12 of 12 for August 2010

14 Aug


The 12th was a pleasantly cool day, so I took advantage of the nice weather for a little hiking excursion. I began with a stop in Gilmanton, a historic village situated along the Old Province Road, which connected the seacoast towns with the mountain towns back when New Hampshire was still a British province.


I came across a field covered with wildflowers. I couldn’t capture the whole field with my camera, so I zoomed in on a little section. Goldenrod, Joe Pye weed, boneset, and blue vervain dominate.


Another old home in the centre of Gilmanton. You’ll notice a touch of orange on the tree at the right – it seems the dry summer has led to some trees in the area turning prematurely this year.


Such is the case for this maple tree next to the Gilmanton public library.


As I continued driving towards my hiking destination, I passed through the community of Alton Bay. I liked the colours of these cottages on Lake Winnipesaukee.


These old fellas were admiring the view of the lake from the town docks.


My hike of the day was Mt. Major in Alton. Despite my years of living in the Lakes Region, I had never hiked it before, in part because I knew how popular/crowded it usually was. Even on a Thursday, there was only one spot left in the trailhead parking lot. Of the three trails to the summit, I foolishly chose the blue trail, which is the most direct – and most demanding. The trail is basically a constant ascent over mercilessly rocky terrain. I was struggling to keep hydrated, but chugging the water from our home faucet (drawn from an Artesian well) was making me feel nauseous. I almost threw up a couple times, but I soldiered on to the summit.


The view from one of the open faces of the mountain near the summit. Here I’m looking northeast over Rattlesnake Island (with the little hump) towards Tuftonboro and the Ossipee Range.


Plenty of wild blueberries in the higher elevations.


Finally made it to the top, and was humbled by all the small children up there (although they surely took other trails). Here’s the view to the north, towards the Sandwich Range. On the way down the mountain, I took the much more leisurely yellow trail.


Although I had made every effort to stay hydrated during my hike, it wasn’t enough. It’s a common problem for me when hiking – if I don’t replenish my water quickly enough, I develop a splitting headache. I had to retreat to the basement and turn out all the lights, aside from the Colbert Report. A (caffeine-free) coffee milk, an aspirin, some cold water on the face, and a short nap sent my headache packing.


I spent the evening organising all the paperwork necessary to submit my visa application at the French consulate in Boston the following day. This is the work contract I waited to patiently to receive. It lists the two schools where I will be working – a high school and a middle school in a college town suburb of Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast to the east of Marseille. I leave on September 22nd.


One Response to “12 of 12 for August 2010”

  1. squamloon 15 August 2010 at 11:59 #

    I always enjoy your old-soul perspective on New Hampshire… and by the same token eagerly lok forward to some more European fare in the months to come.

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