[amy] The D.O.C. has got nothin' on me.

I finished all the hikes in the Dartmouth Outing Club's guide. Or, I should amend that: I hiked all the Mountains listed in the guide. I haven't hiked ALL the trails up Mt. Cube or Camel's Hump, but I'll get there. This past weekend I went up Mt. Ascutney and Mount Moosilauke.

Ascutney was off to a nightmare beginning on Saturday morning. I parked my car at the Windsor Trail and was going to walk to the Brownsville Trail. Well, after two minutes of walking along Route 44, this psycho dog comes running across his lawn, across his driveway and into the street. The dog's not on a fucking leash!!!! He's barking, ready to pounce and totally has this "I'm going to kill you any second now" vibe.

I. Am. Terrified. I stop walking and pull off my backpack so that I can swing it like a hammer whenever the dog decides to attack. It's early in the morning, but a car comes up the road and slows down- and then keeps on driving. What the fuck? What is it about my situation that makes it look like I've got everything under control? I need some help here! I can't get by this dog! I can't even take one more step. The second I slide my right foot two inches forward, the dog comes two inches closer to me. Another car approaches and stops because the dog is right in the middle of the road. I don't know what the driver sees but it must be: a girl in hiking gear, holding her backpack in front of her like a shield, and a dog ready to kill.

The van passes by slowly. I'm frozen with fear and- I physically couldn't help it- I start to cry. I was so scared. I look back at the van and see it turning around. It pulls up along side me and the elderly couple inside say, "Get inside, hon. Where are you going?"

I try to wipe tears and snot from my face with shaky hands as I answer, "Just, like, right there, to the stop sign. I just need to get by the dog." They end up driving me all the way to the Brownsville trailhead, all the while tsk'ing over the dog (why wasn't it on a leash, why was NO ONE HOME TO STOP THE STUPID DOG FROM SCARING 7 YEARS OFF SOME POOR GIRL'S LIFE, etc etc).

So... that was a shitty way to start out but the hiking gods make up for it- The Brownsville Trail was awesome. There was a nice, steep ascent in the beginning, then a wide open gravelly carriage road, then piles of huge boulders to climb over, and near the top the trail was tighter and covered by the trees (like hiking through a tunnel!). The summit was okay- the Observation Tower was nice but tall electrical towers kind of ruined the view. Then I took the Windsor trail back down, which was steep and tough on my knees. I was even back home before noon!



Saturday afternoon I went kayaking on the Connecticut River between Norwich and Hanover. I hadn't been in a couple years and thought it was be fun. Yeah, not really. Ledyard was crowded (until we got far enough upstream) and I spent all my energy going upstream and barely had enough to get me back down. So, after hiking 4 hours and paddling for 3, I slept like a baby Saturday night.

Sunday morning I was meeting my hiking/kayaking partner, Clayton, for Mount Moosilauke. It's about an hour's drive away, right on the southern border of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. The hike was okay, just a little cold. I was FREEZING at the top and had to take an hour-long hot shower when I got back home just to warm up. I wouldn't be surprised if it was snowing on top of Mt. Washington yesterday.

The hike yesterday was kind of hard. I didn't have much energy and keeping up with Clayton is hard. His casual stride is unbelievable. He'll step from one rock to another and for me to take that same step, I need to do a flying jump/split in the air. And I'm 5'11". But it's nice to hike with someone else. I enjoy hiking by myself, but only on relatively busy trail.

Now what, now what, now what? Ram went mountain biking in the Northeast Kingdom yesterday and mentioned a hike he'd like to go on. I also want to do Mt. Mansfield. I've got to find some of my VT hiking books...

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