Mud, Ice, & Glory

Hiking Mount Cardigan

(In which Chris nearly stabs his eye out with a tree branch)

Last weekend, Chris and I took a few days off work to go up to New Hampshire/Vermont to visit our good friends Erica and Derek (and their sweet pitt mix, Emmy). Originally, we intended this to be a ski trip. But Mother Nature global warming had other plans—so instead, we took advantage of the spring weather and went on a hike!

Wait, let me be clear—this was not a walk in the woods. This was a hike.

We picked Mount Cardigan, a three-mile loop that’s categorized as “easy.” It started out on an auspicious note when Erica stepped into an ankle-deep mud puddle before we even got on the trail.

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Finding our adventure dog (a love story)

Exactly two years ago today, Chris and I fell in love at first sight.

Just a few months earlier, we had moved into our little rental house and negotiated just one addendum to the lease—that we would be allowed to adopt a dog.

Chris likes dogs, but he never really loved them. I, on the other hand, have been a crazy dog person as long as I’ve been alive. I was the driving force of the whole process, and he was happily, if not super enthusiastically, along for the ride.

So on the evening of March 6th, 2014, we drove out into a rainy, windy, freezing cold evening toward the shelter. We had researched dog breeds, read up on puppy training, and purchased a crate, toys, and a puppy gate. We didn’t know if we would find our puppy that day, but just in case we did—we were ready.

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There’s something about switchbacks.

I think I remember the exact moment I fell in love with the mountains.

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I was a camper for the first time at a little summer camp near Brevard, NC called the Green River Preserve (a magical place that I could write a LOT about, but that’s another post for another time). It was the summer between seventh and eighth grades—the same summer that I grew about a foot, going suddenly from normal-sized middle-schooler to gawky preteen who had no idea what to do with her new lanky limbs.

To make things even better, I was mentally and emotionally a late-bloomer. So not only did I tower over all the boys my age, but I also didn’t quite understand why all the girls were so worried about them anyway. I felt self-conscious and uneasy in my own skin. Like most kids at that age, I just wanted to fit in, when I—quite literally—stuck out.

Continue reading “There’s something about switchbacks.”