Stewardship In The White Mountains: AT Thru-hikers and Camp Life

I’m not sure what I imagined when I first considered this trip. I know I imagined it would be somewhat uncomfortable. Somewhat of a culture shock, having to be so far away from all the amenities that I have become so accustomed to. I was nervous about having to dig a hole in order to go to the bathroom. Let’s be real, it’s not something anyone particularly looks forward to. And I was nervous about filtering water. There is something about drinking unclear, slightly brown water that anyone who is use to drinking clean, fresh tap water automatically cringes away from.

But the news that we were to camp up at the shelter changed all that completely. Read More

Stewardship In The White Mountains: Hike to Lonesome Lake Hut

Imagine ten women (eight of which have no backpacking experience) strapping on backpacks full of all the normal gear plus shared food, kitchenware and tools, and tackling the rock scrambles of New Hampshire for the first time. Then imagine that again, but with rain.

I had no hat to speak of, though there was one sitting smugly in my Jeep back at AMC’s Camp Dodge, which I talked about in my first post. I had a rain jacket, of course. An old EMS one I bought in 2009, that was starting to peal off in places, but worked non-the-less. I wasn’t wearing it, though. Instead, rain poured down on me soaking my t-shirt, shorts, and underwear through. It rolled down my hair, flowing from my side bangs so that my vision was a frightening mix of dark brown hair, water, and unfocused trail in front of me.

Before the rain hit us the weather was the opposite. Read More

Stewardship In The White Mountains: Arrival Day at AMC Camp

Day One, Sunday, July 17th 2016

When I got in my car to head on my 8+ hour drive to New Hampshire, I had a 9 hour playlist and (of course) a cup of coffee. The weather was perfect. Sunny, with enough clouds to invite a smile and a delighted appreciation. I had a plan–at least as much as a girl who is so bad with time management like I am could have. I would pick up fellow trip-goers Terri in Massachusetts as my first stop, and pick up Dulcie as stop number two in New Hampshire. Then we’d finish the last leg of the journey to Camp Dodge, AMC’s volunteer camp in Gilborn for our women-only spike trail maintenance vacation. We would be there for a week, including arrival and departure. Read More

Sandy Hook: Celebrating National Parks 100th Anniversary

If you haven’t heard yet or can’t figure it out from that clever title, it’s the 100th anniversary for the National Park system. They are hosting some events in various parks across the United States, including free park admission to all parks from August 25th to August 28th.

The National Park System is an amazing organization that protects and shares America’s wild places, cultural landmarks, and so much more. It includes a giant 412 protected areas, and was created on August 25, 1916. In 2015, a total of 307,247,252 people visited our parks. Although often access to such things are taken for granted, they are a treasure we should certainly celebrate. These parks take hard work, money, and many volunteers and philanthropists to endure.

This Is #MyParkStory

If you scroll through some of the top outdoor brands, top travelers, top photographers or any well-known content creators for anything outdoors on the internet, you’ll soon pick up an idea of some of the most beautiful and memorizing National Parks there are. If you were to turn to page 33 of National Park System magazine from April, you’d see an article called “Your Park Stories” that speaks of inspiring personal tales. These are the ways how I’ve learned about places like Zion, Acadia, Denali or my latest trip: the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Except there is a common denominator among these parks: the size. These are the big dogs. These are the parks that make for stunning photos and wistful adventures. We follow along in a daydream as we read in awe of their lovely stories. But somewhere along the lines other, smaller parks get left behind.

Read More

Women’s White Mountain Spike Trail Crew With AMC

I joined the Appalachian Mountain Club a few months ago, in anticipation of being able to be active again. After which, I searched obsessively through the various events for things I could participate in. Although organizations like AMC have existed since before we started using the internet, I am often very thankful for the opportunities being connected digitally can bring to us.

It was through AMC that I found a week volunteer trip in New Hampshire, a women’s spike trail crew vacation. Although I was instantly intrigued, at first I dismissed it. I didn’t have all the gear I would need, after all; tent, backpack and work clothes. The White Mountains are also a pretty decent haul up north from central New Jersey–around 8 hours. I just purchased a Jeep Renegade in the fall. So did I really want to put that many miles on my brand new car? Read More