Have you noticed that the days are getting warmer and the sun is shining a little longer? Spring has arrived and summer is coming but no season lasts long in New England. We could be back to snowy forecasts in just over 4 months so time is of the essence. I find that lists help me get more done when every weekend counts. Below is my list of my warm weather goals; hopefully they will inspire you to make your own list then get out there and do it.
1. Climb Owl’s Head
New Hampshire has 48 mountains that are 4,000 feet or taller and I have been fortunate enough to climb 47 of them. Owl’s Head is the only peak left on the list. Reaching the summit of Owl’s Head will accomplish a goal that I have been working towards since I was a teenager.
There are trail races and there is the 7 Sisters Trail Race. Some trail races meander over pleasant meadows, fields of flowers and forgiving hills. The 7 Sisters Trail Race course climbs almost 4,000 feet in 12 miles while subjecting runners to mud, loose rock and sometimes vertical climbing. The average runner takes three hours to complete this feat which is agonizingly slow by road running standards. I have done this race several times but was unable to complete it last year. This year I am determined to get my revenge by reaching the finish line.
This the oldest canoe race in the United States for a reason. Your $15 entry fee gets you into an exclusive party with hundreds of paddlers waiting their turn to get in the water and eight miles of top notch paddling that features everything from flat-water to class III rapids. The hundreds of fans lining the course and rescue boaters at the most intense rapid are icing on the cake
I should disclose that my boat is a Dagger RPM MAX which is great for the rapids but it tracks as well as a bath tub (and half as fast) in flat water. This means I certainly won’t set a course record but that doesn’t matter. This race is New England tradition where the only real goal is to have a great time
4. Ride to Work Five Times
Riding my bike to work is a win no matter how you look at it. The 40 mile round trip is a great workout, I get to park next to the building and I avoid burning any gas. My work day just seems a little better when I use my bike to get there. Riding to work five times is completely attainable and it will save a few gallons of gas and burn thousands of calories.
5. Learn to Rock Climb
Life would be pretty boring if I never tried anything new. I have not spent much time on rock but I am hoping to change that this summer by learning rock climbing basic then getting on some rock to see what it is all about.
Accomplishing these goals will make for an epic season. What are your goals?
10 thoughts on “Warm Weather Goals”
Not nearly as ambitious as yours. My goal is to get outside at least once a week to run, and by run I mean walking and running. I am going to be doing a relay triathlon in Sept with my Dad and sisters. My goal for that is to either maintain a 10 min mile or finish in an hour. Gonna try and do some hiking too.
Matt, your goals rock!! I wish you the best of luck! Be careful, that running might give you the running bug! A relay triathlon is a great way to get the family together, it sounds like you will be doing the running part?
Good goals to have! One thing I find interesting is that your only 4000-footer to go is Owl's Head. Is it my imagination, or do a ton of people save that for last? Did you have a reason for that, or was it just because it's out of the way? Either way, congratulations on finishing. I've still got nine or ten to go, but I doubt I'll finish the list this summer. All in good time!
I have never heard of anyone else saving Owl's Head for last but I can see how it could happen. Owl's Head is a long flat hike in with plenty of stream crossing and a bush-whack to the summit. It does not seem as enticing as some of the taller peaks so it is easy to put off until it happens to be the last one on the list. I wanted to finish on Jefferson or Carrigain but the opportunity came up to hike those peaks first so I took it. I am actually kind of happy about how things worked out. Now Owl's Head will have a lot of mean and will be one of my favorite hikes of all time no matter what! Good luck with your nine peaks! What are you hoping to finish on?
Grant . . . you're a man on a mission! It's terrific that you've written out your goals and posted them. You've got plenty of material there for some great posts, and I'll look forward to reading each of them as you accomplish your goals over the upcoming months.
I did Owl's Head a few years ago and had a great time on it, so I don't think you'll be disappointed. As for which I'm planning on finishing on, that's a good question. Possibly Adams or Garfield. I can't think of a perfect reason for any one over another. More likely I'll end like you… just whichever one happens to be there and I'm sure it'll be great however it is.
Thanks for posting a comment to my post on the SMAC XC races.
Owl's Head makes a great trail run.
Goal #6 (which you seem to be on top of)- have fun out there.
I'm with you on #4-5. I did a little gym climbing last year, but nothing really serious. I'm hoping to get some real rock climbing in this season. It would be nice to develop some rope/harness/anchor skills for ice climbing. I'm also only about 15 miles from my work and have biked the back roads in the past, but never seem to make the time. Thanks for the inspiration.
PB – No problem! I have been a SMAC member and do whatever I can to support the club! I am especially fond of the Summit Run!
Andy- The rock climbing might help us pass the warm months until winter come back! Have you ever tried ice climbing? Good luck with making the most of your summer.
Yes. I took advantage of an AMC intro to ice climbing last winter and learned how little upper body strength I really have. I bought the gear last summer to do some more (and to have it when venturing into steep icy terrain) but the skiing was just too good this year to dedicate any weekends to it. Now is a good time to find axes and crampons on Ebay!