Friday, July 17, 2015

Madison/Passaconaway

After getting off shift Thursday morning in North Conway, I did the usual trek down to our Tamworth base for another 10 hours. Although we only had one call, my partner and ended up staying busy all day. We joined the Ossipee crew for breakfast at Mountain Girl Bakery in Center Ossipee. The food here is really good. I highly recommend it. Breakfast with the crews is always fun; we don't do it often because of cost factor, but when we do, we have a blast. We ended up moving between Tamworth and Ossipee all day to cover until a 911 in Madison came through at 3pm. We got back to Tamworth just before our shift ended, so the day kind of flew by.

I was so ready for my run, but as soon as I stepped onto the road, I did not feel very good. I had eaten not long before this and immediately had stomach cramps. I pushed through it, though, and by mile 3, they were gone. I ran from our ambulance base down 41 to East Shore Dr to Lead Mine Rd for an out-and-back. This was actually not my plan when I started the run. I was going to do the road loop around Silver Lake, but I decided I'd rather not run down busy 41, so I turned on East Shore instead. I never felt great on the run, but I still pulled off 10.8 miles at a 7:30/mi pace. As soon as I finished, though, my entire body felt sore, and I had a headache. I felt a little better after getting home and having a good dinner, but I was super tired. I had to write up my report from the 911 call, and I just crashed. I slept for almost 10 hours.

Friday morning, I actually woke up feeling good. I was a little sore, though, which I can't quite figure out. I took my time, which is always a nice treat on Fridays. Sat on the deck with my coffee and trail map trying to decide what route to take up Mt Passaconaway. Jonathan Miller and Gary Reuter, both, went up there yesterday, so I knew it had to be my choice for today. Mt Passaconaway has been on my list since 2007, when I used to hike with John up Hedgehog and Potash. I would look up from these mountains at the beast looming above and plan to go up there some day. I just never felt like I had the time to pull it off, so it stayed on the back burner. But now, Fridays have given me the time to do some of the trails and mountains I only wished I could do a year ago.

So after looking at the map, I decided that I would go up via the Kanc side. The trailhead is only 20 minutes from my house, as opposed to 35 minutes to Ferncroft. (I'm lucky to be so close to both!) I parked at the Oliverian Brook Trailhead and ran the Oliverian Brook Trail for about 2 miles before veering off onto the Passaconaway Cutoff Trail. These first two miles were nearly flat on a soft Pine needle trail. Very enjoyable running. The third mile climbs a lite bit more, but it was all very runnable until I hit the Square Ledge Trail. Ouch. This was some really steep climbing, so I ended up power hiking up parts of it when I needed to catch my breath. The trail levels out a bit on the southern side of the mountain with great views of Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake and Ossipee Lake, and meets the Walden Trail.
View of Winnipesaukee and Squam
The trail quickly veered right for some more steep climbing up to the summit. The summit actually has no view.
Cairn at the summit of Mt Passaconaway
This did not mean there were not any views to be had. In fact, there were some awesome ones.
View of Chocorua





Tiny Mt Hedgehog below


The best view was about a quarter mile off trail down the former Downes-Brook Slide Trail. I ran down there and spent about 10 minutes taking in the view. I was so happy to have finally made it up Mt Passaconaway after all of these years.

The run down was super quick and easy. I had no idea it would be so quick, but I had never been on the Oliverian Brook Trail before to know how flat it is. I got back to my car and drove home. I had about an hour to spare before John came home.

We didn't do anything since John went to his friend's house to play. I went over to Conway Fire to grab an application for their ambulance. I've wanted to join them for awhile, but I didn't think I could get hired. I guess they're short people now for on call shifts and that would be perfect for me to add on to my regular North Conway Ambulance job. I know most of the people on Conway anyway, so that part would be easy.

I'm pretty excited about my first non-race weekend in 4 months. I have two good days planned with John that include Polar Caves tomorrow and a good mountain hike on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to the laid back weekend.

On a side note, I did make the decision to decline my invitation to this year's Hartford Marathon. I don't know whether I could pull off a good performance two weeks after the VT 50. I did ask to be considered for next year when I'll have moved into the masters category. Hopefully, it will work out.

I also made the Conway Daily Sun again for the Cranmore Hill Climb, which really annoys my coworkers in a funny way. They say I owe them beer for every photo, so I think I'm up to a keg by now.
Conway Daily Sun write-up on Cranmore

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