Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Phinn on the Trails

Phinn and the girls sharing some smiles

My family and some friends were fortunate enough to hit the White Mountains again this year for a few days of hiking and relaxing. Most exciting was our opportunity to introduce Phinn, our Black Labrador Retriever, to the trails. The Whites have a fair policy for dogs: at all times you must keep them under control with the use of a leash or verbal commands. Phinn does a great job with his commands given to him. After our first hour on the trail with nine of us, he was able to be let off the leash as he stayed on an easy “heel” just aft of my left side. We hiked six miles the first day in rain and sunshine.
The White Mountain crew before our hike toward Zealand Falls Hut

We stayed at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s flagship lodge, the Highland Center, in Carter Notch. I highly recommend to everyone, regardless of age, to stay there for a night to experience life at an ecologically designed facility in a beautiful mountain setting. It is an awesome place for kids of all ages. There are trailheads right out the door for hikes of all intensities. The Appalachian Trail (AT) goes right through the yard.
Phinn on Mt. Willard

On the second day, Phinn and I took off before breakfast and climbed to the nearby Mt. Willard summit. At the top are a series of large smooth boulders where Phinn and I did some yoga and stretching. The view was beautiful as we watched the sun creep up the sides of mountains. Mt. Willard boasts the greatest views for the least climbing effort in the Whites.

On the way down, with only a light backpack, we were able to run. Half way down we came across an elderly couple hiking up the trail. Phinn broke his “heel” and greeted the lady by stealing her walking stick. She had no choice but to let him have it. He promptly brought me the stick and dropped it at my feet. The couple was amused, thank goodness.
Top: Phinn enjoying the cold Maine waters. Above: Phinn on the Monhegan mailboat, Laura B.

Later, on our vacation in Maine, Phinn joined us on our jaunt to Monhegan Island aboard the early morning Mail Boat out of Port Clyde. He swam in the North Atlantic that day, climbed rocks, and ran the many trails (17 miles worth on the island), with the five teenagers in our group.