September 30, 2011

New Signage

I've been contemplating a new header for a few days and just spent a little time messing around in Adobe. Keep the original, try something new, or re-visit the original in a new fashion? Tell me your thoughts by email, twitter, or comment below.


September 28, 2011

Ranger Station

As we continue up the mountain, we approach the ranger station. Above stands a cairn in the basin of Mt. Washington.

The ranger cabin stands firm against the accompanying landscape. It belongs.

The cabin is one that most men would dream about escaping to. Rivers to fish, fields to hunt, and trails to explore. What more could you ask for?

First Aid Cache 1 of 2 on the mountain.

We refilled our water bottles near the cabin, on the way to the summit.

Picturesque mountain views.

What I call a perfect window view.

We enjoy lunch on the deck. The packs follow our lead - they rest.

Hardcore skiers make their way down the trail over the deep powder in cooler months.

The U.S. Forest service has good residence.

Cabin in the basin.

Sufficient emergency supplies.

September 25, 2011

The Ascent

The ascent up Mt. Washington began early. Leaving home before the sun rose, we arrived in time to find the only parking was in the overflow lot. Our packs are weighed to discover the real weight that would be stressing our ankles and knees over the next 8 miles. Today, it would be 24lbs.

We opt for the Tuckerman Ravine trail, one of the most scenic routes. We're informed that once we arrive at the ravine, the trail continues on to the summit. Anticipating the talked-about views, from the highest point in New England, we arrange our camelbaks, strap on our packs and set foot into the woods.

With the exception of the numerous wooden bridges appearing to be as dated as the trail, the entirety of the route is an ancient rock slide. I'd be exaggerating to say I placed five footsteps on solid dirt over 8 miles.

The trail head greets us with what seems like a bus load of hikers. Subject to the boisterous voices and blaring music from other nature-lovers and their iPods, we shot glances to each other - thinking the same thing - why did we come here to relax? It took only 15 minutes to remember the reason we came. Each group eventually found their individual pace and I felt at one with nature. The trail, rock-filled or not, is uniquely picturesque.

The first waterfall, rushing over the mountain side and below the foot bridge, fills the air with a welcoming white-noise that blocks all previous thoughts. We dangle our feet freely over the edge of the wooden bridge to enjoy a homemade granola bar. This is the life.

The blaze orange sign warns winter travelers to dangers present when the world's worst weather bestows itself upon the area.

The trail begins to narrow as we close in on the half-way point.

Reaching our first clearing, we take a moment and enjoy our new altitude and accompanying views.

The Tuckerman Ravine Trail offers some of the largest waterfall drops in New England.

Take the time to enjoy what the woods have to offer. Be curious as to how long the river has run over those banks. Wonder how many men have stood in the same spot you stand. Today, I imagine who witnessed this sight for the first time. I bet he/she setup camp to enjoy this splendor for the evening.

At certain points in life, you turn a corner and are provided a view of your destination. The above is one of those points. After hours of hiking, you realize just how much is left to climb.

Marching on...

A visual representation of "roots run deep". Water flow has washed away a considerable amount of top soil.

The great basin provides spectacular views towards the summit. Still some ground left to travel...

September 21, 2011

Apple Orchard #2 of 2

Fall morning air isn’t the only thing that’s crisp; apple pies are in the oven. The cool temperatures came upon us, seemingly overnight. As all Mainers can attest – our state never gets “hot”, but our warm summer days halted abruptly. The early evening chills quickly helped fade summer into early fall. And as if all at once, the next morning we awoke to needing a second layer for walking the dog and picking up the newspaper.
Our early morning walks, although cool, are greeted with beautiful landscapes; fog filtering over the local lake and lying low in the fields, the sun rising above the pine tree-lined roads, and frost gently layered over the blades of grass. I’ve gladly traded in my seasonal footwear. My summer sandals are in the back of my closet, next to the air conditioner. In our entryway, atop the water hog doormat, is a pair of rugged 10” brown Maine Guide Shoes. The leather marked with the character to show where they’ve trod. They could tell a real story – but that is why Backwoods Plaid exists – it’s the medium for which the stories are shared.

September 19, 2011

Apple Orchard #1 of 2

The strong scent of our freshly picked apples filled the car. Apples toppled over the sides of the bags, with each turn home, down the country road. I sat patiently in the backseat, glancing down at the pumpkin whoopie pie that lay next to me on the console. It had the perfect amount of whipped filling. You could tell it would be perfect. Pushing temptation aside, I sipped farm fresh cider, and crunched away on a sweet juicy apple.

Nothing makes me feel more at home then being on a farm. Growing up, our closest neighbor was ¾ mile away and our house was surrounded on all 4 sides by fields. Two were potato; one, broccoli; one, golden grain. The skies were bright blue this afternoon and temperatures warmed just enough to roll up the sleeves. Time to pick apples…