Just Get Outside: Northeast Hikes

That’s been my mantra lately – whether it involves lunchtime runs, or evenings sitting by the pool – this is the time of year to just be outside as much as possible. The weather has been nice for Houston – but summertime is very clearly here, what with the intense humidity already arriving and many crazy tropical thunderstorms. So to capture the last few semi-cool moments before 100 degree days, we are going camping soon. Camping in Texas is pretty calm – usually some trees, a body of water with fishing, and hiking on basically flat ground. But this made me think about a few camping and hiking trips Mark and I took in the Northeast which involved cooler nights, much more strenuous hikes, and plenty of no-makeup time (as you guys know I love).

First up was Franconia Notch – a pretty amazing place in New Hampshire. We did the Mt. Lafayette loop hike – up Falling Waters and down Old Bridle Trail which was nice because the AMC (Appalachian Trail) trail hut was on the way down. You are hiking above the treeline most of the time, which provides some pretty awesome views. Plus it’s very doable in a day, but you are still exhausted at the end (or we were!) so just being able to have a glass of wine or beer at the campsite (we stayed at Lafayette campground) was so nice.

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View of the ridge hike up to Mt. Lafayette

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Even in the summer, it’s chilly at the top!

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About a year later, we decided to head to Vermont. We camped at Underhill campground and hiked Mt. Mansfield. We did a loop again, heading up to the Forehead (yes, really) and hiked to the Chin, before coming back down the Sunset Ridge Trail. I thought it was a pretty good hike, but there was a guy running up the mountain next to us for his “weekend workout”. Nothing makes you feel less fit than that…

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Again, lots of above treeline time, leading to some fantastic views (and unexpected sunburn!). It’s worth noting that Underhill did not have running water, so after a long day of hiking and two nights camping, we headed over to Smuggler’s Notch to grab a shower. Those of you who are more outdoorsy than me could probably hack it.

Obviously both of these hikes were pre-kids, but I think you could do portions of them with a child carrier – especially the main summit routes which end up being shorter and therefore a bit more crowded. We will be hiking a bit with our kids here in Texas soon, but I use that term loosely, as really it’s just walking in a circle. We will see how the three-year old holds up on his own, but plan to bring the carrier for the baby. Most of our “real hiking” we save for weekends away that we very occasionally get thanks to my awesome parents. But once they’re older, they will definitely be joining us!

While this makes me miss my mountain views, I will say that tonight’s Texas sunset was something pretty special on its own. Flat land has it’s perks too. 🙂

Until next time,

Stassja

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