Friday, June 25, 2010

My morning visitor

I'm back into the White Mountains, and from the moment I glimpsed my first peak, something clicked for me; I was home.

So, how is this for wildlife viewing: this morning while eating my breakfast in the back of Karlee, my attention was suddenly drawn to a black face looking in the side rear window, close enough to fog the glass. I bellowed, "Hey bear, get out of hear," as the first thing that came to mind. It seemed to contemplate my suggestion for a moment, then lowered down to all fours again and ambled off in no great rush.

This was my first time for seeing the front end of a bear, and not the hind quarters in a dash for cover. At a height of roughly four feet standing, I assume this was a juvenile, so maybe not yet acquainted with what bad news humans can be. So, while it never seemed afraid, it was good to see how easily even a bold bear can be shooed. I'm sure the location helped lead to the situation as well: as it turns out, I was less than a 1/4 mile through the woods to a large public campground and all the food and smells that entails.

In the end, I'm more experienced, and also a little more wary of how easily bear can learn that humans mean easy leftovers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How did he know I am a cyclist?

While traveling south today into St. Johnsbury, VT, I pulled to the side of the road in West Burke to allow faster cars to pass. The last in the line, a pickup, yelled "faggot" on his way past. He must have seen the bikes in the back of the car--usually I get this type of enlightenment only while cycling! They sure are a perceptive bunch up here, what with their history of "Take back Vermont" signs.

Not to entirely blast the place, it is a beautiful area and the group I rode with last night was exceedingly pleasant, welcoming, and fun. Thanks to those St. Johnsbury area riders.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I've been remiss

Did you miss me?

I will confess, happily in fact, I have been distracted by my own concerns of late as I explored around and about the white mountains. It seems likely this area will be my new home, although not in the fashion I thought it might.

When I last departed Connecticut (where I have once again presently returned), I had the impression Plymouth, NH might be the town for me, and that North Conway, built up as it is, most certainly was not. It seems I may have had it bass-ackwards. Plymouth, while nice enough, does not have the "gotcha" wilderness that is spurring me to move north, and, surprising, the area around Conway can be superlatively nice, once you figure out where to avoid.

So, yes, I like the area much, but I am back in CT. It seemed best to contemplate a move for some days in some familiar surroundings, and so far, I'd say that thought has proven true. I'm getting a better picture in my mind of what is out there, what I want, and how the two could mesh.

In the mean time, while I do plan on remaining in the south land another week, it is encouraging how dearly I look forward, already, to returning north. My knees, however, make need a little more mercy than I they were shown in 7 consecutive days of roughly 15 mile hikes.

So a note on the photos (and a thank you to those who have complimented them): they are in the reverse order in which I took them, starting atop Mt. Tom in East Hampton, MA, extending through Newport, Franklin and Laconia, NH, then back to the beginning with areas around Conway, as well as Crawford and Franconia Notches.

I must figure out how to make my bikes do this!

True GREEN! power, a steam engine made largely of wood,
and conceivably powered by it too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reporting from the White Mountains

This post will be more of a picture collage, as I have a rather awkward typing position in the car as I make use of a hotel's parking lot wifi in Waterville Valley. Suffice to say, I'm making good use of the mountains up here despite a variety of weather, often moist.

Massachusetts on the way to NH.

What's left of an interesting house in Rumney, NH

The morning view from Rattlesnake Mountain.

Down by the riverside, Plymouth, NH.

Looking into a cave,
and out.

Afternoon in Campton, NH.

Smart's Brook