Mt. Pierce – 11/18/18

Hey folks!

Guess what I did last Sunday? This is a hard one… I know.

I went hiking. I mean, c’mon obviously what else would I do with my free time 😉

Crawford Path, NH

The peak of choice was Mt. Pierce, and this hike makes round TEN hiking Pierce for me. That’s nuts. I mean, it’s not that nuts… many others have hiked it 2, 3, even 10 times that. But, it still mildly blows my mind that I have fallen so in love with the mountains that I simply continue to make the drive to hike these beauteous peaks time and time again without question. What started off as a fun hobby has turned into a large part of my being. I feel so fulfilled and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So how was round 10 you wonder?

Glorious and rather snowy.

Looking at Eisenhower, Franklin, Monroe, & Northern Presidential Range

You can surely say winter has fully arrived in the White Mountains.

Mt. Pierce holds such a special place in my heart you guys. Casually over here writing a hike recap getting all emotional and such. #typicalSarah. I blame femaleness and hormones. I kid, I kid…. kinda. But, in all seriousness, this mountain in particular has been one that has helped me process a lot of stuff. I find myself hiking it when I need brain space, likely because I know the trail so well, it’s not a technical climb, and (knock on all the possible wood) I’ve never had any negative experiences hiking/summiting it (well, if you don’t count -40F windchill as a negative… which I surely don’t – it was exhilarating (and no, I didn’t get frostbite)!).

What I’m trying to say, is I really dig this hike. Likely my forever favorite.

My friend Shawn and I took Crawford Path up and down totaling 6.2 miles for the hike. It’s a quickie, which is uber useful when mid-winter conditions have arrived in mid-November and accepting this is presenting to be a challenge.

DEF winter when your hair freezes during the hike!

I hadn’t hiked in a few weeks prior to this one because it has been winter up in the mountains but still fall here where I live so I was embracing the heck out of crunchy leaves vs. fluffy snow. The recent weather change up and snow last Friday in southern NH left me wanting winter hiking. To top that, another 3-4 inches of snow came yesterday – looks like winter hiking season is heading into full swing folks.

In the grand scheme of things, this hike was a goodie. Rather uneventful aka nothing out of the ordinary happened, not too chilly – about 19F at the car and 5F at summit, allowed me to get my mind back to winter hiking conditions, and provided me with mountain time. I have a love/hate relationship with winter and winter hiking. On one side of the spectrum I think it’s beautiful and fun, while on the other side I’m more stimulated from a sensory perspective and my body tolerates cold terribly.

But the beauty and pure simplicity of winter:

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For me, hiking is part of who I am and who I intend to continue being. Winter hiking allows me to further challenge myself, my comfort zones, my tolerance, my understanding of my needs, and my relationship with both myself and the mountains. It’s honestly rather neat and extremely satisfying.

To leave this post I want to wish all of you stellar humans a happy Thanksgiving. And, for those of you who read my blog and also struggle actively with or are in remission from an eating disorder/disordered eating or misophonia – just go have a day tomorrow. It doesn’t NEED to be good or bad. Just a day. Continue forward. Continue on your path. Continue trying to respect your needs and yourself as a person. Step by step go through the day. It’s that simple. It’s honestly not simple, and likely feels scary/fearful/terrifying – but just move through it and when the day ends leave it there. Whatever happened happened. You had a day. That’s all and that’s it. Leave it or explore it, that’s entirely up to you. But know that whatever you’re feeling is validated and that you’re well-being is oh so worth it. Acknowledge where you are at in your journey, what your human experience feels like, and make note of it – it’s where you are at right now not who you are. It’s a portion of the sum of all of your parts.


Scenes from the week

Hey friendsies!

Today I thought I would keep things simple and share some pictures from this past week with you! It’s been an overall good week here. Seacoast New Hampshire has officially received its first snowfall of the season and the mountains are becoming more and more narnia-esque. I enjoyed some saddle time today, riding through leftover slush and snowmelt from yesterday’s storm! With the thermometer reading 44 degrees this afternoon, this is the highest the temperature will likely hit for a while now with looking at the extended forecast. Bye bye warmth! I’ll be frolicking in the mountains tomorrow and am looking forward to lots of snow, but for now I leave you with local adventures:

Running in shorts last Sunday
Running in vest + hat + pants Thursday
Alongside my road on a walk
Local trail system
To make you feel like you’re biking…
Snowy pumpkin
IMG_9695 (1)
It’s becoming Winter
Zee badass whip

“Feelings come and feelings go. There is no need to fear them and no need to crave them. Be open to your feelings and experience them while they are here. Then be open to the feelings that will come next. Your feelings are a part of your experience. Yet no mere feeling, however intense it may seem, is your permanent reality.” ― Ralph Marston


Navigating cold weather biking

Hey frands!

TGIF. Am I right or am I right? You pick.

Scenes from the bike

I talk a lot about hiking on my blog, any long-term or even recent reader/follower will know this to be true. Heck, I even have a page about hiking gear and what to bring, wear, and pack. What I don’t post much about is another love of mine, biking. Mainly because it isn’t nearly as eventful as hiking… I mean I’m sitting on my saddle for an hour or more just pedaling away. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.

On one of my rides this week I was thinking about how I road bike year round, and how much of a factor the right layering plays into being able to maintain this. It’s actually much more complicated than hiking because with hiking I have a 33L pack on my back with extra layers, and it’s also space I can take layers off and shove into. This luxury doesn’t exist per se on a bike. Surely there are bags you could get to store things, or even wear a hydration vest which would fit water and a layer or two.

With getting more “seriously” into riding this past summer and fall, my mileage and saddle time has doubled with I was doing on average last year. As we head into the colder season, and quickly head into it here in NH, I found myself challenged to find a system which works for me.

My first child

I have a journal in which I log most of my bikes, hikes, trail runs by hand. I’ll write the typical “stats”, but then add things like temperature, what I wore, how I felt. I like to keep track of these details because they are useful to resort back to when I don’t feel like thinking about it. I got this idea from my friend Blaire, and have found it be super useful. I can visually see what worked well, could use some improvement, or to never ever do again. It provides solid insight into what my body needs and how it tends to function in certain temperatures and weather conditions.

You know it’s nippy outside when I resort to riding in tights

While I could most definitely purchase an indoor trainer to set up my road bike inside, and will likely do this just to have on days where it’s 1. pouring, 2. dumping a foot of snow, or 3. 5 degrees outside, I plan to continue some longer rides outside throughout the winter. WHY?! Because, for me, being outside provides benefits much beyond the “exercise”. Sure, I like the endorphins and feels I get from the endurance part of riding, but it’s so much more than that.

Oh so happy 🙂

What have the temperatures and conditions been like lately here in New Hampshire? 40’s-50’s with some random mid-upper 30’s. Late fall/winter has come a smidgen early this year.

My go to for layers which seems to be working well have been as follows:

Under 40: cycling shoes, wool socks, toe warmers, thermal cycling tights, wool shirt, ventrix jacket, vest, wind-resistant glove, skida hat under helmet. I’ll then pack a set of hand warmers in case but am typically good if I wiggle my digits now and again.

Between 40-50: cycling shoes, wool socks, thermal cycling tights, long sleeve shirt, ventrix jacket, vest, fleece glove, skida hat under helmet. Similar, but slightly less aggressive insulation needed and therefore less human marshmallow status.

I need to figure out the under 30 game plan… I guess we will wait and see what happens.

“I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous [person], the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the [person] in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable.” ― Henry Miller