marvelous mountains surround the community [just east of Williamstown] with hair-raising hairpin curves descending to the valley below.  Our room was painted a grayed purple on beaded boards with terra cotta painted floor boards and shabby chic charming decor.  An exterior frosted glass floor to ceiling window provided a creative touch situated on the wall between the bath and bedroom.  We both loved the hand-thrown pottery on shelf plates and original artwork on the walls.
"Porches" 2nd Floor Hallway
One of us is laughing way too hard over a tee shirt (at breakfast this AM) designed by the wearer with the Google Blog Icon, "Nobody Cares About Your Blog."   The designer said the tee needs to be updated to a Facebook caption. Waaaaaay too funny for the one in our family who loves her own jokes.

The drive from North Adams, Mass to Bennington, VT for a brunch with the Clemons took about 30 minutes despite twisty, turning roads.  Their daughter, Julia, is home from a year's study in Egypt and a magnificent graduation ceremony in CHI.  She is a very lovely young woman.  Lunch was good - the broken bottle of spicy BBQ sauce shown to Eric with lots of thanks for sending such a great gift.
The Clemons and Ron
  An hour later and we are back at the ILT to finish a puzzle and rest after our vacation from our perpetual vacation.   Back to work hiking tomorrow!  Pictures forthcoming.

23 June, Sat: Up early, breakfast with Connie and off to Concord, NH for brunch with Bob, Rachel, Marjorie M., Sock at the Concord Colonial Inn before grave hunting in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.  There they were: Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott and Hawthorne (may they R.I.P.).

 Marjorie's boundless energy kept us motivated despite the heat.  It is always a treat to see Sock!
Marjorie and Sockwell

The raindrops reminded us to get moving before getting wet or driving in the dark. First, we made a quick stop at Bob and Rachel's for strawberry shortcake (YUM!) and good conversation.  Bob knows everything about anything and the conversation could have continued for a very long time had we not needed to scurry to North Adams, Mass to Porches!   
22 June, Fri: Drove Lakes off Hwy 100 and hiked about two hours on a gravel road; imagine our surprise when Okie pulled over in his Saab - taking the back roads to work. Cynthia met a new friend (Connie, a botanist at Butler U in Indianapolis).  Happy Birthday to Lauren!
21 June, Thurs Sherburne Pass Trail to sinkholes
20 June: Wed: This was to be a short hike!  Started the AT on RT 4 NB to Deer Leap Mountain Trail with steep ascent to junction of the LT, AT and Sherburne Pass Trail and .5 down to the Parking Lot of the ILT.
Deer Leap Overlook straight up
 19 June  Tues: Five hours Thunder Brook Falls hike through Gifford Woods to River Road
18 June: Mon:  Delicious late sleep making breakfast late and a late hiking start. Departed at 12:06 - returned by 3:30 PM on the Sherburne Pass Trail; Slow walking for four miles RT.  Two weeks and the forest has changed.  Someone in this family needs his clothes changed, too.  Laundry tonight. 

17 June Sun:
Thirteen months, five days

Thanks to Irja and Wall for the marvelous salmon and yummy chix BBQ picnic on their balcony.  The corn on the cob was awesome.  B.D. outdid herself on that  strawberry shortcake.  Thanks to Ed and Mary for bringing their lovely daughter, Anna.  We had a terrific time in Nashua, NH before departure to Killington, VT at five-thirty PM.  Hoping for sunset colors we chose a scenic route which was so scenic"ally green with trees we missed the sunset, but we arrived at the Inn at Long Trail by 9:30 and were abed by 10 PM.
16 June:  Cynthia's flight from TX arrived in Boston at 4:04 PM with fleurs, card and Select Registry Beford Village Inn to surprise her.  The greeting card section did not have anniversary cards (13 months); looked at birthday cards since he month long celebration begins July first and instead found the perfect card "How do you spell love?"  Drew had a great idea to reuse the fleurs for B.D. and give to Cynthia (double use) but Ron thought B.D. deserved her own fleurs.  She was surprised to discover Ron really bought them for her and Cynthia had her own bouquet.  The car was washed, diet coke on board and Cynthia was indeed surprised.  We had a happy homecoming.

8-15 June: Fun, fun, fun.  Ron beat master wordsmythes, Margie and Richard, at Scrabble; he hiked with Margie and a friend for seven hours; the next day they thoroughly enjoyed touring de Cordova Sculpture Park.  Cynthia squealed with delight over Ron posing among the sculptures sent by text message; Ron walked, talked and ate at the same marvelous restaurant with Bob and Rachel W.;  Ed M's daughter was arriving for a visit creating a missed opportunity to have help on the new Mac (dividing the hard drive);  visits continue with Dave E., Drew, B.D., Wall and Irja, Tuna; the "finished for now" CD's were created and mailed;  Wrangel edits are off to Kim E. and countless Smooch Smooches were posted to vox messages.

11 June: Cynthia has good news: last Friday's diagnostic mammogram was NORMAL for the left breast (2011 diagnosis of atypical lobular hyperplasia); it was the other "girl" who had the cancer surprise nine months ago).  No more hormone suppressing meds; and no need to return for a year.  Double Whew!!   Her bone density test was great even for a thirty year old.  The neurologist had good news, too:  help is forthcoming for the 12 year old injury from a horseback riding accident. He will inject a new med into the lumbar region in September.  She does not have neuropathy, but he gave her meds to help heal nerves radiating from the lumbar region to the feet. 

7 June:  Spent the night with Bob and Rachel W.; left the orange foam pad.

6 June: Spent the night at Richard's once again following the daily tour of Fresh Pond and a great dinner.
Sunrise at the Lake House in TX
 5 June: Cynthia departed by air to Texas to visit her children and have medical tests.  Ron walked Fresh Pond with Richard G. and Jasper. 

4 June:  Ron delivered MillerTime back to Woodstock for his final hike to Hanover; but he will return to complete the journey to Katahdin in late August.
Packed up and moving out we departed for Boston about lunch time to check into the Hilton Airport Hotel.

3 June: MillerTime was dropped off in Woodstock about six-thirty to slack pack back to the Inn at Long Trail.  We ran errands before hopping onto the trail from Gifford Woods State Park northbound.  As planned, we ran into MillerTime at two PM.  We hiked together to the Park; Cynthia drove the car back to the Inn while Ron hiked the rest of the way with MillerTime.  Bomber and AMC - two more hikers we had met in VA - had arrived at the inn.  A good time was had by all of the survivors.
Cynthia, Ron, Bomber, AMS

 2 June: After six pots of coffee last night before midnight, writing a grant proposal, searching for a lost checkbook and sharp shooting pain from the re-injured torn rotator cuff, sleep finally came about five A.M.  To say we bounded out of bed  at 8:20 does not ring true.  Dashing to the windows, we peeked over the sash: when what to our wondering eyes did appear, but the forecasted rain with cold 46 degrees.  Yummy breakfast preceded discussion about which route MillerTime likely took due to wind, rain and cold.  At 9:38 AM MillerTime (not recognizable) peeked in the door of the restaurant: WET, COLD and TIRED.  When we left him yesterday at three PM, he had hiked to the shelter on the S side of Killington, arising at 4:30 AM to start his day's  hike., missing the turn onto Route #4 - crossing over to the AT NB and hiked the 3 miles NB, then down Deer Leap overlook on the back side of the Inn at Long Trail IN THE RAIN.  The restaurant here had closed for breakfast; so he showered, washed clothes to share a second breakfast with him at Sugar and Spice.  Smooch Smooch ate home-made Maple Ice Cream and half of the blueberry pancakes enjoying our  conversation immensely . Actually, Miller Time listened and looked at our wedding photos while we poured out  wedding stories ad nauseum reminding ourselves that not only have we  been celebrating our anniversary the entire month of May, but two days of June! NOT TO MENTION THE MONTH LONG BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION. Dinner at Little Harry's this evening was a terrific treat.

1 June:  June is the brief pause between the month long anniversary and birthday celebrations.  Trail-head Parking on hwy 103 north up  the STEEP INCLINE over big rocks UP, UP and UP into a pleasant woodlands walk to 2000 Lottery Road.  2 hours each way.  Highlight was meeting MillerTime about 3pm on the descent to 103.
Meeting MillerTime on the AT

 OH NO!  Smooch Smooch returned those CUTE sports bras!  drats.  Dinner at Little Harry's was divine followed by McGrath's Irish Pub.  Mighty fine music especially when a sprightly gray-haired female customer marched up to the Irish Band by invitation and knocked the socks off everyone in the place playing Wipe Out with the group.  She claims her only drum contact has been through two grandsons who play drums.  She was a delight!

Trail Junction of AT, Long Trail and Sherburne Pass Trail

Thunder Brook Falls

Thunder Brook Falls Bridge Collapse from Irene