Monday, November 9, 2015

Mt Whiteface Hike

I didn't jinx myself for the last 16 hours of my shift on Thursday; it stayed pretty quiet. We had two fire calls, with one an actual fire, but it was small and not exciting enough. So by the time 7am rolled around on Friday morning, I was so ready to get the hell out of there and up a mountain. The one great thing about the quiet nights is that I got to catch up on sleep! I've been going on a sleep deficit for who knows how long. I wouldn't doubt if fatigue played some sort of role in my injury. Kind of a given that getting enough sleep is important. It's not that I can't sleep; I just tend to stay up too late when I'm not working and then end up out on transfers most the night on Wednesdays. Once my head hits the pillow, I am out. I was an insomniac in high school through college, but my first Appalachian Trail thru-hike cured me of that completely. So I really need to start making an effort to go to bed earlier.

So after 2 solid nights of sleep and a lot of sitting, I had quite a bit of energy I needed to burn off. I decided to hike up Mt Whiteface via the Blueberry Ledge Trail in the Sandwich Range Wilderness. I went home after work to change and get Spot then drove over to Ferncroft. It was really overcast with clouds covering the mountains, but I didn't care. It was in the upper 60s and I needed to be out there no matter what. I walked for well over a mile before I could actually do any running. Even when it got steeper, most of it still wasn't steep enough to run until over 2 miles in. Once it got steep, it was really steep, so that my run was VERY slow.

As we continued on, I finally got to the point where I could see we had climbed above the clouds. It was SO beautiful!

We spent a lot of time at the top, and I made it to the official summit this time. The last time I ran up here, I had no idea I missed another peak with the official summit until it was pointed out to me. So here's the proof.
Of course, I could have just recreated this identical cairn in my backyard. :)
It was really windy up there and on the way back down the clouds started moving in over one side of the mountain. I tried to capture a video of it, but it's not that great. Gives an idea of how windy it was, and the swirling clouds were pretty cool.

As we walked down, I ran into a group of hikers coming up. The woman in front looked up at me and asked if I had won the Mt Abram Ascent in Maine last year. I said I did (I just happened to be wearing the Buff from that race). She said she thought she recognized me when they pulled into the trailhead. Then she started laughing and pointed back to her husband (I assume) and said, "You beat Scott." Haha. Poor guy. It was funny, though. Kind of crazy to run into people who recognized me from a race that was over a year ago. The Buff helped I'm sure, but they were the only other people out there. Small world.

Spot and I continued down. Once we hit the trail junction, I decided to go down the Blueberry Ledge Cutoff Trail. I kind of regretted it because the trail had hardly been touched since the leaves fell. It was barely visible, and I actually had to follow the blazes in a lot of places. Beautiful trail, though.

I had just enough time after the hike to drive to Mountain Girl Bakery in Center Ossipee for a sandwich. They were having 20% for first responders. That place is so good, so it gave me an excuse to go there. :)

I picked up John from his homeschool group at Tin Mountain after that then ran some errands before going home for the rest of the evening.
Great night for a fire
Oh I forgot to mention some surprising news I got from Paul Kirsch on Thursday. For the first year ever, there's prize money for the USATF-NE Mountain Running Series. I had no idea, so it was a shock and not something I was expecting. Thank you to Paul for pushing to get that for us. I've made out quite well in the prize money department this year. Hopefully, that can continue next year if I can get back into shape when/if this injury heals.

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