My daughter Annie (left) with me on Eagle Cliff.

This has been a whirlwind week, tacked on to a month of endless work and family events. The latest is:

Our daughter, Elizabeth, who graduated from college in May, got a job as a research assistant at Yale-New Haven Hospital. This made me think of my own first summer on my own, 30 years ago, when I stayed in Philadelphia optimistically trying to freelance and looking for jobs. I got my first job (as a clerk at the Philadelphia Inquirer) about a week later in August than Elizabeth got hers. I often compare the current recession to the one that raged in 1981, making the point that even in hard times, you can find work. But it does now seem that today’s is probably worse. And so, extra bravos to Elizabeth.

On Thursday night, I gave a talk about why the trails of the White Mountains go straight up (mostly). The Loon Preservation Committee invited me to speak as part of their summer series. It was a full house at their center in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. What a great night. The Loon Preservation Committee wants captive audiences to learn about their work: The loons are struggling, and the work of this committee to figure out why should concern anyone who spends time in northern New England.

On Friday, our daughter, Annie, and I fit in a short scramble up Eagle Cliff, on the side of Red Hill, before she had to go to work in the office of Rockywold-Deephaven Camps. In almost 50 years of going to this area I have never set boots on Red Hill until this day.

On Saturday, I ran in the Peoples State Forest 7-mile trail race. This forest in Barkhamsted is gorgeous. The runners numbered only about 65. Part of admission was food for a potluck picnic afterwards. Munching on watermelon, hummus, fruit salad, vegetables, and chips, we checked the evolving printouts of the race results that came from the race organizer’s van, where a computer hummed from the portable generator. It was humid and I felt worse than I expected while running faster than I expected. Oddly, after weeks of relentless deerflies and horseflies, the only bug I saw the whole morning I swallowed. Nice people, good times, great course, and I love the 7-mile distance.

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