Monday, August 4, 2008

A little R and R for ASA

We just returned with the boys from their first big camping trip up in Crawford Notch in the White Mountians.
We had beautiful weather and a great secluded site right on the Saco River. The river was literally on our doorstep.

Gail and I have never been so far from our computers and cell phones; it took a little getting used to.

I was quickly removed from cooking duty as I showed my inabilty to seperate food and nature, though Steven did eat some purely on a dare.


For the first few days, Grampy toured the area with us. One of our first big stops was the GRAND Mt. Washington Hotel. What a beautiful hotel with some of the best views around.

Our little adventurers had quite the trip. They saw a Moose (up close), a Black Bear (from a safe distance), A Snake, Frog, and a Salamander that Steven found personally.

They collected wood and tinder from forest around us though our most productive wood collecting was on Sunday. As we were staying through midweek, the boys and I drove around the campground as the Sunday morning checkout was underway and scavenged all the left over firewood from the rapidly emptying sites. VERY VERY affective I must say.

We started fires with flints and magnesium shavings. Not quite "Survivor Man" but not bad for city slickers.

Hike to Ripley Falls (The boys first "big" hike)

What a beautiful waterfall! The boys did very well on the trail indeed, though we dragged poor Grampy along with us. He did take some great pictures for us at the waterfall.

On our way back down the trail we stepped aside to let a fully geared up hiker by us who was on quite the pace. We saw him again later at the trail head as he was trying to make sense of the faded trail sign. We offered our trail map to him to view and when we asked him were he was coming from he replied "Georgia". As it turned out, "Rabbit" as he was referred to on the trail, had already hiked apx. 1800 of this 2175 mile trek up the Appalachian trail and was on his way to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, the end of the Trail. Ironically he was looking to spend the night at the same campground we were staying at. As the campground was actually located 3 miles off of the AT we offered him a ride and ended up inviting him to dinner. We had a great time sitting around the campfire and exchanging stories though his were far more cool. What could compare to a cool journey like the one he was on.

Rabbit, if you are out there buddy, the boys were talking about you for days (as did we). The next day while we were hiking Mt. Willard, Steven started yelling “RABBIT!......RABBIT!” hoping to here you respond. It was sooo cute.

It was truly awesome and an honor to meet you! We hope to here from you at the trail's end in Maine!

Mt. Willard, The Boys first Mountain hike (a big thanks to Kim and David for that call, it was perfect).

We headed out early and we were on the trail by 8AM.

A quick stop at Centennial Falls to take it all in…

Cooling off on the way (Bear Grylls style)

The boys reached the summit together (ok, so we made them hold hands there, but what a GREAT shot!)

We sat the boys safely with mommy on the summit to check out the view and to celebrate their achievement. I just had to whip out the big guns and take these pictures (I got money on these getting into some recreational New Hampshire magazine).

Mr. Lucas and Mr. Spielberg will be happy to know that Luke and Indiana also made it to the summit.

Steven was a great flower and berry finder (don’t worry, we warned him VERY early on about not touching or eating anything). He would point things out and I would take a snapshot for the record. These are just some of his findings…

We hiked down the Saco from our campsite.

Us somewhere on the Saco river…

Our last night at the campsite we could tell that we had worn out at least one of them!! I ATE THAT MARSHMELLOW AFTER I PUT HIM TO BED = )

A little stop at Diana's Baths on the way home finished the trip off.

All in all it was a great time for all of us. It was just the four of us with no distractions and a couple of great guests. We are already talking about our trip for next year!