Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Katie in the Kingdom - Mountain Biking Kingdom Trails 2019

I love a solo trip.

A solo trip is a chance to go at my pace, spend time just Olive and I, focus on myself and my wants and needs.  There is something to be said for doing things on your own for being independent and comfortable with your own company.  Solo trips are selfish in a way, and a perfect way to recharge.  Solo trips.... they let you think.  Those long hours in the car or miles on the trails let me get in my own head, hashing out where I am in life and what I am doing right and can improve upon. 

This wasn't my first time packing up the car for one girl and one dog, but this trip didn't start that way.  It was originally planned as a 3-day weekend away for Adam and I, leaving the dogs behind to bike Kingdom Trails for a day before heading to Stowe for two more days.  He had never been to Stowe and had never even heard of Kingdom Trails and I was excited to show him some of my favorite parts of Vermont. 

But sometimes plans don't always work out. Life had other plans and mother nature sent some nasty weather our way.  Adam (the lineman) had to work 16-hour shifts until everyone's power was back on.  Non-negotiable.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Hiking Bear Mountain - Highlands, New York

It was still peak foliage in the northern/central regions of New England and we only had a day to spend in the woods.  Saturday was filled with pumpkin carving and Adams nephew's birthday party (and my first time to Stew Leonards, still not sure how I feel about).  So with the weekend commitment of Saturday around Connecticut, Sunday had its limitations.  The plan was kind of a "no plan" plan....sleep in and in the morning, find a hike within a 1-2 hour radius with prime foliage and awesome views.

Bear Mountain was a state park Adam kept referring to just over the border in New York.  He had never been but knew it received high marks as far as viewpoints and accessibility went.  We had been toying around with the idea of the Catskills but ended up opting for Bear Mountain, a supposedly scenic hike closer than the Catskills, located just an hour from Adam's house in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Semi Pemi Loop - Backpacking in the Whites

Dear Reader, 

If you noticed, yes, I am sort of blogging in reverse.  I was wrapping up my trip to Europe before switching over to last weekend in New Hampshire for peak foliage, and now backtracking my way back to September.  While I did this hike towards the end of summer (early September) with enough gear and preparation, you can easily hike this loop in the fall.  And this loop - it is famous and challenging and pushed me in ways I was not expecting.  It's not for the faint of heart but you will be rewarded with the most amazing views, spectacular vistas, ridgeline hiking, a hut in the woods and a good amount of 4,000' summits.  

I did this loop.... 38 miles in two days climbing 7,500', with a fair amount of struggle on day 2.  I did this loop untrained and unprepared and missing the one peak Ryan needed.  Education isn't free folks.  Sometimes you pay in dollars, sometimes you pay in blood, sweat, and tears.  

But before I get into the specifics of this hike, all miles and emotions, let's chat about these famous loops in the Whites.  You see, you need a little bit of background on these crazy loops and lists of peaks that hikers go out to conquer.  These loops are often designed to bag as many peaks as you can, making notoriously long and hard hikes that often done in overnight trips.  

East Branch Pemigewasset River

Here are the most famous 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Fall Camping Tips - Camping in New Hampshire

It is pretty standard for me to make some last-minute decision to drive up north on a Friday night.   

This past weekend, I had a friend's daughter's first birthday party in the middle of the day Saturday which clashed with a weekend I was planning to see the foliage and drive Kancamagus Highway.  I wanted to be there for this special little girl's first birthday, but at the same time peak foliage waits for no one.  I had to find a way to do both.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Kancamagus Highway, NH - New England's Best Fall Foliage Drive

If there is a New England fall foliage drive to slay them all, this is it.  

New England is famous for its fall foliage and this drive is probably the most famous within the border of these 6 states.  It's often rated New England's Best Scenic Drive and has made its way onto the Travel Channel.  It's one of New Hampshire's National Scenic Byways, running east to west through the White Mountains, climbing to 3,000' at the summit of Mount Kancamagus.  It's 34.5 miles of "basic bitch", foliage obsessed, bean boots and crunchy leaves New England nostalgic heaven. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Fall Hike up Mount Tecumseh via Waterville Valley - New Hampshire's Smallest 48

I am so out of order.  So out of the adventure order. 

I try to blog in the sequence that I travel but sometimes life gets oh so good and I play a lot more than I can blog.  Don't get me wrong, it is a good problem to have when you are enjoying life so much in the present moment you forget to write about it in the past tense.  

So because of all my adventures, I have this sweet lovely yet daunting backlog of posts to share with you.  This one, this post could not wait.  The fall foliage is peak right now in northern New England and this has to be my favorite hike to date.  This may be the best weekend I have had in a long time.  So excuse me as I jump around, but I needed to share this amazing morning in New Hampshire with you. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Tour Paris by Boat - Seine River Cruise

Paris is a dreamy city.  Actually, it's a gilded, ornate, historic, romantic, beautiful, river bound dreamy city.  

You hear about it all the time, about just how beautiful and magical of a city it is.   And then you step off the plane and onto the train and after about 40 minutes, you are there - walking along with this iconic city that pulses along the river.  

During the day it's blue skies and sidewalk cafes and statues.  But at night - it comes alive - the River Seine being the epicenter.  People pack picnics and drink wine with their legs dangling over the riverbank; they dance, they walk hand in hand and they kiss.  It's the kind of city you need to experience for yourself, walking over symbolic bridges, strolling with a baguette past historic buildings many of which now house beautiful museums, and sipping wine along one of the thousand street cafes.  Baguettes, historic buildings, and ornate bridges - welcome to Paris.  

Walking over one of Paris' 37 bridges

One of my unexpected favorite parts about Paris was the bridges.  Lucky for me, there was no shortage of bridges to gawk over.  Thirty-seven to be exact.  Some are gilded while some are decorated with ornate sculptures, but they all have interesting names and a story behind their construction.  Some of the bridges were built for World Fairs, some were built to symbolize relations with other countries, and some were built for the people themselves.  Walk over the bridges and along the river Seine and it's easy to imagine Paris back in the day of World Fairs and War.  It may be obvious but one of the best ways to see these bridges is by boat.  So how did I start my stay in Paris? With a trip down the Seine of course.