Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

Climbing High

October 2, 2021 We’ll go with a “things that are high” theme for this post, as you will shortly see. In the meantime…. Jason and Todd were busy enlarging and framing out the half-bath on the main floor. Brian was wiring, and asking questions – for example, considering the high ceiling, where would we hang the light above the dining room table? We had the house plans, but we were consulting as we went, and making a few changes here and there.

I may have mentioned before that I am mesmerized by the periodic training flights of the Pease Air National Guard Base, located in Portsmouth, NH, less than 10 miles away. We are under their flight path as they circle for training, and to be honest, these photos do not do justice to just how large these KC-135 tankers are – in real life they look much lower and larger! They loom overhead, loud and slow-moving, sometimes casting an enormous shadow…. but it is hard to catch a great photo. My goal is to be outside at the right time and place and get an awesome photo of a tanker in the sky behind the tower!

Bob has been disturbed for months at the condition of our flag on top of the tower (which no doubt those pilots can well see). It was installed along with the lightning protection system almost exactly a year ago, in October 2020. It became tattered by the winds up there, and during a storm, the rope loosened or snapped and the flag became stuck on the air terminal on top of the flag pole. It has been like that for quite a while and especially as a USArmy veteran, Bob has a high standard and regard for the display and condition of the American flag. Jason and Todd to the rescue again. They were able to untangle the situation and replaced the old flag with a new one I had ordered. Thank you, guys!!

Venting the bathrooms for the 2nd and 3rd floor bedrooms was not turning out to be easy. Although a roof vent was not the preferred solution, the guys went for it, and climbed even higher than I have photos for – they are pretty fearless.

Our daughter Hannah had arrived for an overnight on a long weekend hiking trip – she intended to do 5 mountains in NH, VT and MA in 3 days, the big daddy of which was Mt. Washington. When she and Josh were in elementary school, we had driven them to the top on the road, but that is nothing to hiking Tuckerman’s Ravine. When my brother and I were in high school, my parents would take us every Memorial Day weekend to climb Tuckerman’s to ski the headwall and eat lunch on the “lunch rocks”. Great memories lugging our skis and boots for 3 miles uphill, ha, THEN climbing up the super-steep snowy headwall to ski down it, but I hadn’t been back in decades! In any case, Scott is a HUGE hiking fan, being a member of the 4,000 Foot Club (all 48 peaks in NH), but having done them all in the WINTER. So, he and the guys asked Hannah if she brought her cold weather gear…. she was like, what? It is September 30th, I was planning to see fall foliage. HA. Did you check the weather, they asked? Hmmmm, so I rummaged about and loaned her all my winter hats and gloves, and she went off to EMS near the mall to get a winter climbing parka. At 4am the next morning she was up and gone for the 2 hour drive to Mount Washington, the fiercest peak in the east, and “home of the world’s worst weather”, seriously. Fall foliage at the bottom and here is what she encountered at the top…. check out her very cold video!

Meanwhile, I was off on my own adventure, traveling to Putnam Park Raceway near Indianapolis to deliver the PCA national instructor training program for Central Indiana Region. Got some VERY fun laps in a super fast GT3. Then back to Maryland where I instructed at Potomac Region’s women’s only High Performance Driving Clinic at Summit Point Raceway in WVA. I got to hang with Bob and my best buddy Sydney for 2 nights before heading back to NH… by then Hannah had hiked all 5 peaks (after thawing out) and the guys were on to other high points in the house!

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