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Friday, August 17, 2007

Some Weeks of Busy

So, long time no post. Last week we were in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, hiking from AMC hut to AMC hut. From the main road (I forget which road it was) we took the Valley Way trail to Madison Springs Hut. Pretty easy hike, but my hiking companion/brother-in-law kept getting sick. He began his kicking the smoking habit a couple days before, so I'm sure the withdrawals were hitting him. His father caught up (he was hiking with my wife) and he stayed with him while Karen and I finished up the hike. Slower than I like... much slower, but we made it together, which would be the last hiking bit we did together during the trip. Trust me, it works out much better that way.
Anyway, The next morning we (myself and two other guys that go on the trip as well, Colin and Lloyd) left in the rain and wind and fog to hike mostly ridge to Mount Washington. Whew, it was amazing. The wind was great. We were warned to not hike the peaks, but I wanted to. We didn't. I think we summited one though. We did go to Mt. Washington. There was about 20' of visibility. Who cared. We were completely soaked and just looking forward to a hot treat to eat. I had a turkey rice soup. It was pretty good. As I was hanging out near my wet bag, my mom showed up behind me. I knew there was a chance of her showing up, but didn't expect it, since the weather sucked so bad. She and dad took the Cog Railway up... couldn't get a refund or reschedule. The Cog is a scam man... super expensive. In any event, it was great seeing them up there so randomly. They live in Vermont also, so popping over to Mt. Washington isn't just a joy ride. There wasn't much time to visit, as they only had 20 minutes before the train left. Mom got a shot us dad and I (look right). (They drove up the next day, with nice weather)
After spending some time at the summit, the boys and I headed the 1.5 miles back down, to Lakes of the Clouds hut. Even though we spent a good deal of time at the summit, we were still the first of the Madison crew to get there.
The next morning we took off for Mizpah Springs Hut. We went over every peak along the way. It was nice weather pretty much the whole way. However, my solar USB charger didn't appear to build any charge in my MP3 player [more on that another time perhaps?]. We even took a few good long breaks, leap frogging a couple groups twice.
Getting to the hut as soon as we did gave me ample time to get some great reading in on Last Child in the Woods, a book I'm reading for a grad course I'm finishing up over the semester. I actually finished it that night and was able to start in on the second book I brought with me that's been sitting waiting for a read (and another on my summer reading list), The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien, posthumously or course. [I'm still reading it, slowly. It's a quick read, but I'm a slow reader. It's a dark tale so far.]
Ahhh... we're not done yet. The next morning was the trooper of the mornings. The boys and I slacked getting out... actually Colin slacked, it appeared, and I was waiting for Karen to pack up for some reason. She's always among the last to make up her bed in the morning... not last in the group... last of all, hehehe. We got going down the Crawford Path toward Crawford Notch, where the boys would take off early for home and a tennis match. Within an hour of being at the cars, the rest showed up. Karen and company planned on driving around to the Zealand parking lot instead of finishing up the hike, which was another 5 miles or so, I think. I had no intention of driving around. Blasphemy!! So I hiked it alone to Zealand Falls Hut. I actually took the side path to Mt. Tom Spur, which added another mile to the hike. I do not know how I did it, but I had a quick hike of it, still whipping even those who drove over, except for a couple of them who were dropped off first.
The next morning I was happy to get going and get to the car... I drove to a store to get drinks to be ready for the rest when they finished. They were all filing in at the end of the trail when I got back to the lot - good timing. We went for lunch. Oh, and if you don't know the area... nothing is close to anything. We had to drive around to pick up cars that were strategically posted in multiple places and then join up for Pizza. All of this took nearly two more hours.

After a day or two of recovery at home, I finally got back to working on the bike repaint project, which I started the prep for over a week before we left for hiking. The repairs just took forever, and frankly, as of today, they are still being worked on. Most parts are painted, cleared and cut/polished. Niiiiiice. (Pix later). But dammit, I chose to re-repair the tank dents and the bondo mix was torturing me. Not curing fast enough. And the lower scoop/cowl has a huge crack I fixed before, but accidentally sanded right through and the fiberglass repair kit's epoxy mix sucks. I'd mix it and it takes days to cure instead of the hour or so it should take. So, tomorrow I might try to finish the last two parts, but it'll have to all go just right. Thankfully the paint gun and compressor are working out well enough. A little loud, but my downstairs neighbor hasn't been around when I'm working on it.

All this in a quick rush to finish up projects for school, starting work next week and more. A book report, a project plan, I need to lesson plan for one more class and a few more things. I'm excited to get back to school (now listed as a Special Educator in the books... and I just sent in the stupid fee for my provisional license/endorsement) but I'm not happy about my break ending.

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