Week in Pictures: Picking Apples a.k.a. Ice Cream & Hiking

We went up to Hiram, ME today as part of a yearly sojourn involving apples and a great view of the Saco River without too much huffing and puffing.  The apples this year are really scary looking, we managed to find almost a full bag of okay ones after about forty five minutes of looking… very strange.  They will all go in to pies and sauce, I guess… life is so hard.  😉  Maybe it was the hot summer.  In any case, we rewarded our search with two enormous ‘turtle sundaes’ from the gift shop at Apple Acres.  It was a lesson in patience, mostly because there is no line and the ladies behind the counter are simultaneously making fudge, cider donuts, milkshakes and ringing people up.  It was also a lesson in patience because I’ve found I’m a very busy and impatient city lady… so maybe it was just normal and I’m obnoxiously efficient.

After spooning my weight in fudge, caramel and ice cream in to my foodhole we headed to Mt. Cutler to climb it.  Good idea!!  A short hike, but the ice cream weight really did me in.  I threw my camera, water and car keys in to my old Bean bag and headed up with J.R.  I didn’t complain out loud nearly as much as I was on the inside, but it was well worth the familiar view.

-a.e.h.

Hiking Log: Speckled Mountain

A sunny hello to everyone!  I’ve been quite busy climbing mountains, preparing for location shoots, going on location shoots, filling orders and designing new products this week — I wanted to recap a little from last weekend.

We climbed up Speckled Mountain last weekend to kick off a series of Autumn hiking trips.  Ahh, the perfect season for sweating your way up a mountain.  As I type, I’m watching a squirrel hide something yummy in my neighbor’s flower bed.  Definitely getting colder!

Speckled Mountain is about 1.5 hours away by car, and be sure to bring $3 with you to donate/get a parking pass for the day.  The elevation is not bad at 2,906 feet, but the first hour or so of the hike is GRUELING.  I’m a good long-distance hiker, but endurance climbs over steep rocks and lots of leg-lifting is NOT my thing.  Ouch.  Once we made it past that point, though, I about stopped swearing and was able to enjoy the exercise, pace myself, and stop for delicious blueberries on the trail.

At the top of Speckled Mountain we were joined by some hungry/curious gray jays (see end of video!) that will eat out of your hand if you stand really still!  Rondo (the dog) doesn’t stand very still so that was an issue.  We were also joined by a friendly couple from Maine at the summit who just passed through, and a homophobic man and two pre-teens he had brought with him who were also fans of the other ‘f’ word and one of whom was referred to as a ‘Nancy’ when he got scared when a gray jay flew at him.  Nice parenting, guy!

As usual, the walk/run down starts out awesome until your neck starts to hurt from watching the ground and your knees start to weaken from the impact.  Don’t forget to stop for water on the way down, even though you don’t feel like you need it as much.

The hike was 8 miles covered in 6 hours (or a little less) and T and B had a crock pot full of chicken and goodness waiting when we got back to Portland.  Yessss.

Hilarious Hiking

3rd Peak. Sorry for the little picture!

Despite the fact that my legs feel like tree trunks, my stomach is turning (from a neck/shoulder burn today?) and yes, my skin has once again mysteriously turned bright red after copious amounts of SPF… and I’m full of Indian food (awesome)… I’m still popping in to put a little bit of content out on this here internet.

Today we hiked Moat Mtn which has not one, not two, but three freaking peaks.  When the first one tricks you you’re like ‘Oh, mountain, you’re so silly!’ and you climb up another two miles and then you get there and you see the last peak you’re like ‘That’s totally not even the last peak, we’ve just entered the inner circle of hell and this will never end,’ but then you finally get to the real top and it looks like that picture of the top of this blog post.  And even though all that bright sunlight is gonna cause some damage, you don’t care — nap time!

Hiking Companions

Rondo (pup) chased butterflies around at the top and Jason, hilarious guy, kept Tara and I laughing when we got to the second peak when he went to retrieve a water bottle Tara dropped, fell backwards in to a lichen-covered tree and knocked it down (it was about five inches in diameter) in to the pathway.  After checking to see if he was okay we started laughing wildly and couldn’t stop for some time.  Poor guy!  Every time someone dropped a water bottle after that we couldn’t help but giggle.

So no matter what my complaints or current physical state are, what an awesome day getting fit in the outdoors in the White Mountains.  Must do again soon.