Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mt. Isolation - Late Spring Hike

isolation, presidential range, dry river wilderness, trip report
A few feet more to Mt. Isolation summit


Mt. Isolation
Elevation: 4,003 feet
Trails: Rocky Branch, Isolation, Davis Path
Elevation Gain: 3,400 feet
Distance: 14.4 miles roundtrip
Duration: 12 hours (includes stops along the way and at the summit)
My 4000+ Peak #34 
Listed 4000+: #47
Difficulty: Moderate – Fricken’ Looooooong!

Number 34 for me! I’ve been wanting to hike “Iso” for a while but NOT SOLO! So when I got a chance to join Steff, Lisa, Jeanne and Luann for this hike, I took it. Little did I know that even the “easiest trail” was going to be a haul-slop-and-slog! 2 miles into this hike I had extreme cramps in both quads. Over the next 30 minutes dearest Steff pumped me full of Magnesium pills…10 to be exact. I almost headed back to the trailhead with Steff in tow, but the cramps subsided and I continued on. So glad I did but geeez, my quads were mush at the end of this hike. And to add, on our descent I slipped and landed on my tailbone! (I did get a post-hike, deep tissue massage and this helped immensely!)

If only this trail were totally dry. A good portion of it was wet, underwater and/or full of mud. Lots of water crossing…all fun of course, but I lost count. I got several bug bites and although I didn’t find any on me, Jeanne did manage to pull a tick off her forehead. I brought 3 liters of fluids and had half a liter left at the end of the hike. The last hour of our descent we all donned headlamps. 12 hours on the trail was rough! We headed to The Red Fox Bar & Grille in Jackson for our post-hike dinner, limping from the car to our seats!

Enjoy a YouTube slideshow of our photos! Includes photos taken by Steff Laituri and Lisa Hannula Fulton!


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Thoreau Falls - Solo Hike

hike, ethan pond, tlc book tours, appalachian trail, national geographic topographic map guides, la sportiva, ultra raptors, mountain runners, trip report
Thoreau Falls


Thoreau Falls – Solo Hike
Trails:  Zealand, Ethan Pond Trail/Appalachian Trail, Thoreau Falls
Miles:  9.4 Roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy side of moderate
Danger: Low

Finally a good (hiking shoe) day! I was waiting for that window of opportunity to get back out and hike a section of the Appalachian Trial, and today seemed the perfect day! I received the National Geographic Appalachian Trail Map #1511 (Hanover to Monte Carlo Topographical Map Guide) to review. After looking through the map, I decided on a 9.4 mile hike to the beautiful Thoreau Falls. Two weeks earlier I attempted to hike to Thoreau Falls but 2.5 miles into my hike, the top of my foot started to hurt, so I turned back. A good thing since the pain became worse and I couldn’t wait to get my boots off once back at my truck. I carefully took my boots off (with lots of swearing) and threw them in my backseat (with more swearing).  I did return the boots…Vasque Talus Ultra…to REI. I was disappointed since I really wanted to like/love these boots. But they really didn’t fit right and I needed hiking footwear that was much more flexible for my feet. I ended up purchasing a pair of La Sportiva Ultra Raptors. These mountain runners are a cool bright blue and with its lightweight, breathable uppers and stick-to-rock-soles, I was on my way! Yup, happy feet and a great hike! And I just want to give a shout-out to the 4 AT Thru-Hikers I met on my way out; Hey Indiana Jones, Patches, Yoda and Bill Nye...great chatting with you and safe hiking to the Katahdin summit!

Enjoy my photos taken along the hike as well as my review of the National Geographic Appalachian Trail Topographic map guide.


Along the Zealand Trail

At the junction of the Ethan Pond and Zealand trails

Here we go along the Appalachian Trail through the Zealand Notch!

Wooded Area (7)

Split Rock







Approaching the talus field

The trail comes into the wide opening with spectacular views! 
Looking (north) back at Zeacliff and Mt. Hale


Whitewall Brook

Looking up Whitewall Mountain and its talus field!
I loved this section as it reminded me of Canon Mountain
and its highly visible talus field from I-93 in the Franconia Notch!

A bit of fun rock scrambling as the trail crosses the talus!

Zeacliff Trail junction

A couple of hikers making their way down the Zeacliff Trail through the notch!

Trail follows a gradual curve out of the notch and into a wooded area
I thought that this section here was the prettiest! (3)



At the Thoreau Falls trail junction

Into the Pemigewasset Wilderness

and the final 0.25 mile to follow the Thoreau Falls Trail to the top of the falls



What a view!


What I like about the Appalachian Trail Topographic Map Guide by National Geographic
- Water resistant, tear resistant and lightweight
- Highlights the Appalachian Trail making it easy/fast to find on the map
Features resupply locations, key points of interest, safety guidelines, local contact info, area history and more.
- Trail profile at bottom of each page that show distances between shelters, camping areas and trail access points.
- Although held together by two staples, the map does lays flat.
Overall, this map is very easy to use and carry. I'll continue to use it for all my day hikes along the Appalachian Trail!






About Appalachian Trail Topographic Map Guides
National Geographic’s 13 all-new Appalachian Trail Topographic Map Guides cover the iconic trail mile-by-mile from Georgia to Maine, in a unique booklet format that’s backcountry durable—lightweight, waterproof, and tear-resistant. Printed in the USA, these innovative maps are rapidly becoming essential tools for everyone from day trekkers to thru hikers. Each guide includes detailed topographic maps at a scale of 1 inch = 1 mile, with each page centered on the trail, overlapping with adjacent pages so there is little chance of getting lost. Helpful trail profiles show the distance between shelters, camping areas, and trail access points. The front pages of the guides feature resupply locations, key points of interest, safety guidelines, local contact information, and more. Proceeds from the purchase of a National Geographic map help support the Society’s vital exploration, conservation, scientific research, and education programs.


Purchase Links