Sunday, August 2, 2015

Weekend- 7/31/15-8/2/15

Friday- I woke up at 8am after very much needed sleep and saw a that I had a text from Roger Marcoux saying he was up on Foss Mountain and wanted to know if I might be able to head up there for a video photo shoot with one of the Dragonfly cameras that he's been asking me to do for probably 2 years now (Roger claims it's 4 years, but I'm not buying it. Ha ha). I had already planned to go that way and run from Potter Rd, so I thought it would actually work out, so I agreed to meet him up there. I got dressed, made coffee and then drove over to Eaton.

I had never been up Foss Mountain before, but it wasn't that I didn't try. I attempted to take our Dodge Sprinter van up there in 2011. It reaches a point where it says "4-wheel drive only", and the van was rear-wheel drive. I hit a steep hill, and the back wheels started just spinning. The van stopped moving forward 3/4 of the way up the hill, so I ended up having to back all the way down the road to a parking area. John was only 5 at the time, so there was no way I was making him walk up from there, so we ended up walking an overgrown, pretty much no longer existing trail for Somebody "Haney". There were still trail signs, but the trail was pretty much gone. And that was my only experience and attempt at Foss Mt.

Fast forward to 2015, and I have a much better car. Wait. What? Maybe not, but at least it has front-wheel drive, and as luck would have it, the completely bald tires are on the back this time! I was golden as long as I floored it just before the big hill. I think I hit that thing at 40mph and then flew over the huge bump at the top. I love my freakin' Kia Soul. Ha ha. Huge relief to see the parking lot and to know I had made it.

Roger and I walked up to the top. Spectacular day! A little bit windy for the Dragonfly, though, so Roger knew he wouldn't be able to get the close up shots he had originally planned. At least it could fly, though! The last time we attempted it with one of the bigger flying thing-a-majigs, Kevin Tilton, Roger and I walked all the way up Hurricane Mountain Rd and then had to bag the whole thing. Today's wind just meant he had to fly higher up, but it was still a go. Once Roger got it all set up, I ran down from the summit and then back up and across. I found a very narrow, almost nonexistant trail that went over to the other side. I had trouble following it, but tried my best to make it look like a smooth run across. I came across the motherload of blueberries over there, too. Once the trail seemed to really end, I turned around and ran back. That was pretty much it for the video other than a short part in the woods on the way back down that Roger filmed. We had to do that one twice because I wouldn't shut up and I kept smiling. Ha ha. How does one not smile for a camera? I'll never know!

Here's a link to the finished video:

Roger with his Dragonfly Aerials stuff (King Pine Ski Area in the background)

Roger landing one of the flying thingies

Carrying the flying thingy back down. I think I look like a guy in this picture. LOL.
Frame grab
 I decided to make up a loop for my regular run from the lower lot (where I backed the van to in 2011). I had hoped to get in 10 miles, but I could feel my fatigued legs from the Carrigain run just running over Foss Mt, so I wasn't dead set on the 10. I just made up a loop as I went along running down Stewart Rd to Bush Rd, both dirt roads, out to Brownfield Rd. The dirt roads were hilly, but had a decent bit of downhill. Brownfield road was about 2 miles of flat paved road so I was able to bring the pace down a bit for that. The road was surprisingly quiet, and I only saw a few cars. Once back at Stewart Rd in Snowville, I turned onto it and ran all the way back up to my car. It came out to 8.1 miles in 1:04:25. I was happy with that, so I decided to stop there. 7:54/mi pace (I'm getting slow!) 986 ft of elevation gain.

I went right home after that so I could take Spot on a short walk in the Albany Town Forest before John came home. I have to admit that it felt nice to walk on a completely flat trail. John was home by the time I got there. He showed me a new game he had gotten for his PC called Gray Goo and then he went over to his friend's house for awhile. I showered then took all 3 dogs on another walk up Heavenly Hill. The deer flies were atrocious, something I don't remember having at all in our woods last summer. They weren't horrible at the viewpoint so I was able to stay awhile.
Glimpse of Mt Chocorua from Heavenly Hill
Saturday- I had toyed with the idea of racing the Kingman Farm 5K trail race in Madbury, NH, but decided against it since I wanted to take John on a mountain hike instead. I was hoping to finally do Mt Eisenhower, but the weather had once again changed with the potential for severe thunderstorms and hail in the Presidentials. I decided that I didn't want to risk John being up above treeline in that weather so I had to pick something else. We already had to go to Tamworth to pick up my free range chicken from Behr Farm, so I thought we should just hike somewhere down there and decided on Mt Roberts over near Castle in the Clouds.

First, I decided to get my boring neighborhood run in, so I ran 6 loops around the circle to make 5.4 miles. 7:44/mi pace. (Still slow!). I came back to the house, changed into trail shoes and then ran the 3 dogs up and down Heavenly Hill to add on another 1.3 miles to make 6.7 for the day. I would have run more, but I wanted to get out of the door to hike.

We stopped off at Behr Farm, and I was surprised that Karl Behr actually recognizes me now. This is my third summer buying chicken from him, so it shouldn't surprise me, but he has a huge list of people he sells to. I brought a cooler with ice to put the chicken in, and then John and I drove on to Castle in the Clouds. I really wanted to go to the Tamworth Farmer's Market, but there was nothing that I actually needed and didn't want to spend money on something I didn't need, so I refrained.

Once at Castle in the Clouds, we parked and then headed right out. I love this place so much and was really excited to finally bring John up one of the mountains. It was slow going at John's pace, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. Once up on the first open ledge, we started to spot the blueberries. It literally took us 2 hours to get from this point up to the summit. We could not stop picking blueberries!! They kept getting better and better as we went up the trail. John did not want to move on. I didn't mind it one bit because I was picking so many myself.

John picking blueberries

View of Lake Winnipesaukee

First. Let me take a selfie.

Still picking blueberries


Finally made it to the summit!

I did finally get John moving along at one point, but then we hit RASPBERRY bushes. ha ha!! Had to stop and pick those, too! By the time we made it to the summit, we had been hiking for over 3 hours, and my stomach was full. I had planned to loop back to the parking lot via the High Ridge Trail and the Faraway Mountain Trail, but we just didn't have the time to do that at John's pace, so we just turned around and went back down the the Mt Roberts Trail. I told John we had to keep moving this time. And he did, but we had to do military role playing the entire 2.5 miles down. :) I think I was "killed" by John, the trained assassin, at least 30 times on the way down. I never win these battles he comes up with. Even if I do "kill" him, he all of a sudden has regenerating powers. Ha ha ha. Sometimes, he even gives me a dialog I have to follow for the role playing. I was his enemy, his teammate and a zombie during this hike down. It's so funny but very creative at the same time. We made it down right at the 5 hour mark for our 5.5 mile hike. Long time, but John really had a good day. It was his kind of hike, and he loved it. I'm always happy when he's happy, so it was a great day.

We were starving by this point and decided to go to the Pizza Barn in Ossipee. I really had to get to get spring water, so I decided to fill up at the spring that just happened to be about 2 miles up the road directly across from the Pizza Barn. Convenient. I ended up driving right past the spring and up almost to the snowmobile trail crossing, so I turned around and found it. I filled up my jugs then we went back down to the Pizza Barn. The place was packed, but we got seated right away right next to the jukebox. I pretty much took it over for the rest of the time we were there. I had Bon Jovi going first. Why was I the only one jamming along in that entire place?! I have no idea!! Who were these people. John even joined me in the sing-a-long. The cds in the jukebox were kind of old and out of order with the signs, I learned. It played Alison Krauss instead of the Grateful Dead. Not too bad, but it was a downer song. Then, the worst. Jimmy Buffet played instead of something else I picked!! OMG. This jukebox was trying to make me look bad. I finished it off with 3 Bon Jovi songs in a row, and that's when the woman next to us jumped up and took over control of the jukebox. Hey, I liked her picks and sang right along with Meatloaf. Ha ha. It took awhile to get our food, which was mediocre, and my beer glass sat empty for over 10 minutes. Not the best food or service, but I liked the atmosphere. I might go back, but it's really more of a tourist trap.
John at the Pizza Barn
Sunday- Slept in again! So nice to have another lazy morning. Got up, took the dogs out and then had coffee. John had a birthday party to go to at 11am, so we didn't need to leave until 10:15am (Had to buy the gift on the way. lol. I'm terrible about that stuff.) This was a BIG day for me. For the first time since last November, I was able to go for a regular run outside of my neighborhood. This is one of the reasons I race so much. It gives me the chance to run somewhere besides circles on the road or up and down Heavenly Hill. They get old SO fast. But it's either that or the treadmill or race! It's hard to believe that it's been almost 9 months since I was able to just take a regular weekend run somewhere, but it has. And that's why this was such a BIG day for me. So, in other words, #I'mALoser #IHaveNoLife. Ha ha. Ok. Not really, but if you're reading this and think I race too much, look at my alternative. I was dropping John off at the birthday party and then taking all three dogs on a trail run. Yay!

I decided to just hit the trail off Hemlock Lane, starting on Corridor 19 to the MTB trails then back over to Corridor 19. The temps were a little on the warm side, so the dogs got hot pretty quickly and the entire run meant stopping at every water we came across for them to cool off and get a drink. I didn't mind, though. It was nice to run with all 3 of them again. From Corridor 19, we ran up the Mason Brook Trail with plans to run a big loop back, but about halfway up, I realized I had run out of time and had to turn around. We stayed on Corridor 19 for the way back. My little dog stayed right with me, but the big dogs were dragging for the last 2 miles. We made it back to the car in time. 9 miles. 8:58/mi pace with 1,157 ft of gain. Not bad. Just what I needed. I picked John up from his party and then spent the late afternoon at Conway Lake. I did a little swimming but mostly just lounged on the beach. John played the whole time.

I had a great week of running. 6 days. 63.6 miles. 11,177 ft of elevation gain. Not bad at all. My road runs were definitely lacking in speed, though, but I guess I'm really not doing much fast stuff, and the mountain runs are slow and leaving my legs pretty tired. I have to take advantage of the mountains and trails while I can. I'll have plenty of time to rebuild on the roads for Boston. I will need to up things a bit before Lone Gull, but I have some time.

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