High (mountain) hopes

I’ll be heading north this weekend for what I hope will be a couple of days on this route, which weather kept me off three years ago. This time I won’t be solo, but one of a trio, with H and A on hand to drag me up the steep bits. Of course, the weather report is iffy again, but it looks like standard-issue rain, not thunder, lighting, and hail. Views might be limited on what many consider this most beautiful of White Mountain walks, but that will just give us motivation to return.

It’s been so long since I was out for more than a day that my floor looks to me as if I’m preparing for an expedition to deepest Nobedestan. Sleeping mat? Tent? Stove? What is this stuff? Maybe I should take a satellite phone and a machete if I’m going this extreme.

I’m making some adjustments to my McHale pack, based on how things worked out in New Zealand. Different hipbelt pockets. A little pocket on my left shoulder strap for my glasses. A new arrangement for the water bladders. A different top flap. Just dinks, really. This pack, once called a 0-SARC and now apparently called an LBP (Little Big Pack), is old-fashioned in its ruggedness. (It’s now available in new-fangled, much lighter and maybe even tougher Dyneema.) But it’s still notably lighter than most commercial 50L packs, and carries exceptionally well. It’s also flexibly sized, with Dan’s excellent P&G Bayonet frame extension system. I doubt I’ll ever need anything larger. Even with that big box of rescue flares.

I was in New Hampshire for 10 days or so until last Sunday, and while I was there, we went out a few times with sweet B on her little pushbike. She’s beginning to get the hang of this balance thing.

We took her to the local park for a swim, too …

… and while we were drying her off afterward and changing her out of wet and into dry, she effected an escape. A little naked person in tiny Keen water sandals running around trees and through the playground. We were laughing too hard to be especially effective in pursuit. Fortunately, she took a gentle spill and her mommy was able to grab her up, wrap her up, and kiss her up.

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