Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Smokey Hike on Whitecap... #115

Milky skies that caused eye irritation and difficulty breathing all
from forest fires out west. 

I hadn't heard about the air quality problem when we headed off on Monday to hike Whitecap. Half way up the Yellow trail I knew something wasn't right. The milky skies and difficulty breathing told me the smoke from western wild fires (e.g., Oregon) had reached Maine. My eyes stung and lungs felt burdened. Hopefully, the air quality will improve tomorrow. 

This morning the air quality was discussed on 
Channel 6. 


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Hikes #113 & #114: Center Hill Trails and... ho-hum, Whitecap


Byron Notch From Center Hill's Summit. 

We're rolling again as the temps staying the 70s. We knocked off Whitecap for the 11th million time and then on Friday hit the Center Hill trails and their beautiful views. 

Mount Blue From the Center Hill Trail

On the way down the road 


Where's my treat and water? 

From the picnic area on Center Hill

Rumford's Whitecap


Where Orange and Yellow merge

Sucking wind and needing water



After the final steep ascent laughing at me.  

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Giddy up! Packing up and moving out.

My office at UMaine.
I had four different offices over the past two decades.
Click on photos to enlarge.  

 On Tuesday, I took the 122 mile drive to Orono to pack up my office as I leave UMaine (I won't use the "R" word because I'll continue to write and work). Packing up wasn't difficult (except for the 9 hours of packing, sorting, tossing, lugging, and sweating); I wasn't sad, though I found dissertation work by two of my doctoral student friends who died over the past 10 years. I couldn't toss their material, and I suppose that made me sad. 

Speaking of tossing... I dumped file upon file, old book upon old book into these neat rolling dumpsters. I would have been a walking mess trying to clean out that place with just garbage bags. But these rolling gems worked like butter! And someone from the recycling department kept coming up to take them away when full.   

What about leaving? I've worked for schools and colleges for 45 years. I've always thrived on change whether it's a minor adjustment or a life change like leaving a job. I'm entrepreneurial, so I think it's a normal part of my make-up to find energy in new adventures and tasks.  

This year: I may have to help out at UMaine for a bit. Two of us are leaving Literacy and now my friends may be understaffed especially managing the graduate writing program that I started back in 2008-09 with my pals, Ken Martin and Dave Boardman. We have 35 graduate students in the program, but my work would be online and I wouldn't have to do a whole lot of meetings or the like. We'll see what happens. 

Now, it's on to new work... a book, a bit of travel, maybe a puppy, and lots of hiking. 

That Geek Soap is a gift from my Nephew Tyler back when
I was studying out in California in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He 
laughed and laughed... he's the kid I married a couple of years ago to 
his sweetheart, Andrea. 

This photos outside my door greeted visitors. 

And this photo and quotation from tutor and friend,
Michael Armstrong, is on my door... still.  

This quotation from James Britton, my professor at The Bread Loaf
School of English at Middlebury College, changed my teaching life. 

Nine hours later. 

A better close-up of my door. Love Michael's quotation. 


Wicked packed! 

Cookies from Bailey's Sharon... wine from California. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Rumford/Mexico from above...

The Brick Park

We have a Facebook group in town titled, "You know your (sic) from Rumford if..." Yes, the administrator-founder of the page made a mistake and there's no way to correct the typo without deleting the group's years of posts. We live with it. Former students and friends regularly post pictures; I hope you can view them on a full-size screen. One local fellow named Craig Shaw takes drone shots of the area. Here are a few--remember to click on photos to enlarge. 

Looking toward the Virginia section of town 

Memorial Bridge



The Island

Taken from Glassface

Memorial Bridge

Take from Whitecap looking at The White Mountains. 

The Island and the mill

Taken from Falls Hill

Looking south toward Smith Crossing & Peru


Red Hill #111

Red Hill is one of many mountains surrounding Rumford with hiking trails, backroads, and snow mobile trails. Whitecap, Mt Zircon, Black Mountain, Glassface, Bald & Speckled, Joe Pond Trails, the Mexico Ledge, the Black/White Trail, and more. It's interesting that I never thought of these trails when I was a kid. Hiking was Tumbledown in Weld not the hills and mountains lining my hometown. We never thought about the true summit of Black Mountain and the views of Whitecap, Sunday River, and The Presidential Range. I suppose it's a lot like living in New York City and never thinking about visiting the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. They're like neighbors who we think will always be there.     

Whitecap from Red hill

The access road on the lower part of Red Hill.