24 July 2008

Settled for now

We are currently settled in what will be home for the next 2 months or so. It is a pretty nice hotel room with microwave and fridge and all T's friends are here with us. Should be fun. We can walk to just about anything. We had a fun, busy week in the move here. We left Charleston and took 8 days to do some trips, which are all following this post.

Boone, NC

We started our trip to CT with an invitation to join my cousin and his family at Boone, NC and stay in the cabin they had rented. It looked like fun so we went and joined them. It was nice. We went on a run/bike in the mountains while we waited for them to come to the cabin, and we got to go hiking at Grandfather mountain, and get to know my cousin and his wife and family better. We had a good time, although I twisted my ankle on our hike, and even now it is still just a smidge sore, but it did not stop us from the rest of our plans for the week, which included DC, dinner with another cousin and Maine.

the Animals

Grandfather Mountain had animals on show, and it was very fun to see the otters. they also had two eagles that had been shot and could no longer fly (we saw them eating their breakfast of "trix" (rabbit for those who don't know the commercial.) We also saw a very sad thing. They had bears there, so were in the back and being rehabilitated to go back in the wild, but these bears would be living in captivity and people were allowed to feed them. It was sad to see such majestic animals begging for treats, and to think what people are learning by that should they come across one in the wild.

Grandfather Mountain

We visited Grandfather Mountain and walked across the suspension bridge, then climbed up MacRae's peak which is this top picture. It took some climbing up ladders to scale some of the rock faces, but it was fun.

World War II Memorial

This is another memorial that was put up after I last visited. It is cool. There is a cupola on each side of the monument, one for the Atlantic and one for the Pacific. I liked this quote. There are poles around the monument, each one dedicated to a state that had people die in those stages of the war.

Korean War Memorial

This is a neat memorial. It has a black wall similar to the Vietnam one, but instead of names it has etchings based on pictures from the war. The best part is at the start there is a engraving that says, "Freedom is not Free." Which I think is a great reminder.

Washington DC

We stopped in DC on our way to CT, and it was fun. We stayed at a hotel near the northernmost metro stop and took the metro in. We visited the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress, both of which were very interesting and where we could have stayed for a little while more, and as we walked from them down the mall, we ended up coming across one of T's friends from work. So, we joined up for the day. We went and visited the National Museum of Art, where the treasures of Afghanistan were on display. We wanted to go to the Smithsonian American History museum, but it was under renovation. T's friend wanted to go to the National Archive and see the Declaration of independence, the constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was a long wait with lots of people. Cool, but I don't know that I would do it again to wait in line that long. The writing on the D of I is very, very faint now.

Then, we walked down the mall and looked at monuments, some of which I had never seen before. In fact, I just remembered two I did not put below this post. anyway, we had a good day and ended the day at a burger place, where some guy tried to swindle us out of $20, but we were able to get it back.

Staircase in the Supreme court

Llibrary of Congress

The Library of Congress is a cool place. It has copies of just about everything. I told T that if we ever lived anywhere near DC I wanted to work here, or since we can use the library as well, at least have a library card for it. Definitely go on the tour if you visit, because there are a lot of things that you will miss or not know what they stand for if you don't. I think this was my favorite place for the day.

The White House & Capitol Building

We wanted to go into the Capitol building because neither of us have been before, and found out to go into that building or the White house, you must be given a pass by your Senator or Congressperson. Oh well.

Lincoln Memorial

FDR Monument

I hadn't seen this monument before, and it was really well done. I would say that it could be one of my favorites. There was alot of running water/fountains there too.

Jefferson Monument

Foiled again!

Acadia National Park

We met up with T's friend E in Connecticut and switched some stuff around in our cars and then headed up to Maine to go to Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park. It is beautiful up there and we recommend anyone to go. If you go in the summer, consider taking or renting a bike in Acadia as there are some neat carriage roads you can ride on throughout the park. There is no backpacking allowed, so we got a bit spoiled with having running water and bathrooms. It was nice.

Hiking the great pond trail

This hike was nice and easy, and we got to eat wild blueberries along the way. Note the fog coming in.

Sunset and Dinner at the beach

Sunrise at Cadillac Mountain

Gardens of Acadia

Otter coast trail

We hiked this trail our second day in Acadia, but didn't see any otters. It was a pretty cool trail, and took us past a place called thunder hole, which when the waves hit it properly, there was a big boom like thunder. Very cool.

Bar Island

We went to a park in Bar Island for lunch and watched people go to and fro from their cruise ship. Kind of interesting. WE also got some great ice cream. Maine blueberry is one of my favorites.

Sunset in Acadia

Baxter State Park

We ended our week of travel by camping in Baxter State park in Maine. It was fun, and we went on great hike up the end of the Appalachian Trail to it's northernmost terminus, Baxter peak. When we pulled into Baxter and into the meadow we would camp in, I said to the guys, "Look, there are bugs following us and we aren't even out of the car yet." They didn't believe me until we stopped the car. There were all sorts of biting insects: midges, deer flies, and luckily the mosquitoes didn't come out until dusk. It was so worth the bugs though, and we put our bug lantern in the lean to where we cooked and hung out so we didn't have to worry about them too much in there. You weren't supposed to hike Baxter unless you had good hiking boots, and we took a chance with my trail runners, but then we came across some ladies in their 60's trying to do the hike and scramble up the rocks in crocs. We're hoping they got down o.k.

Goofing off at camp

Here are camp pictures in Baxter. This is our lean to, and the other picture is T smooshing a bug and E showing off his ninja skills.

On the Trail

Katahdin Stream Falls

It isn't the best view of the falls, but that is o.k. T and E crossing the falls.

The hike up to the peak

The fog was pretty bad on our hike up. We couldn't see very far in front of us. For instance, one of the peaks we had to scale is in the picture But it is so vague, the outline did not make it into the picture. The nice thing is the fog kept us nice and cool.
Here are some pictures of our climb up. It was pretty steep, if you look closely, you can see E's head near T's elbow as he scrambles up part of the path.

What century are we in?

Just before the top, we heard voices and looked up and this is what we saw. It was kind of like feeling that you were in war and just missed the enemy because of the fog. Or as E said, the druids had come out.

Baxter Peak

We made it to the northern terminus of the Appalachian trail. It was kind of cold, but T found a rock for us to eat lunch behind. If you look closely you can see E's peak penguin.

The fog clears

The fog started clearing when we started hiking down. T got a picture of a small squall, and I got a picture of the surrounding hills.

Coming down Baxter Peak

This first picture is looking back up the trail to baxter peak, and the following is looking down on the trail we are following. It is steeper than it looks....just follow the white blazes.

08 July 2008

Moving day

The movers are coming tomorrow, so we are about to wrap up our time here in Charleston. It has been fun and interesting. I am not going to miss the humidity or the bugs, but I will miss my friends and we have a great apartment. We went and saw one more soccer game with some friends, and are meeting them tonight for dinner and games. It was Aloha night at the soccer game, hence the shirts.

the fourth of July

T and I were able to go to Colorado for the 4th. We arrived on the 2nd, so I got to see the city where he grew up and we went to a jazz concert outdoors on the 3rd. Early on the 4th, we set off for a backpacking trip in the mountains. We went from Cameron pass through thunder pass, staying in Box Canyon for the night. The next day, we walked out through Lulu city to the main trailhead. The pictures below are in backwards order so you will see the end first. I didn't think ahead. WE have a funny accidental video of me crossing this snow field and almost falling. (I had actually fallen and slid about 5 minutes before that.) I don't know how to put it on here though. We had a great time with his parents and enjoyed getting to be out in the mountains.

Snack break (T & his parents)

Our campsite

Here is where we camped. The snow had started melting 5 days before we arrived, which is why there is only a small clearing. It was not too cold unless the wind blew even though there was snow.

Box Canyon

T's mom is getting ready to traverse the snow down thunder pass into box canyon, which you can see us all crossing. We camped in box canyon for the night.

Thunder Pass

T, his Dad and I at Thunder pass. The Colorado state forest state park and Rocky mountain national park border each other here. And Yes, that is snow. I guess this range is known as the "never summers."