Thursday, July 27, 2017

Liz Wyman GraniteGals Episode, July 5, 2017

Sage interviewing Liz Wyman

In this new episode, Liz Wyman talks about her hiking and guiding adventures in the White Mountains.  She discusses guiding, animal encounters, and how her knowledge in botany positively affects her hiking experience.

This is Alex; I was at camp when Sage interviewed Liz Wyman, so Sage was the sole interviewer for this episode.  Although Sage interviewed Liz Wyman, when it came time to edit the podcast, I was back from camp and did the editing myself.

Listen to this episode by subscribing to GraniteGals on iTunes or by clicking here, our official GraniteGals website (

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back From Camp; Mt. Waumbek, 7/16/2017

(Alex is writing again)
**Expect hundreds of United States towns, cities, and communities to be flooded by 2100 - some as early as 2035.  This is only one of many shocking and frightening climate change statistics.  Please donate to Union of Concerned Scientists to support climate change research and read their article: "When Rising Seas Hit Home: Hard Choices Ahead for Hundreds of US Coastal Communities (2017)."**

Please check out our new GraniteGals episode (Sage was the interviewer because I was at CTY summer camp in Lancaster, PA).  Our interviewee, Tammy Daugherty, is an experienced White Mountain hiker and a breast cancer survivor.  Also, you can now subscribe to GraniteGals on iTunes!

Starr King Trail
7.2 miles round-trip
2,650 feet of elevation gain

I'm back from camp!  The second day home, I hiked Mt. Waumbek.  Here are the pictures from our hike:

The trail was in good shape and the weather was cool.

Starr King!

It was cloudy when we got to Starr King, but the clouds disappeared by the time we arrived at Waumbek.

On our way to Waumbek...

Mt. Waumbek:

We went to the outlook and took some pictures of the views - by now the fog had receded.

Sage taking off her backpack:

Flowers I saw coming back from Waumbek...

When we came back to Starr King from Waumbek, a friendly couple took a picture of all three of us.

The hike was very enjoyable and we had great weather.  I am happy to be back home (I do miss my friends though).

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

13 Falls Overnight with Owls Head July 9-10 2017

This is Sage, Alex is at camp.

13 Falls Overnight with Owls Head July 9-10 2017
Total miles: 20.6
Trails:  Lincoln Woods Trail, Franconia Brook Trail, Lincoln Brook Trail, Owls Head Path
Elevation Gain:  3,550

Most of the pictures in this trip report were taken by me, but some are Mom's that she let me use.

This is my new backpack fully packed for the overnight.  My old one was really falling apart.

Me in front of the suspension bridge at Lincoln Woods.  It's 6:00 am here, so I'm really tired!

This is the river by Lincoln Woods.  It's so pretty in the early morning!

This is Franconia Brook Trail.  Still pretty flat.

The photo doesn't really capture the beauty of this spot.  It was like staring down a long, green tunnel.

The sunlight was coming through the trees and was speckling these thin trees with sunlight. So pretty.

Here, everything was so green and bright.  Very inspiring.

Franconia Brook Trail was pretty every step of the way.  Look at this pond with a mountain view in the background.

Though beautiful, the still water attracted lots of bugs!

Yay!  After about 8.1 flat miles, we arrived at the day's destination: 13 Falls Campsite.  We were planning to spend the night there.  We got there very early, so we had plenty of time to explore.

13 Falls had two bear canisters which we used, as well as a cooking/eating area.

We had just gotten to our tent site when we saw a slug hanging from a long string of what looked like slime!  He or she was twisting in midair as if trying to keep Mom and me in eye site.  It was also lowering itself slowly towards the ground.  After taking many pictures of it, we turned around to start unpacking the tent, and when we looked back, only about 30 seconds later, it was gone!  We looked on the ground around where it had been hanging, but could not see it anywhere.  Mom thinks that maybe it got eaten by a frog.

Here is our one-pound tent all set up.  It is suppose to be a two-person tent, but Mom, Alex, and I can all fit in it.

This is just an artistic shot of my sleeping pad.

From inside the tent, this is what you saw if you looked outside.

Another artistic photo.

Most of the sites were open when we got there, so we had our choice.  Here are a couple of photos of the surrounding campsites.

As the name "13 Falls" suggests, there are water falls close to the campsite in which you can swim, though there are not actually 13 falls.  The "13" references that the campsite used to be a logging camp called Camp 13.

I swam in the water.  It was very cold, and it took some getting used to, but I eventually was able to swim without freezing to death!

This pool was particularly pretty, as there were strips of orange rock underneath the water.  In between them were deep gorges where I could not stand.  It was a little scary, to be honest!

The next day, we got up at around 5:30 am.  We packed up, ate, then headed out.  We were planning to take Lincoln Brook Trail to the Owls Head slide, tag the peak, then continue on to Franconia Brook Trail.  We would then walk out to the Lincoln Woods parking lot, where we had started our trek.  Here is Mom packing up our tent.

The area around our campsite.

This is a frog that Mom noticed, who was right next to our campsite.

The part of Lincoln Brook Trail that comes before the Owls Head slide (from our perspective) was rumored to be not very well maintained and hard to follow, but we found it to be, though a little bit more wild than the part after the slide, quite easy to follow in whole.  Though one part, just before the slide, was confusing, we managed to figure it out in the end.

We found the entrance to the Owls Head Slide pretty easily and started up.  It basically was just straight up the whole way.  This is a view from the slide.

When we got up there, official trail stopped and herd paths reined.  We got to the old summit; here are a few pictures of the clearing and the surrounding area.


This is just a hole in the ground.  I wanted to take its picture.

We then started in search of the other summit.  We followed herd paths for a while, going up and down.  We got to a few places that might have been the 2nd summit, but after a while we thought we had probably already passed it and that we were wandering too far away from the designated trail.  Here are some pictures of the herd path we followed.

We came back down the slide.  At the intersection with Lincoln Brook Trail, we sat down and took a snack break.

Here is the beginning of the slide.  As one can see from the picture, someone put up some illegal cairns, but I think they are pretty recent, and they will probably get taken down soon.

Someone carved an arrow showing where the trial going up the slide starts.  I think this behavior is disgusting, as the people that do this are hurting the trees on which they carve things.

We walked toward Franconia Brook trail feeling very tired and happy about the fact that most of the ups of the day were done.  This is the Lincoln Brook Trail after the slide.

We finally got to the bridge just before the Lincoln Woods Trail.  We were so weary and looking forward to milk shakes!

This was an amazing hike altogether, and a good mother-daughter bonding experience.  Also, when we were driving back home, we stopped by McDonalds and picked up hamburgers and milkshakes!