|Franconia Ridge, Mt. Carrigain, and Sandwich Range from Mt. Moosilauke|
One email I received the other day regarding my hike up Moosilauke last Saturday (10-13-12) was from Cory Ahonen who wrote, "Alex--As an avid reader and appreciator of your blog, I would have stopped and chatted for awhile en route to the summit of Moosilauke last Saturday had I known it was you I passed (I had the fluffy white American Eskimo dog bounding towards snow). I admit, given the chill in the air, your shorts did appear a bit 'crazy'! That said, it felt absolutely brilliant to be chilled to the bone at the top admiring the views. Thanks for sharing your passion for the New England forests. I've learned a lot." (Cory and his dog flew past me on the lower part of the Gorge Brook trail on Saturday. I almost caught up with them just below the summit.) Thanks for the note, Cory. I, too, felt the brilliance of being buffeted by the wind, chilled to the bone, and exhilarated by the astonishing views from the summit as essential pieces of my experience of the hike on Saturday.
There's a great line in John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley (speaking of traveling with dogs) where Steinbeck contemplates the life of a farmer who retired and migrated from northern Maine to Florida and wondering how the Maine farmer will fare in all the Florida heat he asks, "for what is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?"
And another email which came in the wake of the bear story at the end of the Passaconway article (9-29-12) from none other than Slim Harris' granddaughter, Sara. She wrote, "Looked like an awesome day on the mountain, Alex. Beautiful trail, beautiful forest, beautiful day. I had to laugh at your bear story. It sounded like my grandmother, Calista Harris, who also met and chatted with bears over the years. Her funniest was one time she had a bear outside their camp, which she'd watched for quite a while, but finally could no longer see from the windows. She started to open the big wood door to see if he was lumbering down into the woods. The door hit something and stopped, which she realized was the bear sitting on the granite boulder that was the front door step. So she said, "I beg your pardon", and quickly shut the door.
|Calista (aka Cal) Harris (L.) with a friend on the Zealand Road 1984|
One last bit, a few months ago the blog had gotten up to about 100,000 "visitors" over 5 years but it has suddenly become somewhat popular and the number of visitors is increasing by leaps and bounds, to more than 100 per day. It's an exciting development but one I did not expect and, at any rate, I'm too modest to make much out of it. I would like to welcome new comers, though, and remind readers that comments, questions, and requests are always welcome!