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Lesson 1549: 2017 NH Border-to-border walk

Griffin and I are back from our 2017 Border-to-border New Hampshire walk.  As always we returned with lots of lessons learned. I’ll be writing up our adventures (just like I did from last year’s), but for now here are some tips for anyone who might be planning day-long walks.

 

  1. Water – make sure you start the day off with at least 2 liters of water. Large, tall slim water bottles (for example Smart water) fit well into backpack side pockets. For a daily 12 mile walk, we’d allocate ½ bottle of water for every 3 miles. Small sips are better than drinking a lot at once, however, always drink if you are thirsty and never refuse a glass of water or drink when in a restaurant or at a store.

Related: Always stash toilet paper and napkins in your pack. Often when you drink that amount of water quickly, you need to pee. Out of necessity, true hikers learn how to quickly pee in the woods.

 

  1. A hat – I had some skin cancer surgery prior to our walk. My doctor advised I used a strong sun block (50 SPF) as well as sunglasses and wear a hat with at least a 3 inch brim all around (baseball caps are no good.) I used two different hats, one was water-proof on the days I needed to keep the rain out of my eyes, and the other was a cotton floppy hat with ventilation near the crown. My hat had a chin strap which came in handy when large trucks drove by and the wind threatened to blow my hat away. When we walked through the woods, bug spray on the hat kept insects away from my face and ears.

 

  1. Food – Don’t’ worry so much about food. Always carry some kind of power bar, but if you eat a breakfast and then start your day, worst case is that you’ll not eat until the evening (at which point that food is going to taste great.) If there’s food, eat it, if not, no worries, there will be some soon. One of our most memorable lunches was the day we spent walking for 10 miles in the woods. There were no stores. Lunch was a power bar with water in a quiet peaceful cemetery. We survived.

 

  1. Rewards – Early on we discovered that motivational candy did wonders. Each day we’d squirrel away 3 pieces of hard candy and we’d break them out when we had 4 then 2 miles to go and then we’d eat the last candy in celebration of having reached our goal at the end of our day.

 

  1. Blisters – be prepared for them. The best defense is to get used to the socks and shoes you will be wearing. But even if you are used to the shoes, there’s a good chance you’ll get blisters. Make sure you carry blister bandages (they have a “jell” section that goes over the blister), regular bandages, tape, moleskin and scissors. If you can take your shoes off at stops and be sure to change into open sandals (flip-flops work well) at the end of the day.

 

  1. Ground cloth – Quite by accident I had packed a plastic bag in which to roll my raincoat in so I could carry it outside of my pack. I ditched the raincoat, but the bag stayed in my pack. Early on in our walk when we were looking for a dry place to sit, I pulled the bag out, ripped it in half and for the rest of the trip we used it every time we sat on the ground. It weighed nothing and provided a lot of bug and moisture protection when we took breaks.

 

  1. Pockets – During one walk I made the mistake of wearing shorts that didn’t have any pockets. Big problem. I couldn’t carry my chapstick or my phone for taking photos. Deep pockets are a must.

 

  1. Zip plastic bags – we ran into a lot of rain. Our packs had rain covers but had we not also packed everything inside of zip plastic bags it would have been soaking. We also had extra bags to protect our phones when it rained.

 

  1. Music – In the morning when it was cooler and our legs were rested we had conversations. After lunch when we’d start to get tired, we’d plug into music (using only one earbud so we could still hear things around us.) It’s quite the experience to walk through the woods listening to the musical Pippin. On the trail I lost my original MP3 player, a small replacement was well worth its $15 price tag.

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Lesson 1546: 2017 NH Border-to-border walk V2

Last night Griffin and I figured out the route we’re going to take for this year’s NH border-to-border (width) walk. We’ve allowed 9 days (plus one extra if needed) to cover a little over 100 miles. If you remember, last year’s walk did a job on our bodies and while we had a wonderful time, it was a little painful. This year we’re limiting the daily mileage to allow our bodies a chance to recuperate each day. As we will also be walking close to our home (and because where we are walking, in some places there aren’t any hotels) we will be picked up and will sleep at our house during the middle days. We’ll be dropped off in the morning where we left off so that we can continue.

This time we are older and wiser. Expect less in our packs, better choice of clothing, and some extra time to explore each area. We will start at the New Hampshire/Vermont border and will walk to the New Hampshire/Ocean border in Portsmouth where we’ll celebrate with a lobster roll.

More information will be shared as it is known, but for now all systems are go and we have a start date. 

 

Note: this schedule is subject to change. 

Day Start Stop Dist (miles) Total Miles Sleeping
Friday 8/4 236-262 Franklin Pierce Hwy, West Chesterfield, NH 03466 Days Inn Keene NH, 3 Ash Brook Rd, Keene, NH 03431 12.9 12.9 Days Inn
Saturday 8/5 Days Inn Keene NH, 3 Ash Brook Rd, Keene, NH 03431 The Harrisville Inn, 797 Chesham Rd, Harrisville, NH 03450 12.0 24.9 The Harrisville Inn
Sunday 8/6 The Harrisville Inn, 797 Chesham Rd, Harrisville, NH 03450 Hancock Inn, 33 Main St, Hancock, NH 03449 8.8 33.7 Hancock Inn
Monday 8/7 Hancock Inn, 33 Main St, Hancock, NH 03449 Crotched Mountain Resort, 740 2nd NH Turnpike S, Francestown, NH 03043 11.3 45 Crotched Mountain Resort
Tuesday 8/8 Crotched Mountain Resort, 740 2nd NH Turnpike S, Francestown, NH 03043 French & Rising Funeral Home, 17 S Mast St, Goffstown, NH 03045 12.9 57.9 Home
Wednesday 8/9 French & Rising Funeral Home, 17 S Mast St, Goffstown, NH 03045 433-427 Manchester Rd, Auburn, NH 03032 11.9 69.8 Home
Thursday 8/10 433-427 Manchester Rd, Auburn, NH 03032 Raymond, New Hampshire 11.4 81.2 Home
Friday 8/11 Raymond, New Hampshire Newfields, New Hampshire 12.7 93.7
Saturday 8/12 Newfields, New Hampshire Portsmouth, New Hampshire 11 104.7 Home
Sunday 8/13 EXTRA IF NEEDED EXTRA IF NEEDED EXTRA IF NEEDED EXTRA IF NEEDED EXTRA IF NEEDED

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Mini-announcement on our 2017 NH Border-to-border walk

Griffin and I have chosen the dates for our New Hampshire 2017 Border-to-border walk from Vermont to the NH coast at Portsmouth.

We will leave from the New Hampshire/Vermont on August 5th and finish up on or before August 13th. (We’ll see how it goes.)

Now that we have a start time, we can begin work on our daily schedule which I’ll post as soon as it is ready.

Absolutely can’t wait.

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Taking the day off from posting

Having an “Anniversary Day” with Marc.

Will be back on Monday with more from the walk. Continue reading

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Let me tell you how much I despise Fox “News”

Those of you who follow my blog know that my daughters are the Presidential Selfie Girls. Last summer we took them all over the New Hampshire listening to every single presidential candidate. At each stop they got a selfie with the candidate. Until the challenge was completed it was non-partisan. It gave my daughters (and many who were following them) a wonderful education about the primary process in New Hampshire.

And then Fox and Friends comes along and does this: Continue reading

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I’ll be back

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I am at Connecticut Hospice with my mother. It’s a long and bumpy road for all.

I never know what I’ll see each day, but whatever it is – it is. In the Buddhist philosophy of being grateful for the now, I had an orange for breakfast and it was delicious.

 

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Primary weekend in New Hampshire – this is what it’s like

Tomorrow is Primary Day! in New Hampshire and so (naturally) we spent the weekend attending as many political events as we could.

Friday was called a snow day due to the storm that came in overnight, but that didn’t stop us from catching this candidate at her Nashua office. (She sure brought some impressive women along to stump with her.)

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Later that day we saw Rachel Maddow broadcasting live. Continue reading

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