(older entries, separated by genre or date, are listed at the bottom of this page.)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thanxmas 11

Thanxmas 11 was at Adam and Kristy's house again this year, since it proved to be such an excellent spot for Thanxmas 9. I got there as early as I could manage, which was probably 2. Only a few people were there, but I cracked open some scotch and started the party right with Father Thanxmas: 

Early on, it was a kid party, which I think was done perfectly, since I think all but Jake and Tara had people come pick their kids up after awhile. That way, kids could run around and have fun at a family friendly Thanxmas, then as drinking and rowdiness increased, they were home safely in bed. We brought a bunch of props for a photo booth that was barely used, but those props were quite the hit with the kids.

It made me very happy to see the guitar I stole from someone at Thanxmas 2 being used by the younger generation.

Zayne makes me laugh.

Eventually, it was dinner time, where Adam ate by himself in a giant dining room like a loser:

Everything I ate was great. But those pics aren't worth the blog, because things got more rowdy after dinner:

And very quickly, dancing started happening.

And not surprisingly, Kevin spent most of the night in a wig.

Here's Jake eating with a furry friend.

Here's Tobin with his Thanxmas bottle of fancy beer, where he printed out pics and taped them to the bottle the night before. 

Love the effort, but spell Thanxmas right!

Here's where Gina lay on the ground and Wyatt was disgusted by her feet stink:

Seriously, how hilarious is this kid? 

Are Naro and Rachael singing to his beer?

Soon, it was time for presents. They were, as always, pretty good.

And apparently hilarious.

Lucic didn't look too psyched about the whole thing, but Kevin sure did.

Man, Tobin laughs a lot.

I can't quite tell what this present is, but it looks horrible and Dan and Lindsay should probably use this picture for their save-the-dates.

So much love at Thanxmas.

This picture is pretty wonderful:

As is this:

I don't remember who ended up taking these home, but I sure hope they are being displayed prominently, since I bought them and they're horrible. Actually, Dustin, didn't you take these? I WAS JUST AT YOUR HOUSE. WHERE WERE THESE?!

I rocked the turtle-tie look that night, made popular by Kevin and Shaun a few years back. I think it's a good look.

Just like this face is a good look for Pog.

When this group used to get together, every party would turn into a dance/air guitar party at some point, and for some reason, we kind of forgot that over the years. This Thanxmas evolved from a quiet, family friendly party with Christmas carrols into just nothing but obnoxious pop music and all of us dancing like idiots in the kitchen. I think it started with Taylor Swift, which I remember being VERY happy about.
I think these next pics pretty much speak for themselves:

Excellent dance moves, Pog.

That's pretty much it. The people who stayed over all went out to an awesome breakfast the next day, which I forgot to take any pictures of. But it ruled. Then I hit up an insanely huge beer store on the way home. 

This was a great Thanxmas. Other than some brief chaos when someone had had too much to drink and was apparently only going to be happy if she slept alone in a car, I have no complaints. We sure missed Shaun, Ice and Shannon though. Kids being there early was cool, everyone was in good spirits, and although the photo booth didn't really happen too much and the book I brought that people could sign was written in by like 4 people, it was another great Thanxmas. Personally, I drank a lot of whiskey but maintained a nice buzz all day without going too far, and only smoked once, which then sent me to braindead hilarity mode, just in time for dance parties and a really serious Verve Pipe singalong (that only I sang). And, I'd like to think we kind of brought dance parties back. I know that I'll be doing what I can to make that happen again this year. And whoever brought that Polaroid camera, you did a wonderful thing. I think taking pictures all night then collecting the best into some sort of book would be pretty awesome. I may just buy one myself so I can assure it will happen. 

Great start to decade 2 of Thanxmas.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ossippee Hunting and... Bigfoot?

I'm not really doing posts for all of the Ossippee Range, but I'm hiking all of it. There's a hiking patch available for hiking to the summit of 5 mountains and hiking a specific number of trails, some of which are impossible to get to and require ridiculous backtracking and some hikes where I haven't even hiked to the top of a mountain, just hiked in between them. Truthfully, I partly wish I hadn't decided I was going to earn this patch, but at the same time, I'm hiking their trails but I'm going above and beyond and hiking to all of the summits as well. That makes it worth it to me. Like the Belknaps, I can be the master of the Ossippees.

This hike was worth a post because I got a lot of sweet pics and I have a possible spot to look for Bigfoot in. 

So this hike was just me hiking the Cold Spring Trail up, then taking the Faraway Mountain Trail to the High Ridge Trail, then turning around and hiking a slightly different trail down. No summit, no views. Yippee!

I don't normally hike past October, but I decided this would be the year that I kept going outside. It was a cool day, but still pretty sunny, so it really worked out to be a perfect day for a hike. The trail started pretty simply. 

Actually, most of the day looked pretty much exactly the same:

All leaves were off the trees, so my entire hike was walking through 3 inches of leaves essentially down a road in the middle of the woods.

And staring at a forrest packed with nothing but bare trees.

At first I didn't like this, but after awhile, I started to.

The trail just did switchbacks all the way up, and was never hard- just a constant climb up super gradual hills. When I got to the top (intersecting with the High Ridge Trail), I saw my first snow of the year, still frozen to the ground at just high enough of an elevation that it stayed there. On the way down, I smoked and hung out on this section for way too long, taking a billion pictures and just enjoying being outside in a nice place. Maybe hiking past October could work out after all...

This is the view from there, darkened. There's views here. Sort of. Also the thickest mess of branches in history.

Shortly after this, as I left the more open branch-full switchbacks, I veered left where Faraway Mountain Trail met the Cold Spring Trail and started heading down a road towards a big intersection. Very randomly, I looked down and saw what sort of liked like a foot. A big one.

My shoe is either an 11.5 or 12 for reference sake.

Now obviously, this could be someone messing with me. Someone could have come out here and drew out a foot or even had a fake foot with weight on it. It could be a random pattern in dirt created by something else. I don't know. All I'm saying is, this certainly looks like a bare footprint somewhere around a size 16. And not only that, look at how wide it is!

If you look closely, you can sort of see the outline of what looks like toes:

Darkened phone version:

So I don't know if this is a real footprint or not, but as a firm believer in squatches, it certainly felt like I found something that day.

I turned my music off pretty much instantly, and walked as alert as possible. Make fun all you want, but suddenly I was very aware of how alone and in-the-middle-of-nowhere I was. This is a trail that most likely, the only people who ever step foot on it are trying to earn this patch. There are 5 summits right near here that normal people would hike. And even on a beautiful Saturday, those are usually pretty empty. In my experience, NOBODY hikes the Ossipees, and it certainly seems pretty absurd that someone would come out to this random trail that doesn't go to a summit and put a fake footprint in the ground. 
But I don't know. I have no way of proving anything- I just saw what I saw and you can decide for yourself. I still am not entirely confident saying that I found anything. But it certainly looks like a giant footprint to me.

It was starting to get dark fast, but I walked slowly, looking for anything even resembling another footprint. I never found anything, even in the huge section of half frozen mud I had to go through- what I was certain would be footprint gold. 

As I walked, I started to feel a little less spooked, but just as I did, the sky started getting pretty weird.

would you want to be here alone with squatches nearby?!

The fading sun created a weird red glow across all the bare trees. 

It was pretty awesome.

so squatchy!

It was great for instagrams too, cuz I could bring that red glow out even more.

I was running out of time though, so I put my headphones back on (quietly) and set off down the road.

Then I saw this cool Old Man in a Tree.

It was nice and dark by the time I got to the bottom, which meant I got to take sweet pics.

And hang out with horses.

I talked about it in my Mount Roberts post, but I while I don't love the Ossippees, there's a special place in my heart for them and the Castle in the Clouds area. The quiet eerie feeling of hanging out here in the dark when you can barely see horses in the distance is just really cool. I hope the squatches leave them alone.

currently listening to: Into It. Over It.- "52 Weeks"