Getting Into the Groove

Descending Moosilauke's summit

Descending Moosilauke’s summit

I promise this will end my “I now have weekends off” series of blogs. It’s just that I’m incredibly enthusiastic about this recent turn of events and, in spite of my initial trepidation, I am learning that being a weekend warrior isn’t all that bad. Who knows how long it will last, but for the moment I am loving having weekends off. Sure I’m like everyone else trying to fit a week’s worth of adventure into two days, but for the first time in as long as I can remember I have so many partners, and so much to do, I am actually having to turn down plans. This has certainly been a shift from a past filled with solitary trips to Lincoln Woods and lonely long runs at Tully Lake.

Making the opening moves on Whale's Tail

Making the opening moves on Whale’s Tail

The real benefit of having weekends off is the incredible amount of people available to do things with. Trying to find someone to climb with on a Tuesday at times felt so hopeless that more often than not I would resign myself to climbing alone, or just going to the gym under the assumption that there would at least be people there to talk to. Finding people to climb with now is far less desperate, and through October I have managed to climb a multi-pitch route in Crawford Notch, boulder at Rumney, and spend a few days bouldering at Pawtuckaway. Sure, one day I bouldered alone at Pawtuckaway, but in this case it was a pleasant change of pace (and it got me out of doing a long run with Ashley) instead of the norm.

Ashley descending Moosilauke's carriage road

Ashley descending Moosilauke’s carriage road

It’s not just my climbing that has seen a spike in activity. My time spent in the mountains has seen a pleasant uptick as well. While I haven’t done a major traverse or a long distance hike, I have managed two 4,000-footer trips in the past few weeks, having visited the summits Mount Moosilauke and Mount Tecumseh.

Dan sending Hobbit Hole

Dan sending Hobbit Hole

When Ashley and I lived near Mount Wachusett, we would compete for the best time up and down a certain trail run we had set on the mountain. It was a way to push ourselves, and in a way run with each other, even when we couldn’t actually run together. Both of us would enjoy sending taunting texts (I probably enjoyed that more than she did) if we had bested the other’s time. While I do miss Mount Wachusett and some of the competitive jousting we did, I much prefer getting to actually chase her up mountains, rather than just her best time.

Spades on the Barn Door Boulder

Spades on the Barn Door Boulder

The best part so far of having weekends off is that when I finally sit at my desk Monday morning, I am exhausted. That exhaustion lets me know I am squeezing every moment from the weekend. It seems that most weekends, between activities and travel, I am home just long enough to sleep. While the job at times can be a grind, and working five days in a row sometimes feels insurmountable, I just have to remind myself that I have another adventure-packed weekend to look forward to.

 

Summit of Mount Moosilauke

Summit of Mount Moosilauke

 

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