Articles · Trip Reports

End of the trail for 2019

2019 was another busy year for adventures. I failed miserably at maintaining a spreadsheet for our hiking stats this year so I guess that will be my resolution for 2020! One of the biggest changes here is that I have changed over from NH Summit Mommy to Adventures with Aubrey. I made the change because the focus has always been on Aubrey and our adventures together and I wanted the name to reflect the mission of our blog and social media accounts.

We had a late start getting out hiking in January 2019, our first hike wasn’t until the end of the month. We ventured up the auto road up Pack Monadnock. This was Charger’s first mountain hike!

February made up for the lack of hikes in January. Aubrey even agreed to skip school one day to hike with me!

In March, Aubrey had a very special trip to Florida with Brammy (my mother) to visit “Great Great” (my grandmother). Aubrey had a wonderful trip and is excited to do it again this winter!

April was a special month. I was invited to talk on NHPR about hiking with children. It was such a fun experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Also in April, I undertook a project that I wanted to do for years. I finally remodeled our pop up camper “Little House”. It was so much fun and I find myself searching for a cheap pop up to flip!

May brought more hiking with Charger. We ventured up Little Monadnock in Fitzwilliam, which surprisingly was a first time for Aubrey. May ended with Aubrey and I heading out camping. We stayed at Dry River Campground in Crawford Notch. Staying there was the first time we camped without any hook ups, something I was always nervous about since nights even in the summer can get cool and running the furnace in the morning is nice. We also had zero cell signal which as much as it was nice to completely disconnect it made good morning/good night phone calls home to Daddy harder. Aubrey got to start her first fire on her own.

June started out just like May ended, Camping in Crawford Notch. On June 1 we ventured over to Iron Mountain, for an extremely buggy hike that tested our patience. We also found moose poop! Aubrey thought that was pretty neat and kept hoping to see a moose along the way.

June also started our adventures with our White Mountain Attraction Pass. Which we bought as a Christmas Present. The pass gives you two admission passes to each of the 17 major attractions in the White Mountain National Forest. We were happy to share a day with Aubrey’s cousins showing them around Clark’s Trading Post and took them for a ride up the Cannon Mountain tram.

July entered with the LONGEST drive north. It took us four hours instead of our normal two due to a huge accident on 93. Thankfully we made it north and started our vacation. Aubrey kept asking to hike the Sugarloaves again, so we took Daddy up and this time we grabbed North Sugarloaf as well since Aubrey and I skipped it the first time we hiked Middle Sugarloaf. We checked off another 52 with a View hike, Stinson, which sadly didn’t have any views due to overcast weather. We visited Whales Tale Waterpark in Lincoln which was a lot of fun.

August brought us up our 3rd NH 4000 footer! We tackled Mount Pierce which was actually a pretty easy hike, definitely a hike we will do again (especially to stay at the Mizpah Hut!)

All of August was busy, and we had two more camping trips. We camped with Brammy and Papa in Twin Mountain. This time in our new large Cabin tent. It was nice to have a large tent instead of our tiny 3 person dome tent! During our camping trip with Brammy and Papa we visited Polar Caves and then had a very exciting ride up Mount Washington on the Cog Railway! The weather that day was extreme! We had wind gusts up to 60mph and the temps were below freezing! It was such a fun experience.

Aubrey and I ended Summer Vacation with yet another camping trip. This time we headed to Hancock Campground in Lincoln which was another time without hook ups. My fear of no electricity hook ups happened. Our battery died and I couldn’t run the furnace. Good thing our Coleman lantern puts off some nice heat to keep things somewhat warm after a night of cold rain. I have since invested in a Buddy Heater- a propane heater that doesn’t require batteries or electricity. Now I don’t have to worry about power anymore. During this trip we visited Storyland and Attitash to do the Alpine Slides and Mountain Coaster. The slides and coaster were a lot of fun but I wasn’t too impressed with the lines and crowd management at Attitash. We waited well over an hour for the mountain coaster. I wish they had a fast pass option like rides at Disney.

We also climbed Monadnock for the FOURTH time!

September didn’t have any big adventures for Aubrey, but Daddy and I had a fun anniversary weekend in Lincoln. We used the WMNF Attraction Pass for a nice date at Alpine Adventures.

October, Aubrey hit a big milestone. She learned to ride her bike without training wheels! She had so much fun riding around the campground and making us run behind her! We took Daddy and Charger up Mount Kearsarge for a late fall hike.

November and Decemember were pretty tame, we ventured out on a few small hikes but nothing worth remarking.

Lastly, over the last year I have done something huge. I joined Weight Watchers in January and managed to shed over 50 pounds! I took a few months off and have now rejoined and plan on loosing the last 20-30 pounds necessary to get myself to a healthy BMI. I had major blinders on and didn’t realize the weight I had gained and always thought I was fit from all the hiking. I love this comparison picture. The first image is from August 2018 at the top of Mount Willard (easy 1.2 mile hike up with around 800 feet of elevation gain along the way) and the second is from August 2019 at the top if Mount Pierce (moderate 3 miles with 2000 feet of elevation gain). My face is beat red in the first and I barely broke a sweat in the second. Hiking has been much more enjoyable without the extra weight!

Looking forward to 2020! We don’t have any set plans yet, but Aubrey is hoping for a winter camping trip, going camping in our hammocks and hopefully a stay at an AMC Hut, maybe Lake of the Clouds and an attempt at Mount Washington?? Stay tuned for new adventures in the new year!

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