This past summer I spent in my two favorite places—Washington State, climbing in the Olympics, and New Hampshire, climbing in the White Mountains and swimming in beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee at the Noble family’s summer cottage near Alton, NH. I did my traditional climbs up to Crag Camp on the Randolph side of the Presidentials, with my niece, Rebecca Magill, staying overnight and going to Madison Hut the next day and down the Airline Trail to Appalachia. I also climbed with my daughter, Martha, up Falling Waters Trail and across the Franconia Ridge, coming down Mt. Lafayette to Greenleaf Hut and descending to Lafayette campground on the Bridal Trail. But the most exciting trip was with son Tom, who persuaded me to go four miles straight up on Lion’s Head Trail to the top of Mt. Washington, a stupendous trip. Returning at sunset down the auto road, we were picked up by two wonderful people, Jami and Tom Filiault, who run The Sunderland Center for Positive Change in Sunderland, Mass. They moved two dogs from the back seat to make space for us, and saved the day! A joyful and caring couple. This was a week after I’d been privileged to do a reading from my book at Pinkham Notch, the AMC headquarters in Gorham, NH. An appreciative, receptive crowd. I was surprised that it was the young people who seemed most excited about the concept of backpacking around the world alone.
After Martha’s wedding, I returned for a week at the cottage, and, while climbing Mt. Major, another staple in our family tradition, I met a young woman, Nan Rogers, who lives and works on “The Ice” in Antarctica every winter and travels in Alaska and the Midwest in the summer. She also is an expert on hydroponic gardening, one of her many talents and something she may pursue if the ice gets too cold and monotonous. We spent a delightful evening together at the cottage and she has promised to fill me in on her adventures in this most unusual of occupations.