Thursday, July 22, 2010

Getting Organized

We had originally hoped to go for a hike today; however, issues with the truck prevented that.  Gene was able to get an appointment at the local Ford dealership for early afternoon.

While waiting for that, we did a major grocery run.  The small IGA in Thomaston just offered enough to get by so I made do with a little from there and what I had in the cupboard.  Today, the cupboard was bare.  We were excited about there being a Shaw supermarket in Gorham, but we quickly learned it has gone out of business.  That left Wal-mart, but that was far better than the little IGA.

I could probably get all worked up into a snit about the truck.  It turns out that the “check engine” light was on because some valve or something was clogged with carbon.  Well, we all know that didn’t get there this past week since our last service appointment.  That’s probably the real reason the check engine light came on in the first place a couple weeks ago.

Now, I’m not saying that the service department in Litchfield did wrong with the other issues.  They took Gene back and showed him the evidence of the leaks they said were there.  I’m just saying I think they should have caught this problem also.

Of course, they weren’t able to fix it today, that will have to wait until Monday.

While Gene was busy with the truck, I sat down with the guidebook and trail maps.  I found several hikes within a short driving distance from the campground; many of which offered ponds, waterfalls, or big views.  I tried to avoid those that used the phrase “steep, rough ascent”.

We have a couple of goals in mind for our hiking.  We primarily want to do some trails that have some kind of feature--pond, waterfall, historic site, etc.  We are ready for relatively short and easy, but that may not always be possible in the Whites.  There are also a couple of peaks we want to climb--Adams, Madison, and Jefferson.  I found a route up Mt Washington that doesn’t look too bad.  We’ll see.  We drove up Mt Washington the last time we were here and Gene says he “ain’t doing that again.”

AMC Visitor Center at Pinkham Notch

After Gene got home from making friends at the Ford place, we drove over to Pinkham Notch to the AMC Visitor Center.  Appalachian Mountain Club maintains many of the trails in the White Mountains, as well as huts, cabins, a couple of lodges, and hiker shuttle buses.  At Pinkham Notch they have a Visitor Center with a small bookstore/gift shop and a snack bar.  We wanted a shuttle bus schedule and a waterproof map for the area where we will be hiking.

We were glad to see the shuttle bus is still in operation, but were dismayed at the high fee--$10 for the shortest ride.  We won’t be doing that very often if at all.

AMC is now printing their waterproof trail maps on Tyvek.  Who would have thought.  Not only is it waterproof and lightweight, but it’ll double as a tarp or ground cover.

Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch

For tomorrow, we have selected a short hike which follows a creek gently up the slope past two waterfalls.  We don’t have to race out of the house in the morning.  If we get to the trailhead (which is only about 10 miles west) by midmorning, we’ll have plenty of time to hike to the upper falls for lunch.

We did a little rearranging in our packs also.  The weather is much cooler here and many trails go above timberline which is often very windy.  We each added a hat, gloves, and an extra long-sleeved shirt.  I zipped the legs back on my shorts.  I think we’re ready.  It’s hard to believe I put winter gear in my pack after the sweltering days we had in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Hopefully, tomorrow’s journal will have some photos of waterfalls.  Until then..........

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