Now that it’s just about June, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that ski season is finally over. I even pulled all of my skis out of the Thule box and propped them up in their summer resting place.
All is not lost, however. With the weather getting nicer every day, I can’t help but find myself excited for the summer hiking season, and I certainly won’t miss dragging a million pounds of gear all over New England every weekend.
To get warmed up for the summer I headed out to Mount Monadnock with Abby (who practically just got home from a winter in Vail, CO). Monadnock is certainly not the most challenging mountain but the summit is rocky and bald, with a few decent rock scrambles toward the top. It can be crowded, but its pleasant, and perhaps most enticingly, it allows for a none-too-shabby day hike with time left over to head back to Boston for some R&R.
Here’s a quick look at the loop:
View Monadnock in a larger map
Since it was relatively light hike, I took the opportunity to do some experimentation. The first item I wanted to test out my Merrel Chameleon hiking sneakers. Perhaps the real test was running the Tough Mudder in them, after which I realized that they are probably hearty enough for a decent hike as well. Until recently I really had never entertained the notion of hiking in sneakers since my ankles are in such rough shape, but in the absence of any real disasters on the Tough Mudder course I was inspired to try out some hiking in them. As I suspected all along, as I get fatigued my ankles get more and more floppy, which is when I’d begin to wish I had boots, however I think as a new rule of thumb, any hike less than about 10 miles is probably fine for hiking sneakers, but for longer, harder hikes I think I’ll stick to boots, at least for a while.
The next item on the agenda was the new camera. I figured it was time for a new one when I crushed my last one by rolling over it while sleeping on the floor of Denver International… This time around I wanted to find a camera with superior optical zoom, good image quality, HD video, and a high speed burst mode, all while remaining compact enough to actually bring hiking and skiing. I found all that and more in the Canon Powershot SX230 HS. The Powershot series is just plain great. They’re all full featured, take great photos, are relatively easy to use and are at a pretty reasonable price point. Unfortunately it was overcast and foggy for most of the hike, but I managed to snag a few sample photos here and there.