Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Backpacking and other random thoughts

A few weeks ago, the boyfriend and I packed up a few things, and headed out to the White Mountains National Forest for some camping, some hiking, and apparently some male bonding.

"What?" you aske with that confused look. You heard me. See, Dave's friend had invited us to this camp spot where he goes every year on a particular weekend to get the family and friends together. We said Sure! We'll be there..... when we get there... somehow, the wives all knew better than to go? And so I was the ONLY girl there. hmmm...should be interesting.

7 Guys hanging around a campfire, talking about plows and trucks, andfixing trucks and cars and plows, and oh did I mention there were several conversations on trucks and plows?

No worries.. I saw there and wrote my PhD dissertation in my head whilst they chatted.

Saturday morning Dave and I headed out in the truck to find some good hikin. I have to tell you, the White Mountain National Forest is an outdoor enthusiast's playground. There are a plethora of mountains, some still snowcapped, and streams, waterfalls, fishin, hikin, you name it.

I wanted to go to Speckled Mountain, so we drove around and around, taking every back road we could find. Dave had his handy dandy PN-120 with him, so we could catch every possible sideroad. Finally we find the trailhead, and after chaning into our hiking boots, we headed out into the wilderness...

Here's a bit about the Bluebberry Mountain trail:
Trail Begins:

Trail begins at .6 mile beyond the Brickett Place at 1100 feet.Trail Ends: Trail ends at the junction of the Bickford Brook Trail to Speckled Mountain, near the summit of Ames Mountain, 2609 feet.Length: 3.6 miles

Along this hike, you come to this bustling stream, where the water has carved out the rock in a winding curve. Very beautiful.

Enjoy it because it's nothing but STEEP climbing from here.

As I climbed, my thoughts drifted to the ultrahikers I had been reading about in Backpacker Magazine. Francis Tapon and Garrett Christiensen.son?sen? Can't remember. Actually I should because I read his blog often enough. Go ECON majors!! WHoohoo!

How awesome the feeling must be to hike all those miles, and see new people and places. My problem? Not having enough time to do it. But from what I'm reading about both of them, they have families, and jobs, and grad school, and somehow STILL manage to make it happen. What am I missing here? Time? $$ ? Both? I dunno, but meditate, and answer find, I shall..mmmmm...

Several half hours later, we cut across a field, and apparently someone's yard, and picked up the trailhead that Dave's GPS promised was there. Soon we saw the truck, happily awaiting our return. We were exhausted, parched, and even a bit bloody - I had a horrendous blister on my heel....but both agreed that that was the best part of the weekend so far!

I needed that respite after a hallacious week at work that week. Since then things have been looking up and more positive. I just have to remember that when it gets rough like that, sometimes you need to "take a bath" like Archemides.. get a different prospective. Things are sure to look up.