Live Free or Die: Let’s go Climb Some Ice

The end of the trip is a little late compared to all the rest of the posts! A term was coming to a close, and midterms happened and then spring break!

My brother and I left Lebanon, NH around 5:30 in the morning to head to North Conway for the ice climbing adventure. It was about a 2 hour drive up to the White Mountains.

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The sunrise was gorgeous! North Conway is a little mountain resort town that is small and quaint. We got to International Mountain Equipment and got all suited up for the day. Ice axes, crampons, climbing rope and helmets were issued mostly to me since my brother had everything. Before we even left, an accident occurred. My brother slipped on some ice and kicked a hole in his car. Whoops! He wasn’t happy, but it was still funny! It was about a 5 minute drive to Cathedral Ledge, which in the summer is a huge rock face, but now is covered in ice, blue ice to be exact which means the ice is fresh and not old.

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Ice climbing is hard and tiring, but it was so much fun. The legs do all the work, almost like doing squats the whole time you are climbing up the pitch. We started on a 4, which is not the easiest, so I felt a little better after it took me a million years to get up it. I also fell about 4 times, but not far since it was a top rope climb. Lead climbing would be a different story.

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We also did some repelling, which was so much fun!

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We finished the day and headed back to Lebanon and ate at a little diner. We then both went to bed. It was a very eventful night!

So with all this being said I crossed another item off my 101 in 1001 list,

38. Go ice climbing!

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Live Free or Die – Cardigan Mountain

It was surprising warm this past weekend in Lebanon. My brother got off work around 9am, earlier than expected. We debated on what we were going to do that day since the next day we decided to go ice climbing. We got some breakfast at the local diner. They had some great bacon!

We then went over to Eastern Mountain Sports so I could rent some snow shoes. EMS is like REI, but so much better in my opinion. They have kayaks and bikes and climbing gear plus clothes. There is also a LL Bean next door to this EMS, so we looked around in there as well. After we got changed and got all the gear in Jake’s car we headed out to Cardigan Mountain State Park in Orange, NH. It spans over 5,700 acres. It is absolutely gorgeous. During the summer there is an access rode that takes you to the parking lot, but since it is winter. the access rode was covered in snow. This is where the snow shoes comes in!

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It is hard work! There were a lot of people out that day since it was so nice. Even the dogs had little shoes on their feet. We stopped some a few times to rest and to also take pictures. A nice group of college kids took our picture for us.

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I also had to take a goofy one.

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We finished our hike and returned the gear to EMS. We got some take out from a great little Indian place near my brothers place and card loaded as he called it before the big adventure in ice climbing the next day. It was an early night for both of us. We were in bed by 8pm.

With the snow showing activity, I was able to cross number 35 off my 101 in 1001 list and that is go hiking. My brother said snow shoeing counts as hiking. He is the expert after all. I also completed number 86 too, go to the mountains.

Next up, the White Mountains.

Live Free or Die

This past weekend I ventured up north to New Hampshire to visit my brother who lives there. Friday was the travel day, but thankfully TSA decided it should be my lucky day by going through the pre-screening process. Bean boots, big sweater, liquids and laptop all got to stay put. Hopefully the next time of y’all travel, you will be lucky enough to have this happen to you. They even let me keep my coffee!

The two flights were very uneventful. I landed in Manchester to a rainy and snowy mixture and picked up the rental car for the hour and a half drive to Lebanon. Yes, I was headed to Lebanon, NH.

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My brother is currently working the graveyard shift so we was asleep when I got into town. He thankfully gave me the name of a place to go and watch the USA hockey game. I headed to the Salt Hill Pub right in the heart of downtown. The town is not that big at all. Jake met me there and we ate some food and watched the game before heading over to his apartment so he could get a few more hours of sleep before work that night.

I got some homework done before heading over to Quechee, VT to see my cousins that were staying at their condo for a ski weekend. The drive took longer than the usual 15 minutes because of all the rain and sleet that was coming down. Not fun to drive in at all. It was a nice visit as it had been about a year since I last say my cousin and her family.

The night ended with the second inside in season two of House of Cards and then I fell asleep.

Great first night in NH.

Winter Blues

It’s not even technically winter here in Nashville, but it sure feels like it. I lost my toughness for cold weather. Savannah and San Diego spoiled me big time. Needless to say, I am struggling. I broke out my bean boots, puffy jacket, gloves and winter hat today just to drive 10 minutes to work and walk into my job. I do not care if I looked ridiculous, I was cold! I am still cold and it is going to be a long, very long winter for me. So in the words of Jimmy Buffett, “I gotta go where its warm!”

Now a list of warm songs by the master parrothead himself.

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Holiday
“The weather channel girl
with her perfect weather curl
is talking cold, cold, cold
You can’t get out of bed
you can’t remember what you’ve said
you’re feeling old, old, old”

My Lovely Lady
“Well, we’re sailing in those warm December breezes
Sendin’ picture post cards back to Tennessee.”

Migration
“Yeah, I got a Caribbean soul I can barely control
and some Texas (or Tennessee) hidden here in my heart.”

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Atitudes
“And so many nights I just dream of the ocean.
God, I wish I was sailin’ again.”

Banana Republics
“Down to the Banana Republics
Down to the tropical sun
Go the expatriated American
Hopin’ to find some fun”

“I know I should be leaving this climate.
I got a verse but can’t rhyme it.
I gotta go where it’s warm.”

My knees are seriously shivering.

The Last Leg

THe day finally arrived. The last day of the five day long road trip. The morning started with a trip to the St. Louis Arch. It is quite the example of some crazy architecture. I could have told you the style and year last year, but I am not longer reading about that. Whatever it is, it is amazing.

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It is one of the places that has the visitor center underneath the museum, well architectural piece. They did this so it would not distract viewers from the amazing work of the Arch. Tara and I went inside and rode the little car up the to the top.

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The car door. It was tiny. This was the view from the top (seen below).

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We left St. Louis and hit a detour that took us through the east side. What what! We encountered a lady who did not like the fact I was driving five over the speed limit. I guess I was not driving fast enough. She proceeded to give me the bird, and well that made my a little angry. Road rage. I had it bad. Nothing crazy happened because they got off the exit. Thankfully, or that would have been a very long drive back to Nashville.

The rest of the drive was uneventful. Kentucky had lots of traffic as did Tennessee. IMG_4758 But we made it!!

That is the end of Adventure Across America. Round two.

Sleepy Town

It was the fourth day of the trip. Needless to say it was getting old, and we still had to get through the rest of Kansas. We started our way to Independence, Missouri, the home of Harry Truman.

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I just learned he was a Free Mason. Interesting. Anyway, we arrived to a town that was sleepy. Nothing was opened because it was Sunday. Even the Truman Library was closed. So what do you do when everything is closed, walk around and take pictures.

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In front of the courthouse.

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Truman walking signs. All over the place.

1229953_10200468308779446_1806025688_nWe walked around this museum, but could not go in because of Abbie. It was also expensive for such a tiny place.

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First courthouse. It has been moved from the original location. Truman served as a judge here.

We left and headed to St. Louis! Drive was uneventful. We made a couple pit stops, first to get gas which is important, but I also picked up some good ole Ozark Moonshine. We also stopped at Larry’s Boot World to pick up some new cowboy boots. Also important. After the fun, we finally made it to our hotel. It was very nice, and also had free drinks. Notice a trend?

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Wish we could have made it to the baseball game! After searching, we made it to downtown St. Louis on the river and found a brewery. St. Louis was also a sleepy little town that night. The next day would provide adventures, because we ventured into areas we really should not have been.

AAA: From Sand to Absolutely Nothing

The third day of the road trip back to Nashville started out with a visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. It was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel. We managed to get there before the visitor center even opened, so we just drove down the road. Tara and I saw the sign that said DUNES. Away we went. IMG_4702

Obviously we expected to see sand, but not mounds of it. We started our walk out to the dunes and soon realized it was a little longer than we thought. Thankfully it was a cool morning. In the distance we saw people hiking up the dunes. No thank you, my dog was not up for that.  We did however climb the closest one to us.

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We looked around. It was crazy to see sand dunes one one side and trees and mountains on the other side. We hiked back down and headed over to a teepee made out of wood. It just happened to be hanging out. We also saw some deer tracks, and probably rabbits of sorts. Abbie’s nose was going crazy. We even think we saw bear tracks, but we thought it would be best not to find out. We got back in the car, still before the visitor center opened and drove around. We soon discovered another dirt road, and figured why the heck not. We drove for a little bit until we saw this sign.

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We turned around, went to the visitor center and started the ever so wonderful drive to Kansas.

Horrible. We came across some cowboys doing what they do.

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Just getting cows across the road. No big deal. Our plan was to go to Dodge City, but we somehow missed the sign for that, so we headed on to the Santa Fe Trail Center, but it happened to be closed. We arrived in El Dorado hours later and tired.

Abbie agreed that Kansas was miserable.

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Two days left at this point, and we could not wait to get to St. Louis.