Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Rain Day/Rest Day


Today we are holed up in the cabin. The fire is going, Matt's chicken soup from Bottega Toscana is simmering in the pot, Atticus is curled up by my side while I pump vitamins into my system trying to combat the Lyme Disease and take advantage of a day off to rest up for the next few days.


On Thursday night we were invited on a Winter Solstice hike to celebrate the beginning of winter. A great group (in quality and number) which included three dogs waited for winter to start and then made our way up the Peabody Slopes on Cannon. Plenty of manmade snow. It was windy and cold. About a 1/3 of the way up the summit hikers started sliding back down the mountain so I stopped and put my crampons on.


I have no idea what time we topped out but the summit was extremely cold with a wild wind whipping around us as we climbed the summit tower. We didn't stay long.

The trip down was easy going and quick. Heavenly stars above and the stars of Littleton stretched out below us. Breathtaking clarity.

We returned to the base of the mountain 2 1/2 hours after we started out. A quick hike.

The next morning we met with another group to take advantage of the open gate on Sawyer Hill Road. Typically it is locked in winter but the lack of snow allowed us to shave a 4 mile round trip road walk off of our hike. Instead the hike was 10 miles.
For some reason Carrigain is not one of my favorite peaks. It has a remarkable view from the tower on its summit but the climb always gets to me, as do the ankle twisting rocks. I suffered going up, just like the night before, and thought that this is what Lyme will do to me this winter. On the descent we moved easily, although I wore crampons for the upper half of the hike to deal with the ice.

Two mountains down and now a forced rainy rest day.

Photos from the Carrigain hike can be found here: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/556570890rlWmUH

1 comment:

Dawn Middlestead said...

So grateful Mr. Ryan that your body was able to eventually beat the Lyme Disease. I know very few people who would have ever "kept going" the way you did.