Tag Archives: Mt. Avalon

It’s the First Day of Spring- Hiking Begins, Flowers Are Starting & More– March 20, 2023

Now that chronicling our recent westward road trip is complete, I am looking forward to resuming more-or-less real time writing. With the astronomical advent of spring, the timing couldn’t be better as there’s much going on and more getting ready to happen.

First up today is some promised follow-up regarding Mills DeForrest Andross. Or, was his name Miles Deforest Andross? It’s unclear according to some things I read.

In a previous post I mentioned he was the lone Vermonter to be killed at the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. 

There isn’t a whole lot of information about him available, and some accounts conflict with others. In the brief time I spent researching Andross I learned the following:

  • He was born in Bradford, VT (Orange County) in 1809
  • His grandfather, Dr. Bildad Andross, served in the Revolutionary War and later in the Vermont House of Representatives.
  • Mills moved to Massachusetts and married Elizabeth Newell- they had two sons. This marriage may have occurred in Vermont. Another ambiguity,
  • In 1835 Andross up and went to Texas for no reason known today.
  • He may have joined the New Orleans Greys. Or may not have- but did fight in the Siege of Bexar for the Republic of Texas.
  • At the Alamo was listed on the rolls by his commanding officer as sick.

There’s not much else. Texas gave his two sons about 1500 acres of land in 1873. In 1989 the Vermont National Guard presented a Distinguished Service Medal to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which seems very late and rather odd. That’s where I ceased my inquiries.

Last week I started the first plants for the 2023 season. No vegetables yet, these are all flowers. Last year they ran late, and weren’t quite ready for the 1st of June. My hope is that starting them a couple weeks earlier will make a difference.

Left to right; Top shelf: impatiens basket-2; petunias basket-2; pansies- 2 pots. Lower shelf: petunias (more!); morning glories- 2 pots. Over the past couple of years I’ve taken to starting the seedlings in the pots they’ll spend the year in as some of the flowers are not transplant-friendly.

Last year the morning glories were planted mid-summer as an experiment, and they did pretty well. My plan this year is to have the pots near each of our two hummingbird feeders, and see if they can be coaxed to climb the posts. We saw many hummingbirds poking their beaks into these flowers last year.

And look what showed up this morning. The first sprout award goes to the morning glories!

Mountain hiking season also kicks off this week, for me, anyway. I realize that many folks keep hiking the hills throughout the winter. I’ve not been one of them for many years, but that may change. I’m not a fan of being out in the really cold temperatures, but don’t mind it in the mid-20s and above when it’s sunny. When we were in Texas the temps were in the low-30s for the two hikes at Big Bend and it was great.

So tomorrow I’m planning to kick off my local season with a relatively easy hike, Mt. Willard over in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. I’ll bring along both snowshoes and microspikes, and use what’s appropriate. I’ve been monitoring the posted trail conditions, and it seems the snow on the trail is packed down well, so hopefully the spikes will be enough.

While out I’m going to test a piece of gear. About 10 years ago I bought this Solo camp stove, with the ultralight pots shown.

Never did use it much, but from a

weight perspective it can’t be beat as backpacking equipment. It packs down small and weighs just over a pound. My other kit with a small gas burner is more than twice that weight. 

The Solo burns just about everything, so the plan is to gather some twigs and sticks along the hike and see what kind of fire it makes. I’m bringing along some cotton for kindling and a lighter. If I can bring a cup of water to a boil it’s a win.

Given that Mt. Willard isn’t a long or particularly steep hike, if conditions and time permit I may have a go at Mt. Avalon, too. The trailhead for that mountain leaves from the same place in Crawford Notch, so why not?

It’s nice to be back in “real time”, and I’m thinking there will be another post later this week. Thanks for coming by!