July 15: Woke up at 6:00am and rushed around a little bit to gather up my things for the weekend. Ate 2 bowls of Apple Dapples while icing the calf. Stopped off at HQ to meet with John and Justin. Called Kimber on the way, which is always a highlight of my day :) Had a meeting with Tom Giles, John and Justin on Bear Hazing (Job Hazard Assessment) and will be trained as a level 1 bear hazer. Tom presented me with an airhorn. Cool! I definitely felt more comfortable after the meeting. Though, I cannot haze a bear until I am officially trained by Clara. Drove to Lincoln Woods parking lot. Jim supplied me with some latrine essentials like toilet paper and paper towel. Waited for Justin and John to arrive and we all drove up together in the truck. As soon as we arrived, I dropped off my stuff and we got to work on the first tent pad (natural tent platform, basically a huge sandbox). Way more manual labor than I thought and we had three people working on it. The following steps were taken to complete the first one. 1. Plan which sites needed them the most. 2. Scope out the sites and check availability 3. Find trees suitable (length and diameter) 4. Cut with chainsaw (and the notches at the ends for interlocking capabilities) 5. Sheer away bark to leave it naked (or hack away with an axe if dead and dry (not freshly cut) 6. Set half of logs into the ground by digging away at ground. 7. Once in place, hammer 10 inch spikes into the 4 corners. 8. Wheelbarrow mad heavy gravel/sand mix 9. More wheelbarrowing because it takes a lot to fill up a 10x10 square about 4-5 inches deep) 10. Rake evenly (do not compact because it will be as attendants occupy it each time in the near future) Done. We worked from 9:30-2:30 with a 1/2 hour for lunch. Worth it because with the addition of just one, it makes the campsite look that much better. Imagine once all of the tent pads are able to be constructed. I realize now that this will be an ongoing project for the next year or so because of the necessary availability of resources (people and time). None the less, I am excited to be a part of it and do what I can to help make it happen. Relaxed after all the intense work in order to run at about 3:30. Leisurely run up the East Side Trail to the Cedar Brook Trail. I get to admire my recently updated sign and post, which is always a plus. Got back and took a dip in the ranger pool. Brought a Clif Bar for some instant protein. I had a 10 year old (or so, I am not very good at judging age of the youngsters) girl wave to me as I was sitting a rock in the middle of the river. Sorta weird and cute at the same time. I think she was crushing because she did so the next few days. Jogged back to the campsite, changed up to make a round to the rest of the sites to see what kinds of people I had that night. I had a whole mess of people. A boycott troop from earlier in the week at the group site, a guy and his dog, a family from the Washington DC area (the daughter and her husband or right here in NH (parents), a big ole family outing that included 6 kids (2 families total, the site right below mine; lucky me), an older guy just sneaking away from the commotion of the real world, a couple who were in The Whites for the first time (default suggestion of hiking to Bondcliff because of the ridiculous views), and two other boy scout troops. As I fetched some water with my 5 gallon bucket (to be filtered after with a gravity filter), I got chatting with the guys from site #15. They were all best friends and were definitely some nice people. We talked for a bit about running and some suggested hiking routes for them. I ended up visiting them again that night because they were the type that wanted to converse and not shun the caretaker (I like these types). They offered me some Portuguese sausage (delicious) and gave me some lo mein noodles with teriyaki sauce along with a couple things of peanut butter crackers. Can't complain about that. THIS is why I like these types of people. They usually are accompanied with food offerings or at least a decent real conversation. Before visiting site #15, I prepared the usual refried beans and cheese wraps with Oreos for dessert. As I made my final latrine stop and last round to make sure all campers weren't doing nothing stupid, I got caught up with site #15, which wasn't a problem until darkness fell. I had to brush my teeth in the pitch black. I don't say this for foreshadowing of anything. I just note that I am almost always back in my tent before 8:30 and now I make sure because of the recent bear incident. This night was an exception.
Summary: A definite recover pace 8+ miles (62:14) after the workout yesterday (sometimes tough to phrase these posts because I know it was technically last Thursday, but whatever). A run that involved mostly flat terrain with some minor blowdowns to jump over or crawl through. Made for an adventurous run. My plan for Saturday was to run the classic horseshoe run out to Franconia Falls and back, but will change to a patrol hike to Owl's head (one of the 4,000 footers).