Fall Hiking Continues

We’ve spent the past 2 weekends up at the lodge enjoying the fall weather.  Last weekend we had Michele’s brother up to visit.  Everyone except for Tommy and I went for a hike up Mt. Garfield on Saturday.  On Sunday, my parents came up to visit for the week.  The foliage was at its peak!

This past weekend, we had some crummy weather on Saturday so mainly just hung around with my parents.  On Sunday, everyone went for a hike up Mt. Sugarloaf.  We were treated with some amazing views of foliage w/ snow on the presidentials.  

More Summer Lodging

The Lodge has been getting plenty of use this summer.  My parents were up for 2 weeks at the beginning of August.  For one of those weeks, we had Eli and Aaron stay with them.  Also, on one of the weekends Lisa and Evren came up.

On the weekend we checked out the Reklis Brewery in Bethlehem.  This place was awesome!  They had really good live music, great beer and food, and lawn games.  We’re very excited to have found this place, it’s only 15 mins from the Lodge.

Another new Brewery opened up even closer (10 mins) in downtown Franconia, called the Iron Furnace Brewery.  They had just opened and things were still in the works (i.e. didn’t seem to have the waitstaff yet, still some construction), but the whole family had a great time and the beer and food was awesome.  We are especially excited about Iron Furnace because we have to drive by it on our way home skiing.  I guess we’ll have to stop in for some Apres Ski!  We’re very pumped to now have 3 awesome breweries within about a 15 min drive from the lodge.

Besides checking out Iron Furnace, this past weekend we hiked the Sugarloaf’s.  These are a relatively small (2500’ish) couple mountains just west of Bretton Woods, with the trailhead at the Zealand campground area.  The kids all did great and there were some pretty awesome panoramic views on Middle Sugarloaf.

On the drive home we hit up Enzo’s for an early dinner then Chutter’s afterwards for a treat.  We are starting to get a routine up in the North Country.

More Lodging and Slinky the Snake

It seems like everyone is loving the lodge these days.  We had a surprise visitor in our house, a giant snake that we named Slinky.  Michele spotted him in a crack in our ceiling on our way out the door a couple weeks ago.  I totally freaked out and we weren’t able to get him out of the way.  Since then we haven’t seem him so I’m guessing he got bored and left.

This past weekend we headed up to the Lodge.  We hosted the Holman’s.

On Saturday we did a hike up Bald Mountain with a loop over to Artist’s Bluff.  This was our first time up Bald Mountain and we were impressed with the views and fun scrambling at the top.  The overall hike was probably around 2 miles and everyone had a blast.

In the afternoon we went to the Lisbon Community Swimming Pool to cool off.  This place rocks.  The pool is brand new, huge, and usually empty.

On Sunday AM we went to the Windy Ridge Orchard in Haverhill to go blueberry picking.  The blueberries were perfectly ripe and we got a huge bounty.  The kids had a blast, especially when they got to eat the apple cider donuts at the end.

In the afternoon the Holman’s headed home and we met my parents at the Lodge.  They are staying up there for vacation for 2 weeks.  After visited we headed home and had Enzo’s for dinner and ice cream for desert since it was Tommy’s birthday.

Bridal Veil Falls

This weekend we celebrated Eli’s birthday at Kimballs on Friday night.  We then headed up to the Lodge for the weekend.

Saturday was rainy, so we didn’t do much, but it was nice to just relax.

On Sunday, the weather cleared up and we hiked the Coppermine Trail, which leads to Bridal Veil Falls.

The hike starts about 10 minutes from the Lodge, about a mile from the Franconia airport.  The hike is a very easy grade 2.5 miles to the falls.  Along the way there are lots of entertaining aspects like a shelter, bridge, and water for most of the way.  At the top we dipped our feet in the water, threw rocks, and climbed to the top by the base of the falls.

Overall this hike was a huge hit for the kids, I’d definitely give it a 10/10.  I bet it’s amazing in the spring during the snowmelt.

Pics soon!

Family Vacation

We had a nice family vacation the week of 4th of July this year.

We headed up to the Lodge on Friday 6/29.  Michele had an overnight hike planned for her and Aaron on Saturday and Sunday.  They hiked Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Little Haystack, and Mt. Lafayette.  They had perfect weather for the trip.

With Eli and Tommy all to myself, we headed up to Santa’s Village for the day on Saturday.  The weather was hot but the kids had a blast and we didn’t even do the water park.  We went on the log flume and roller coaster probably 20+ times each.  We purchased a season pass since it was only $80/each vs. $30 for a day ticket.  After Santa’s village we had dinner at 99 in Littleton, and then had a movie night.

On Sunday, we lost power for the entire morning.  I was worried about losing everything in the fridge so I took the boys out to buy a ton of ice and we just had breakfast at Dunkin.  We got power back around lunch time when Michele and Aaron returned from their hike.  In the afternoon we did a little shopping and had dinner at Alburrito’s, a mexican place in Littleton.  Overall the food was very good but the service could use some improvements.

On Monday, we tried the Whale’s Tale waterpark in Lincoln.  It was upper 80’s outside of Franconia Notch, but inside where the water park is was lower 70’s and rainy, unbelievable weather difference.  The kids loved the wave pool and the big water slides.  Overall the water park was a big hit!

On Tuesday, we spent the day at Story Land.  The weather was soooo hot and humid.  We spent as much time as we could on water rides, but there aren’t many at Story Land.  The roarasaurus coaster was a big hit.  The kids are at a great age where they all enjoy the rides.  Disney is going to be awesome later this year!

On Wednesday, the 4th, it was another brutally hot day.  In the morning we took the kids to Echo Lake beach and it was packed with people.  Mudgie dug a big hole and was deemed the coolest kid on the beach by all the other kids.  At night we watched the fireworks in Lincoln.

On Thursday, we attempting a biking trip.  I searched all over for paved bike paths since Tommy is still on training wheels.  It turns out there are only 2, the one in Franconia Notch and another at Loon Mountain.  The Franconia Notch one is apparently really steep, so we packed up all the bikes on the car and headed over to Loon, in the ridiculous heat.  We got all the bikes off and started and Tommy had a melt down because he couldn’t figure out how to use the brakes, and of course this trail was steep as well.  Biking lasted about 10 mins, a total fail.  We had lunch in Lincoln at the kid’s favorite pizza place, Enzo’s, and then headed back to the lodge.    After dinner we all went swimming at the Lisbon community pool.  This pool exceeded our expectations, it’s brand new and super clean.

On Friday, the forecast was rain, so we headed back to Lincoln again to watch a movie, the incredibles 2.  I fell asleep but the kids loved it.  I honestly can’t remember what we did the rest of the day.

On Saturday, Michele and Eli went for an overnight hike on Mt. Madison and Mt. Adams.  They went up Adams via the King Ravine trail, which is notoriously one of the hardest trails in the whites.  I took the boys to Funspot at Lake Winnepesaukee, apparently the largest arcade in the world.  Aaron and Tommy had a blast there.  After that we had dinner at 99, because Aaron wanted to do the same thing mudige did the weekend before.

On Sunday, we headed up to Santa’s Village (again).  We stayed there until about 1pm, headed back to the lodge, and met up with Michele and Eli.  We all packed up and headed home.

Overall we had an action packed and fun week.  The weather was brutally hot at the lodge, very humid and the house didn’t cool down much all week.

Exploring The Basin, before the tourists get to it

This past weekend we had my family up to visit for the weekend.

On Saturday morning we capitalized on the nice weather and took the kids to the Basin.  We had the whole place to ourselves and it was awesome!

Everyone arrived in the afternoon and we had Michele’s famous tacos for dinner.  On Sunday morning we just hung around the lodge, had a big fire, chopped down some trees, etc..

In the early afternoon we headed back home for Eli’s baseball practice.

Overall it was a nice, relaxing weekend and it was great to have my sister and her husband up to the lodge!

Tuckerman’s Ravine 2018

This weekend Eli and I hiked and skied tuckerman’s ravine!

On Sunday, we got up at 4:45am.  We ate breakfast, packed our bags, and got out of the house around 5:45am.  We arrived at Pinkham Notch around 7am.

Eli was so excited to do Tuckerman’s!

As we started to make our ascent we quickly shed off our outer layers.  The temps must have been in the 50’s at the base.  About a mile in Eli put on his Yaktrax and I put on my crampons.

At about 11am, we reached the Hermit Lake Shelters.  This is about 2.5 miles from Pinkham Notch.  From here we could finally see Tuckerman’s!  The view below is of some of the trails to the left of Tuckerman’s.

From the shelter, it was about 0.7 miles to the base of the ravine.  We started to get a glimpse of the Left Gully on the hike up.

Almost there.  We heard to avoid the lunch rocks this time of year, where there are giant ice falls the size of cars.

We made it to the base of the ravine!  Eli had a huge burst of energy and at this point and could tackle anything.

This is the famous Tuckerman’s photo.  If you look closely on the left you will see a person climbing up.

We agreed to go half way up Left Gulley to the ice fall and ski down from there.  We quickly changed out of our hiking gear and into our ski gear.  I’m not sure I’ve seen him this excited before.

We started our ascent of Left Gully.  Eli did a great job of digging into the snow and making sure he had good footing.  If you make one mistake here you are falling all the way to the bottom.

As we were ascending one of the people above triggered an avalanche that was headed right towards us!  We quickly moved to the side (not trivial since we were on a steep incline).  After most of the avalanche came through I snapped a pic and video.

Now we had no pre-made footholds and Eli had to dig in with each step since he was leading the way.  He was really reaching the end of his energy at this point.

So, we found a decent place to strap in.  I got Eli all geared up and then he waited for me.  Some of the dots at the bottom are people.

Eli and I both made it down to the bottom in a minute or two.  I found it a lot more challenging on the snowboard with the heavy pack.  There really wasn’t a ‘dryrun’ to see what it was like with all the weight.

At the bottom we had some snacks.  You can see some people hiking up in the left side of the pic.  The right side was filled with waterfalls and crevasses.

We skiied the line on the left starting at the waterfall.

We took a quick break, put our hiking stuff back on, and headed back to the shelter.

At the shelter we transferred back to our skiies and got to ski down the Sherburne Trail for about a mile. At that point we had to transfer back our hiking gear again and walk down to the bottom.

At the bottom we saw an awesome waterfall.             

Once we got the bottom we had an amazing dinner at Moat Mountain Brewery, ice cream at Friendly’s, then drove home.

Overall I was so proud of Eli today.  He didn’t complain the entire trip, and was so determined to make it to the top.  I’m sure we will both remember this trip forever.