B-Well Beat: Take only pictures, leave only footprints
By Christine Bruen
If you’re reading this and haven’t yet checked out our Web site www.meetup.com (group: Mapping Our Footsteps) it’s not too late! Check it out. You will find hikes planned on the calendar that you can pick and choose from. There are different dates and times posted so there’s something for everyone, plus you can even make suggestions as to where you want to hike and when! I have already done two hikes with small groups and hope to add more soon. If you like hiking, check out the www.meetup.com web site and spread the word.
The first hike that I planned was on Tumbledown Mountain. I decided to go up Loop Trail which is a more advanced hike and descend on Brook Trail an easier hike. The Loop Trail starts out with a smooth well marked trail but eventually jets up to an almost straight up and mean path with rocks of all shapes and sizes. Along with the rocks, there are tree roots intertwined throughout the trail. Even though rain fell all week and that day with the sun trying to peek through as much as it could, we decided to still take on the trail and show it who’s boss. We were having fun leaping around in the squishy mud and trying to keep balance on the slippery rocks. As we hoisted ourselves up the mountainside, we could see how far we had gone just by looking through openings in the trees. Unfortunately we couldn’t see far due to the pesky fog that had decided to move in with the rain.
We finally got to the halfway point of the mountain, thinking and hoping it was the top, for we felt as though we had hiked miles and miles due to the steepness of the trail. You could see the beauty of the mountain as we stood in the clearing, but suddenly the fog rolled in and consumed us in a white bubble. I decided to make the decision not to continue; and sadly we made our way down the trail we had worked so hard to climb. Even though we didn’t make it to the summit this time because of the weather conditions, I plan on making another trip to the treacherous Loop Trail to conquer its challenge that taunts me.
For hike number two—not as steep and mean that’s for sure—we made our way to part of the Appalachian Trail. Though the trail stretches all the way through 14 states, six national parks and eight national forests, the real beginning starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ends at our beautiful Mt. Katahdin. On a wonderful sunny day, we started our hike right off Route 4 in Rangeley. The trail was beautiful and a fairly easy hike with foot bridges to help us avoid the thick mud that threatened to consume our boots. As we walked, laughed, and enjoyed the warm sun and easy trail we saw lots of butterflies, squirrels, and moose tracks, and encountered a few other hikers: one from around the area, one from New Hampshire, and one man who had hiked all the way from Georgia! He informed us that he was on his 1,867th mile. We ended our journey at a good eight-mile total that took us about four hours to complete.
If you plan on hiking with us from a meet-up on the Web site, we allow enough of a time cushion to keep the dark from setting in. However if you plan on finding your own hike on www.mainetrailfinder.com, please make sure you give yourself ample time to keep from hiking in the dark.
As another reminder, while hiking in the woods you may pick up an unwanted hitchhiker; check yourself for ticks. It only takes a minute and can prevent you from getting Lyme disease.
For more information about hikes and or our website, contact Program Coordinator Leanne DiMaio at 779-2933 or write: firstname.lastname@example.org