Last year Irene destroyed all my hiking plans by taking down trees and destroying trails with her massive flooding in New England. So this year, having not done any serious hiking for what felt like an eternity, I was a little nervous and felt out of my normal hiking shape. Therefore, when Matt and I were up in North Conway, New Hampshire we did some easier hikes—nothing like Mt. Washington or Lafayette. Instead we decided we’d try to do two 4,000-footers in one day. It turns out covering 4,000 feet is considerably easier than 6,000-feet. It was nice to feel like the hike wasn’t that hard.
But Irene has not gotten in the way of my preparation for challenge #3 (Hiking the Grand Canyon) and my yearly Labor Day tradition. For probably the past 10 out of 12 years I’ve gone to New Hampshire with friends to hike in the White Mountains. This year we were going to go backpacking (which we’ve done before) and hike 8 miles one day and 11 the other (which we haven’t). We were using the trip as preparation for the Grand Canyon, but Mother Nature saw fit to destroy some of the roads to get us there and wash out many of the trails.