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Heat Wave

Lawn Chairs on The Trail

Lawn Chairs in the Middlesex Fells

Daytime temperatures have been in 90's or higher now for several weeks in New England and I'm having motivation issues. Seriously, hiking, even on the high peaks in New Hampshire, is hard to get excited about in this weather, especially when you factor in the increased thunderstorm activity that occurs in July and August.

A few years ago, I got caught in a summertime thunderstorm on a mountain top along the Long Trail. First, it got really dark out, even though it was just mid-afternoon. Then lightning bolts started hitting the trees near me and I was pelted with golf ball sized hail. It was scared out of my wits, but had the sense to discard my metal hiking poles and cower under a dead tree until the storm passed. Since then, I've learned a lot of about weather forecasting in the mountains (which create their own weather) and cloud reading, so I'm less fearful of a storm coming up on me unexpectedly.

The parts about hot weather that really get to me are staying hydrated and sleeping on hot nights. Still, if you want to cool off in the dead of summer there is nothing quite like camping out next to a frigid mountain stream and spending the day swimming along a beautiful river.

I can remember a trip I took that followed the Wild River a few years ago where we did just that, one afternoon, and to this day, I still take note of good swimming holes when I find them in remote spots. So maybe a camping trip is in order after all! It might be nice to do a little walking to find a remote spot, but spend the rest of the weekend, alternately soaking, reading, and snoozing, alongside some gorgeous mountain river. Yep, that might just be the ticket.


  1. how's this for motivation: I'm hoping to go do an over-nighter this weekend and knock a few more 4000', any interest in joining?

    offer open to anyone!

  2. I'm getting out myself, despite the thunderstorm warning. Shooting for about 30 miles in the Pilot Range in the "far" north near Jefferson.

  3. a note to say i enjoy your blog.

    here in the sonoran desert, you eat chiletipines when the weather gets too hot. one can play all day in the catalinas, sierra anchas, superstitions, and as long as you got a big hat, water and chiletipines, everything is good.

    the cold weather now, that's a killer.

  4. I had to look up chiltepines to learn more about them. http://www.ediblecommunities.com/phoenix/pages/ar
    I never realized that chiles are hot to persuade animals not to eat their seeds. Obvious, I suppose. Thanks for your comment.

  5. sounds good, the motivation came back when the temps dropped 10+deg huh?

  6. I wrote that post about a week ago during the height of the unpleasant heat/humidity :-) After a brutal week at work, the only tonic is a backpacking trip. So, thunderstorms or no, I'm going for a long walk in the woods. Be safe. Looks like thunderstorms on the high peaks on Saturday afternoon.

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