Vacati(on) continued…

Rain droplets.  Cool breeze.  Smells of coffee eradiating from the kitchen.  Sounds of bare feet tip-tapping across the kitchen tile.

Every morning could wake me up in this exact same way.  I wouldn’t mind.  At all.

I made a quickie breakfast so that I’d have a bit of extra morning time for reading.  Same as yesterday’s combo, only with an addition of FEED apple granola and some shredded coconut.

 

Books and Coffee!!!

I’m working my way through each chapter, loving this book more and more.  I can’t even explain what it is that I love about the book.  The author’s vivid descriptions of life, emotions, adventures?  The fact that it involves a beautiful tale of the tie between boy and dog?  The adventures?  I don’t know.  Honest to goodness.  But it’s captivating and I can not put it down. 

Now let me introduce you to Mt. Tecumseh

4,003 ft.

2.5 miles to the top, 5 miles round trip

Shortest of NH’s 4,000 ft. mountains.

Short but steep.

I don’t really know what I was expecting from this mountain.  I guess I was equating “short” with “easy.”  Lesson learned.  Short does not necessarily mean easy.

The first 1/3 of the mountain was decently reasonable, but from there on, the trail took us on a direct shot to the summit.  No fooling around!  I can think of but one word to most adequately explain this trail: stairmaster. 

 

 Or maybe three: stairmaster on steroids.

What.  A.  Workout. 

 

 I packed lots of goodies to keep us fueled though…

Granola bars…

Gorp (i.e., kashi heart to heart, craisins, mixed nuts)…

Lemonade…

Oranges…

Crackers with peanut butter and jarlsberg cheese.

I ate my weight and more.  I’m always starving when I’m hiking which is a good thing.  It’s important to stay well fueled and hydrated. 😀

 I loved the trail, for all its unexpected twists and turns, steep & grueling climbs, and gorgeous openings.  Stunning.

 

 View from the summit (below).

 

 Oh, and mom’s hiking boots were finally laid to rest after today’s hike.  They served her well, through countless mountains, muddy trails, rocks, medical tape and duct tape.

FYI, you never know when you might need duct tape on a hike.  Just sayin’. 

 

 Post-hiking trip, we found a nearby river to ice our legs in…

 

 I’ll  bet this was the old fashioned method used by many hikers and frontiersmen alike.  The icy water felt so delicious on my tired legs. 😀

 

 Time to EAT!

I dove right into the last of the watermelon while Dad got to work on the grill.

 

 Then I moved on to a large salad, complete with the basics (i.e., cucumber, tomato, lettuce, etc.) as well as some gourmet green olives and the last of the refried beans.  No dressing required!

 

 Dad cooked up some grilled zucchini and summer squash (simply drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with garlic powder…cook directly on the grill) and Al Fresco Buffalo Chicken Sausages in a whole wheat bun.  I topped mine with sauteed green bell peppers, vidalia onions and ketchup.  Lots and lots of ketchup.

Amazing.

 

Two big ol’ scoops of Edy’s Sandwich Cookie icecream were also consumed, followed not long after with a bowl of kashi heart to heart cereal and soymilk. 

Finally full and happy.

 

 Somehow I have a feeling that tomorrow, being the last full day of our vacation, is going to involve a lot of R&R. 

Can’t wait! 😀

Question: Which do you prefer: oceans, lakes, pools, or rivers? 

hiking & summer

This morning demanded a filling breakfast.  This morning demanded oats. 

Same ol’, same ol’ as yesterday, except with the substitution of walnuts for the coconut.  I absolutely love this summery combo!

The reason I needed such a filling breakfast, you ask?

This:

That would be Mt. Monadnock.  It’s not a 4,000ft mountain, but I definitely find it to be one of the more challenging hikes in New Hampshire.  Personal experience.  But this mountain also rewards you with a fantastic view from the top, which makes it all so worth it.

This is what I call lunch with a view.  I would love to be up here at sunset someday.  Maybe I should add that to my Life’s To-Do’s. 😉

My parents and I had such an awesome time, but were completely zonked from the sun by the time we got back to the bottom.  Some of the trail was in the shade, but a lot of it (at least 1-2 hrs. worth of hiking time) was spent in the sun.  Dad was smart to bring a hat.  At least I loaded up on the sunscreen to keep my skin protected. 😉

And, when all is said and done, all I want is pizza (or anything with salt!!) after a long day of hiking.  My parents agreed.

Tomatoes.  Broccoli.  Mushrooms.  Onions.  Peppers.  One deliciously doughy and flaky crust.  Three hungry hikers.

What.  A.  Day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These past three days have been filled—-absolutely FILLED—with summer.  I almost don’t want it to end. 😀

Campfires.

Cookouts with Family.

Corn on the Cob.

Being Silly and Laughing.

Berry Picking. 

Berry Eating. 

Visiting Farms.

Fresh Strawberries.

Homemade Strawberry Desserts.

Flip-Flops.

Family.

Fourth of July.

Playing volleyball in my bare feet.

Watermelon.

Relaxing.

Peace.

Question: Have you ever gone hiking?  Do you enjoy it?  Where would you go hiking if you could go anywhere?