Ascent Giant Mtn, ADKs

Final day of the year in 2011, and took at trip to the ADKs with Brian, so we could enjoy some of the crisp cool scenery, and bag another winter peak. Arriving at the base of Giant mountain in the morning, we tossed on our gear, and started to show shoe up the trail – and I think we were the first to sign the register that morning. After 30 minutes of scraping along the slippery slopes, we got to an excellent ice bulge along the path on the open rocks. Clear solid clear ice with zero snow – we should see the yellow painted marks on the rockface encrusted below. We exchanged our climbing snowshoes, for some more serious ice gear, and both strapped on our full crampons. This turned out to be an excellent choice, as the rest of the hike and climb was sheer ice. With the rain, freezing, snow, thaw, rain cycles, the whole side of the mountain was one large ice sheet. We carried our snowshoes for the rest of the day – the hiking poles barely etching the firm ice. Photo here is nearing the summit, with nice background view of the some of the additional ADK peaks in the background. Great day to be out and enjoying nature!

DC, New Years Eve

Yep, with mild weather in 2013, Judy and I took the opportunity to drive down to Washington, DC in the final days of 2013. Kids old enough to leave home, and the Canadian Dollar (briefly) doing quite well on the USD it was as an opportunity for us to explore. We also took the opportunity to book a spot right down by The Mall, and checked into The York Apartments that had suites avail for a reasonable rate during the Christmas break. Bonus this was also a few blocks just off The Lincoln Memorial.

Our trusty bike steeds to zip around and explore the area.

Judy and I took the opportunity to also rent BIXIE bikes for the first time: and these were great to get around so we could extend out wandering around the Tidal Basin to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, as well as to the Smithsonian and the US Capital, Library of Congress, and even check out The White House and visitor center for the festive d├ęcor.

We also stumbled upon the Fairfax 4 Miler race, and of course Judy had to join.

That night, we though we would watch fireworks somewhere special – and took short stroll to Lincoln Memorial. Looks like there are no fireworks on The Mall, though there was a State Park ranger at the monument that evening to keep things in order. A few dozen international students arrived, and took photo ops. The countdown comprised of the ranger using his IPAD to count down to midnight, and declare ‘happy new years’.

Welcome to 2014.

Judy at Lincoln Memorial