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.

Crafty for a Cause – Get Involved.

A few weeks ago a fellow Etsy Maine team member and past feature on my blog, Judy B., announced a call for entries for a silent auction to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).  When I heard about it I knew I had to donate work for several reasons:

1.  My newest, most favorite pair of earrings were a gift to me from my father hewn from the blood, sweat and tears of Judy.  Here are a pair just like them (you want them.):

 

Earrings Oxidized Silver Hoops $20 by Judy B. on Etsy

2.  The JDRF and I go way back. Well, to about 2005 when I volunteered to photograph a walk in Boston during my “I think I want to be a Photojournalist days.”  I didn’t become a photojournalist (thank goodness) but I had the opportunity to practice my social skills behind a camera and, for the first time ever, command a group of 100+ sitters for a group portrait.  Whoa!  Now, at weddings, telling (or sometimes yelling) 10 people where to stand is a piece of cake.

3.  The most obvious reason. Growing up my friend and next door neighbor had juvenile diabetes that started around 1st grade.  No one really talked much about it – I just knew that she had to get her finger pricked a lot and her Mom had to administer shots once or twice a day.  There have been so many advances in medicine we’ve made since then (late 80s).  Bloodless testing and more.  So it’s only natural to believe that anyone trying to make children’s lives more manageable if they are diagnosed is definitely someone who is deserving of a donation from me.

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The silent auction will be held at the 10th Annual Granite Gala on Saturday, May 7th in New Hampshire.  Visit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Northern New England Branch site for more details as the date approaches:

http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=100080

You can also contact them by phone at (603)222-2300 for more information.

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Here are some of the fine people who have already committed to donating for the auction in May:

 

Peapod Necklace $6.50 by allsey on Etsy

Allsey is a repurposer from Maine who puts good use to trinkets, beads and toys that she finds.  I love the peapod necklace above, I almost bought it for myself at the Biddeford Art Walk last month but instead got a necklace with a pair of glasses bead for my friend!

 

 

Poppy TTV Photograph $10 by ConstantGalore on Etsy

Constant Galore‘s Etsy shop features fiber arts, photography and some really excellent naughty candies that she probably won’t be donating to the walk.  🙂  I love this photograph of a poppy taken through the viewfinder of a Brownie camera with a digital camera.

 

 

Rotary Phone Acrylic Charm Earrings $12 by EastoftheSun on Etsy

East of the Sun is a multimedia extravaganza.  Zines, charms, pillows, prints and more.  I bought a set of 4 zines about animals from her for my niece to use as coloring books for the holidays.  Nice!

 

 

Converse All-Star Bottle Cap Barrettes $12 by littleeyedesigns (me!) on Etsy

Little Eye Designs:  That’s me!  I’ll be donating a combination of a framed photograph and bottle cap jewelry with the same photograph inside of it.  Because the auction will be in May I’ll probably use an image from the Farmer’s Markets in Portland that I’ve been taking throughout the years.  Pink flowers?  Radishes?!  Who knows!

Precious Blossom Pendant Necklace $24.99 by SweetSincerity on Etsy

Sweet Sincerity is one of my new internet friends.  I love her enthusiasm and her feminine designs.  Check out her blog at:

http://sweetsincerityjewelry.blogspot.com

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Do you know of any other organizations looking for donations from artists, crafters and people with other talents?  Leave a comment and share below!