Sunday, October 2, 2011
Just Me, the Mountain and the Mist
Rain for the last three days, rain forecast for the next three. I decided this morning that if it's going to rain this much, I might as well make friends with it.
So, shortly after noon today, I set off, in spite of the rain, on the hiking path up Mt. Megunticook. It was beautiful in the mist and the rain. The rain's been falling here for a day or two, so there were little brooklets rushing down the mountain here and there.
I got to test the water resistance of my hiking boots (they passed with flying colors), and I was glad I'd indulged in a few purchases along the way that I wasn't certain at the time were really necessary. My Tilley hat - waterproof, with just enough of brim to keep the water off my face and neck. The
And last but not least, the trekking poles. They seemed so... trendy... when I saw them at REI. I bought them only because I've been having trouble with a stiff hip; figured they couldn't hurt, might help. I only brought one of the two poles with me - I don't like having both hands tied up for whatever reason - but must admit I was glad more than once I had the thing. It provided a much-needed extra point of stability climbing up and down the slippery roots and rocks; saved me from landing on my keister at least once.
I'm sure the view from the top is spectacular if one can see anything other than mist and fog. As it was, when I got to the lookout point, it felt like I was on the edge of the world. Nothing beyond the rock under my feet - not that I ventured too close to the edge to see what was down there. Have I mentioned the rocks were a bit slippery in spots?
The trek took longer than I thought it would. According to the trail map, the Mt. Megunticook trail is a mile long, and takes an hour to hike. (They don't mention it's all uphill, but from the name, I suppose one could infer that...) From there, I took the Slope trail (1.5 miles / 1.5 hours), which connected me back to the Multi-Use trail - 2.1 miles from where I'd started. Now, the first trail goes pretty much straight up the hill, the second winds back more gently back down. Do they mean to tell me I went only .4 miles off the straight path? I did WAY more work than that. just ask me. I got back shortly after four...
I only ran into two other people on the entire trek. (surprised? I was, a bit. I thought these Maine people were supposed to be hardy outdoors-types. I guess that doesn't apply to 55 degrees and raining.) They were both women, and we chatted just a bit as we, yes, waited in line for the bathroom in the middle of the otherwise deserted woods. There's a bit of irony here....