Peck's personal Web site
Peck goes to [Mt] Washington
northern-hemisphere summer 2000, Mr Peck, vexed at months of staring at his computer
screen and bouncing up and down on his chair, launched upon an extended play/work
sojourn in the nation which he deeply appreciates for some things. What ensued
was a very fine bad-weathery week in New Hampshire with friends Charlie and Lisa,
a week reporting on the Millennium Wetlands Event in Québec City, and a few more
pretty awkward weeks in northern Wisconsin.
may not find this interesting unless you're included here, so this is a good time
for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the
sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Lisa setting out on the Boott Spur trail, 31 July 2000
Range, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire: A wet late return from the Boott
Spur Trail -- Charlie and Lisa display mud.
of us descended through all the rough bits turned the wrong way round?
day, the Ammonoosuc waterfall trail on the west side of Mt Washington, Lisa and
Charlie, on a day that would soon decline, weatherwise. (Despite it being Lisa's birthday, and the Swiss National Day.)
mud on the Ammonoosuc trail as most of it is on fairly solid ground. It's 1 August
2000 (Lisa's birthday and the Swiss National Day).
and Lisa on the Ammonoosuc trail in drizzly rain, marching up past the waterfalls
hoping to see the sun somewhere near the top
waterfalls, Lisa and Dwight still anticipating sunlight somewhere above, or if
not sunlight, at least soup.
some coaxing and instruction from Prof Berman, Lisa continues upward through rainy
rocks towards the Lake of the Clouds hut, and sunlight, and hot soup.
alas, on that day, soup there was in abundance, but sunlight there was none. At
Lake of the Clouds hut, the summit was closed off by storms, and Sir Charles descended
the waterfalls to fetch the car, whilst the other participants braved the storm
along the "Wuthering Heights" [Lisa's contribution] Mt Washington ridgeline
southward for an only slightly gentler return to earth and car.
Scurrying off the Presidential Range bedraggledly
day, back on Boott Spur, heading towards Mt Washington this time, Professor Charles
Berman wields an orange.
Spur is off there in the clouds up to the right, Mt Washington is much more upper
and righter than that is. 2August 2000.
seeks energy from a large number of sandwiches whilst avoiding the view of Mt
Washington up to the right. The Tuckerman Ravine headwall is just barely visible
through mist off his left shoulder (i.e., to your right), but that was Thursday's
hike, not reported here.
Boott Spur and Mt Washington, Señor Berman follows the cairn markers in fairly
A long way still to go to the top
Washington summit facilities, 2 August 2000
Charles descending towards Tuckerman's Ravine
Presidential Range in one go (uhh, not)
earlier discussions with the doubtful park rangers, Mr Peck explained that some
time ago he and Sherman Wilson had run all 10 peaks of the
Presidential Range, in a snowstorm, in under 10 hours, so he reckoned that
this would be a doable route. The Savvy Ranger looked at Mr Peck and asked "How
long ago was that?" (No fool he: it was 15 years ago. Ooooh, ominous.)
stands atop Mt Madison in really very poor weather, the first stage in an ambitious
route covering half the Presidential Range. 3 August 2000.
weather declines still further, Exuberant Communications Officer D. Peck is still
planning to show the park ranger how wrong park rangers can be.
along behind Prof. Berman in the year 2000, reaching Mt Madison from the Appalachia
trailhead near Randolph took 3:28 hours -- in 1986, gasping along behind Sherman
Wilson, reaching Mt Madison took 1:49. Let that be a lesson to us all about growing
older in an unsedated manner.
Charles leading off Mt Mansfield in the general direction of Mt Washington.
way behind schedule.
your park rangers, at least if you've passed a certain
age. Mr Berman and Mr Peck reached their abort-point with Mt Washington still
gleaming way off in the late afternoon sun, and chose to descend as speedily as
possible via . . . Six Husbands Trail. Bad choice of abort-routes,
abandoned trail! Artificial aids through the cliffs had been left to dangle some
years ago, and the lads felt lucky to find an underground route which emerged
at the base of the cliffs, to obvious relief and satisfaction (photo above).
in New Hampshire drawing to a close
Nest is the name of the B&B at which these comfort-seeking travelers
always sojourn in Jackson Village, New Hampshire. Owned and operated by Myles
and Christine Crowe, two of the friendliest people in New England, the Crowe's
Nest can be recommended to all vacationers in the White Mountains who don't require
jacuzzis, lounge-rooms with dancers, and well-stocked mini-bars in the rooms,
but who do value great views, friendly and helpful hosts, low prices, and mountains
nearby. www.crowesnest.net [Sorry, this seems to be gone now (2008).]
and Dwight preparing to depart the Crowes' Nest, Lisa on a Greyhound Bus to Manchester
to fly off to Florida, Dwight to get driven by motorcar (by the
accommodating Mr Berman) to Montreal ( in Canada) (to the north), whence by train
he arrives in Québec City [back to work!] for the . . .
2000 Millennium Wetland Event
Frontenac. So we're in Québec then. Let's get to work.
from holidays in the USA, Mr Peck takes a break in Canada to admire the Slovenian
before the Ramsar Exhibit, we're flanked by Tobias Salathé, Ramsar's
Senior Regional Advisor for Europe, and Nick Davidson, Ramsar's
Deputy Secretary General.
Ramsar Exhibit at Québec 2000 became a gathering point for the more internationally-oriented
among the 2000 wetland scientists present.
Here are Tobias Salathé (Switzerland), Karén Jenderedjian (Armenia), Gordana
Beltram (Slovenia), Dwight, and Paul Mafabe (head of Uganda's wetlands programme).
the conclusion of the Millennium Wetland Event, we take great pleasure in trashing
all the solemn policy documents that were left over.
A lovely walk down by the riverside
A church for sale. Just like Kristin's house. Putting religion to a good use.
And then we went to Wisconsin,
better that we had not done so.
Visiting a former girlfriend
in northern Wisconsin, Mr Peck and his daughter Marlowe encountered stunning wetlands
and he made a photo essay on the Ramsar Web site showing all this stuff at its
best. View it here.
link takes you out to the Ramsar Web site.]
Peck leaves his borrowed mountain bike and relaxes from taking photos for his
Ramsar Photo Essay (see above), and grimaces for the camera.
friend Caroline shooting Wisconsin rapids in a kayak.
Peck, in Wisconsin, 2000
Peck filling up a plastic kayak, wishing that they'd made the middle parts a little
Peck advertising sports products.
in the stupid kayak, and feeling really depressed about everything, not least
about how it's going to feel trying to get back out of it again. More than a thousand
90%-healed old injuries from falls and tumbles in the past are crying out "Don't
move us! Let us just stay here."
thing didn't work out at all, what a bummer!
Maybe it never does. Packing it in, enough is enough, too much for one chappie
in a single sitting, and heading back to Switzerland, where at least the high
mountain snow gives you (if conditions are okay) something to hang on to.
not if the snow's crusty or icy, or slushy on top, or got crevasses in it, or
big rocks sticking out of it, or has got avalanchy, or so deep as to be impassable,
etc. . . . . The Alps aren't that far off from human relationships, come to think
ready for Holidays 2001 (More Mt Washington, will this never end? and a bicycling
rally from Maine, USA, through Québec, Canada -- the MOOSA Tour!!).
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
Posted 25 March 2001, rearranged 27 June 2005, revised 19 October 2008.