50+&50-plus

As J.R. Harris likes to tell it today, the first time he saw grass, he tried to smoke it. He’s joking, of course, but the rib illustrates how shocking an introduction to the backcountry can be for a 14-year-old city kid. Climbing off the bus at Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Narrowsburg, N.Y., Harris…

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Vigorous hikers in their mid- to late-60s are as abundant as black flies on New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail in June, while hikers in their 80s can be rare enough to draw (usually unwanted) attention. Each person ages differently, with the possibility of accidents and illness affecting anyone at any time. So what, exactly, can mature…

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When Kamala Harris announced in January that she’s seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, the news coverage I saw homed right in on the campaign message that will soon appear on roadsides all across America. kamala harris for the people, it read, recalling the way the former San Francisco district attorney would announce herself…

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When Mike Carmon decided to propose to his girlfriend, Jesse Jameson, he picked one of the most remote peaks in New Hampshire for the setting: West Bond, in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.  For these two veterans of the White Mountains (Carmon was then the operations director for the Mount Washington Observatory, and Jameson is the group…

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I push off from Tubby Hook’s sandy beach into the Hudson River. My orange Dagger kayak rocks alongside my friend Cathy’s white Necky in the black ripples here, at the northern tip of Manhattan. Although it’s still cool at 8:30 in the morning, I’m prepared for a long, hot August day.  I can see New…

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If you love exploring the outdoors, you depend on a strong back. Whether you’re skiing through deep powder, hiking to a mountaintop, or paddling around the next inlet, back pain can seriously hinder your plans. But with proper preparation, it’s possible to recover from pain or, better yet, to avoid it entirely. We asked two…

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If you happen to leave an outside light on overnight at this time of year, you may be greeted by one of our silk moth species in the morning. This male Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) was photographed at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center one early July morning. With a wing span of 4-6 sizes…

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While staying at Joe Dodge Lodge, I explored the woods beside the beaver pond across the road. Deep snow earlier that week revealed recent animal activity— red squirrel middens, snowshoe hare scat, and wind-blown otter tracks along shore. I set up 2 wildlife cameras to see what might venture by overnight.   In the morning I set…

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During years of appointments, my doctor and I have spent as much time talking about our hiking trips as about my age and medical diagnoses. A while ago, he casually said, “People who have the hardest time facing the realities of physical decline are those who have had an active outdoor life.” He offered these…

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What a glorious day last Friday was and since I had to work the evening shift, I took advantage of it and got out for my first spring hike!!! I headed down to my stomping ground in Evans Notch (ME Route 113 is open!) and hiked Spruce Hill on the side of Speckled Mountain. I…

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