Seven State High Point Road Trip, part 1

Superman has this list of things he needs to do….No, not cleaning out the garage, that’s on my list of things for him to do. One of the things on his list is to go to the highest point in every state in the country. He has done over half of the high points so far. It is quite the task to not only climb to the top, but to actually make the plans to get to each of the states. Now some of them are just drive ups or just a place in someone’s backyard, but many are require hours or even days of hiking. Superman came up with the idea to do a little road trip. We would hit seven states in four days in order for him to check off the northern states. Was I up for it? Yeah! Sign me up!

Day 1. So we hopped on a plane and flew from South Carolina to Burlington, Vermont. Rented a car and drove an hour and half to Stowe, VT to hike Mount Mansfield.

Can I just say here, that Superman and I live in a conservative, button down, sorta preppy little town in the south and we landed in the land of granola? Don’t get me wrong! Vermont is a gorgeous state and people are lovely, I just felt a little out of place. We began the first of seven hikes for this trip, Mt. Mansfield. It was a crisp day and of course I didn’t pack very well. The temperature was about 30 degrees below what I had left first thing that morning in SC. In the parking lot I pulled on some hiking pants that were too small, so they crawled in all sorts of uncomfortable places. Superman did all he could to not laugh at my situation. He claims if I had “proper” hiking pants this wouldn’t be a problem. I say that if I hadn’t gained all this weight I wouldn’t have to be writing this at all!

Oh Look! There’s the summit!

As we reach the top, we see that, nope, it’s just a false summit. Hike on.Oh I see it! There it is! Just kidding. Another false summit. (Superman thinks this is hilarious.) Hike on.Finally, after steep climb we made it to the summit.We grab a bite to eat, get a sip of water and enjoy the view, but we have to get down and on to the next state!Hey, did I show you the itinerary Superman wrote up for this trip? This is why I don’t get too worried about what the plans are, because he thinks of everything! Now, what he didn’t plan for was a tour of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory! (And I haven’t figured out how not to take blurry selfies.) This little side stop was worth every lick of goodness, but it did get us off schedule.This way to Lake Placid ,New York. Unfortunately, the drive took a wee bit longer than we expected, so we arrived at the lodge late at night. We walked into the Adirondack Loj (Yes, that’s how you spell it) to a warm fire in the fireplace and this sweet group of people gathered around the piano singing. There were others who were reading and a few playing a game of cards. After a long day of plane rides, car driving and mountain hiking, and cold rainy weather, this lodge felt wonderful. We drag our bags upstairs to our room and try to figure it all out. First off, the guys bathroom is upstairs and the girls is downstairs, which isn’t as bad as you would think. Some rooms have single beds, others a couple of twins and a couple have multiple bunk beds. Luckily we got the one bed option. I’m all about singing around the fire and having a communal bathroom, but I’d really rather share a bedroom with family. The walls are thin, so if your neighbor is a snorer, please feel free to grab some earplugs downstairs.Day 2. After a hot breakfast, Superman started his 15 mile, 3500 foot climb to the top of Mt. Marcy in the cold rain. I, on the other hand, sat with my feet up in front of the warm fire reading a book. Superman made it clear before we left SC, that I could stay in the lodge and not have to do this baby. Yup! It’s on the schedule!😊I had a lovely day reading, drawing, reading, drinking hot tea, reading, checking out this gorgeous lake and reading until Superman got back in the afternoon. No rest for the weary, We had to get a move on. We had more states to see. We drove as far as we could before Superman just had enough for one day. Day 3. Early the next morning, we hopped in the car and drove a couple of hours to High Point, New Jersey. This fortunately was a drive up, literally we drove right up to this monument. Next stop…Philadelphia. Superman planned a quick visit here to see Independence Hall and the Revolutionary Museum.I had never been to Philly before, so I am so glad we stopped. Especially in this day of our country it’s good to hear the truth about how our country was brought to be.Can’t go to Philly without having a Real Philly CheeseSteak sandwich. Being from South Cackalacky, I didn’t realize there was a difference in CheeseWiz. Did you? In my part of the world, cheese wiz comes in a neon orange kind of hew. Here in Philly it is white! Now if I had known that! Needless to say it was delish without the melty goodness. It’s been fun Philly, but we’ve got to get to Delaware!I know it doesn’t look that far, and you’re right! It was only about an hour away. Here is Superman at the high point of Delaware, Ebright Azimuth looking quite pensive. This was an easy one to mark off the list. The hardest part was when we drove past it and had to turn around and park in some neighborhood. Ok, check✔️Now on to Washington D.C. Let me remind you that this is only day 3. Old Mar here has a bag of caramel popcorn and the google maps in my hand, so we were good to go. I am an awesome navigator if I say so myself. 😉

We arrived in DC, quickly dropped our bags in the hotel and got to walking. If you have been on a trip with Superman, you know there will be walking or hiking involved. Well, here we were in DC, one of his favorite cities, so we started walking.I think this is where we say goodbye until tomorrow. Part II of this adventure continues. Oh, we aren’t done yet folks!

Thanks for dropping by!

A Desert Adventure

  Superman, the boys and I are here in Moab, Utah.  
Our first day here, we checked out Arches National Park. 

 Millions of years ago, ocean waves covered this area. 

 Doesn’t this look like something from Star Wars?  The ground here looks like sand in this picture, but it is actually something they call “slick rock”. When it rains they say the water will come through so fast, causing extreme flooding, due to the ground not being able to absorb the rain.

 This is Balancing Rock. I hope the people in the foreground help give you some perspective of how huge this is. Mind boggling, really. 

 Surprisingly, not many people out. 

 Delicate Arch. Doesn’t seem like that big a deal…

  Until you throw some people under there!  

 Trying to create a typical tourist photo, but not quite capturing the right effect. 

 Double Arches. Imagine million of years ago, when the ocean began to dry up, leaving behind miles thick layers of salty sediment.  

 Then as years pass, with wind, fault shifts and rain, the unstable salt layers begin to erode away. 

 The erosion leaves us these amazing arches. I think this landscape reminds me of the roadrunner cartoons. Beep Beep!

 And she conquers the world! Ok. So I really didn’t conquer the world, but I did scramble up this here rock face. Going up wasn’t the problem. It’s the coming down that provided much humor for Superman.

 Petroglyph drawings from the Ute Indians thousands of years ago.  

 The next day, we take “The Land Before Time” Canyoneering trip. Canyoneering is the process of traveling through steep canyons by hiking, scrambling, climbing, swimming, and  rappelling.  

 Ok so this isn’t the exact trail we took, but it is close. 

 There were many very narrow slots that we had to shimmy through or use what they call bridging. Bridging is your hands are on the opposite wall of your feet. You form a bridge over the water and “walk” your hands and feet to the other side.

  This was a very narrow slot we had to get through. On the left is the canyon wall and to the right, there is a petrified tree. We had to climb to the top of the tree, turn around, carefully place feet on wall,  then jump into the chest deep water. Hitting your chin on the tree as you jumped down would have caused great pain. 

 This is one of three rappelling we had to do. This particular one was 130 feet down. Yup 130 Feet!

 Do you see the rope? Old Mar shimmied on down that thing…No Problem! Actually, rappelling is not scary. I feel perfectly safe. I’m all harnessed up, safely secure with all sorts of ropes, carabiners, special knots and guys paying attention to all the details. We rappelled down a 75 ft drop and a 125ft drop. 

 As soon as we got to the bottom of this 130 ft canyon, we had to squeeze through a small crevice into waist high stinky water.  

 One of the many fascinating things I learned on this adventure was the durability of Mother Nature through thousands, even millions of years. This juniper tree (although not photographed well) is said to be thousands of years old. Thousands! That BLOWS MY MIND!  

 We saw a small pool of water, which our guide said is fed by a natural spring, so it has always had water in it. In this pool were tiny little critters that he said are same as they were in the prehistoric age. This area has not been ruined by developers, roads, railways….people.  

 It is always changing, but yet thankfully stays the same. My hope is that my fellow humans will continue to revere this land we live in. As for here in Moab, every day brings something new. Maybe it is 110 degrees outside today and the next day 90 degrees. On Monday a dry riverbed, and yet on Tuesday a roaring flood. To think that at one time a long, long time ago, this was somewhat flat land with an ocean covering it. And here it is today. Wow. 

Friends we are so blessed to have this at our disposal. Take care of it. Enjoy it.

Thanks for dropping by!