Back in the White’s

It took a week, but I finally had a moment to reflect on last weekend’s awesome family adventure to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We were back in the White’s exactly two weeks after our last adventure, but this time, with our two children.  2013_White Mountain Family Adventure 130

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It was a fantastic trip with many highlights. Last year’s Cog to Hut Adventure and 2009’s Hut-to-Hut with our son were inspiration for this trip. This time, we decided to base ourselves at AMC’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch. It is a great central location for day adventure in the White’s.

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Horst Engineering was closed for four day’s over the July 4th holiday, so we had the perfect amount of time to make the trip. We arrived on Thursday in time for me to take a short bike ride across Mt. Clinton Road and up to the Cog Railway. Several times during the weekend, the kids got to play on the amazing playscape. This was one of the main attractions. It is no ordinary playground. After our initial play, we had dinner at the lodge.

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At dusk, we made the short hike to Elephant’s Head and took in some sweet sunset views of the notch. The walk offered some fun photographic opportunities, which was part of the weekend’s “relaxing” appeal. It was a late night for the kids, but you make exceptions when you are on “vacation.”

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Friday was the day for our big hike. The goal was for our son to bag his first official NH 4000 footer. He had been across the summits of several qualifying mountains, but not entirely on his own power. This time, he was hiking solo without a net! From the notch, we went up to 4,052 Mt. Jackson via the Webster-Jackson Trail. It was cooler on the summit, but comfortable enough to enjoy a snack.

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From the top, we headed over to Mizpah Spring Hut for a late lunch and rest. Then, we took the Mizpah Cutoff to the Crawford Path and returned to the notch. The 7.7 mile  hike took us about eight hours. It was a fun day. We saw some critters, including a grouse, several frogs, and lots of insects. We avoided any rain. It was warm and partially sunny. Truly, it was a gorgeous day.

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It was a lot of work for a six-year old, but he was tough. We had to encourage him a bit at the end and he was cracking us up with the exchanges. At one point, he said, “I’m wilting.” I replied, “No, you are wilted.” He said, “What does wilted mean?”

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It was that kind of back and forth that made the day so enjoyable. Debbie and I were so proud of him. Our daughter did a fair amount of walking too. We were in no rush. It was great to just spend a day exploring in the mountains and we were blessed to have the weather with us, unlike our June Hut Traverse.

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After cleaning up at the lodge, we met up with our friends Matt and Christina Schomburg and their nearly one-year old daughter. Matt helped us out on our Hut Traverse as he has many times in the past. We invited them down from their home in Milan to have dinner and enjoy the playscape. After the meal, we had some rain showers but they cleared in time to reveal a lovely full rainbow that spanned the notch. The evening ended with a campfire and S’mores. It was a great day.

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On Friday, it was my turn for some adventure. After Debbie did hill repeats on Mt. Avalon, I suited up for a big training ride. My route took me west on Rt. 302 through Littleton, Lisbon, and across the mighty Connecticut River in Woodsville. From Wells River, Vermont, I rode west until I hit Rt. 232. I took the beautiful road north through Ricker Pond State Park, Groton State Forest, and Kettletown State Park. The climbs were hard but the descents were fun.

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I connected with Rt. 2, then headed west again until I reached Montpelier. I stopped to refuel at the co-op, then headed south on Rt. 12. When I got to Northfield, I took Rt. 12A into Roxbury. From there, I took Warren Mountain Road to the mostly dirt Roxbury Gap Road and over the infamous gap. I was way over-geared with only a 38 x 19 thanks to a balky derailleur. I gutted it out, nearly walking three times, but was able to finally pedal the whole way.

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I want to go back and do the epic Six Gaps Ride. I’ve been on most of those roads, but never in one ride. I had a fun descent down into Warren, and then paralleled Rt. 100 into Waitsfield where Debbie and the kids were waiting for me. It was 7.5 hours and 118 miles of bliss and should do wonders for my triathlon training. I took the kids for a quick swim in the Mad River and then we met new friends at the 1% For The Planet 10th Anniversary party.

Post-party, we changed the kids into their pajamas and made the 100 mile drive back to Crawford Notch. We didn’t see any moose, but it was a challenging trip after a long day. Sunday morning, we were up bright and early, packed the car, and headed south to Lincoln for the Loon Mountain Race. Debbie ran while the kids and I explored and watched.

After the race, we enjoyed some time in the Pemigewasset River before once again loading into the car and heading south. We were home by 6:00 P.M. and capped off an awesome family adventure. We can’t wait to get back to the mountains.

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I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
・・・
We just launched the #cxnats edition of #crossspikes News and it is chock full of great information. Click our profile for a link to the newsletter and info regarding @renocxnats pre-orders and on-site sales. See you at the Race Expo! #crossisboss 🚴🏽🏆 Brilliant sunshine☀️ at the @shenipsitstriders #newyearsday run. #shenipsitstriders #boltonnotch #hopriverstateparktrail #teamhorstsports #trailrunning ❄️🌲⛄️🏃🏻

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