Sunday, September 14, 2014

centre of tramping

We went camping this weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  It was fabulous, a planned retreat to our summer selves amidst our swirl of back to school activities.  

And also?  It was kind of cold.  We had plenty of layers and extra blankets, so we were just fine.  But come lunch time one of our days there, when it was cloudy and grey, we were ready for some indoor time.  With heat.  And delicious warm food.  We found both of those things at the Pinkham Lodge Visitors Center.

I am still thinking about The Washington sandwich I got there.  Oh my.   And also about exploring the center with the kids, this place devoted to the hiker.  We were so moved, and perhaps a bit giddy due to the escape from damp coldness, that we became members of the Appalachian Mountain Club, as my parents were when we were kids as well.  

We explored the center, learned and dreamed about the huts.

Read the information and the displays around the center and explored the facilities for the hikers on the Appalachian Trail.  The kids were a bit dazzled by this world.  We followed signs to the basement and found the Pack Room and spied real life hikers...taking naps on the provided benches. 

It was a place of appreciation of, and living amongst, the wild.

We poured through maps of peaks and mountain ranges, tracked the Appalachian Trail through places we had been this summer, and began to make plans for more extensive hiking now that legs are getting longer and enthusiasm is more sustained.  I feel a bit of loss when I think about how they are getting older, but also, there are so many wonderful possibilities ahead.

And then, as with much that is family life, we diverted and veered fast and hard away from this focus.  And climbed mountains.  Differently.  We hit the mountain coaster at Attitash.

Our legs, perhaps ready for more strenuous hiking, are also just plain longer.  And I was struck by how two of three kids now take the rides alone.

I still have my one ride partner, thank goodness.

Because I do so enjoy this view.  And his company.

And then, it was on to the alpine slide, which is truly my most favorite ride of all ride options.

And before we knew it, three kids were riding the ski lift to the slide alone, ahead of us.  We joked about how it was like free babysitting, and our first time alone together in some time.

We had a picnic in the shadow of the chair lift and commented on how, in just a few months, we would be skiing at a similar place likely.  But that eating outside would be far less appealing.

There is a great deal of change afoot.

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