Monday, January 31, 2022

Black Mountain on a pretty nice Monday

Heading for a treat at warp speed for an old guy. 

Bailey and I are both pooped right now, but what a fun hike. Half way up the main slope, Bailey remembered the smorgasbord that awaited him at the top of the mountain. Seems like people have their lunches on the deck of the top hut or BBQ something on its gas burner, and then toss leftovers here and there. Mid-hike, Bailey started running toward that hut. I'll see tonight if he discovered some food and whether that food soured his stomach. That'd be a bummer because then I'd have to start leashing him. Check out the blue skies and gorgeous snow texture.   

Bald Mountain and its Saddle in the Weld area

Mount Blue

Picnic area on Black Mountain

Mount Blue

Feed me. 

"Oh, wait! There's a picnic waiting for me."

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Devil's Den, South Arm Road, Roxbury/Andover (ME)

Devil's Den from above
If you're on a laptop or computer, 
click on photos to enlarge. 

I'd seen Devil's Den on Maine Hiking's Facebook page. I've driven by the trailhead several times over the years but never knew the little canyon lurked just off the road. Yesterday, at 10 degrees, we hiked in. I would never-ever have walked on the ice if other people weren't there or I hadn't seen a path going up into the belly of the beast. Four big happy people with their very happy dogs were coming back out of the "den" when we managed our way down to the entrance.  

Before meeting these people, I noticed the river divided at the bridge. On the stream opposite Devil's Den, I saw thick ice with a six-foot circle of open water at the center. That's when I said, I'm not going up into the den. But once I'd spoken with the other folks and then entered the den, I realized this side of the river  was a solid sheet of ice.

Bailey seemed a little spooked by the whole affair. Perhaps the ice was cold on his pads. Perhaps the way I handled his leash frightened him. Maybe 10 degrees along with the solid ice got to him. Whatever the case, we made it in and out, and Bailey earned a half dozen treats. I'll come back in the summer to see if folks swim there. In fact, right now I'm going to check summer images online to see if there's a swimming hole there. (I'm so smart.)    

Walkway into Devil's Den

This solid sheet of ice at 10 degrees
may have made Bailey's pads freezing
cold. In the next pix you can see he's not
all that happy. I don't blame him and I made 
sure to treat him well after the tour. 

Not a happy hiker. 

He looks attentive, right? I'm treating Bailey... 

One summer picture. If you click on this hyperlink
or the caption below, you'll be taken to a website 
about Devil's Den that includes pictures. 

Devil's Den

Not counting but counting...


Minus 16 degrees and I forgot to fill 
the pellet stove last night. Burn, oil. Burn!

Azi with ski equipment for practice

No gloves. That just makes me shiver!

In my Facebook post bragging about 213 mountains hiked in 2021, I said I wasn't going to get trapped in the numbers game of counting mountains again. But since my hiking app, AllTrails, keeps track of numbers, it's hard not to pay attention. The numbers are motivational but in December 2021, I fell prey to focusing on getting to #210, so a bit of the fun faded. That's probably just normal. 

That said...

We're at 17 hikes now. Haha. I'm so pathetic. Some have been arctic hikes--cold and windy. One was shoveling my driveway! Half a mile of shoveling back and forth, up and down: 

Trail 728 shoveling! 

Along with 4 hikes of Whitecap and several on Red Hill and Mystery Mountain, we hiked Black Mountain on Monday, January 24--it's closed on Mondays so I feel pretty free to hike. The slopes were firm. I haven't been up Black for about a month. We were all alone on the mountain, and I found the straight up hiking a bit tiring. 

Mount Blue

You can see mill smoke from behind the mountain

Picnic spot on top of the rocks

Mount Blue in Weld

A couple of pictures from a 10-degree climb of Whitecap: 

Bailey's Carin a spot that overlooks the view below. 
I'll put some of Bailey's ashes in that Carin (rock pile)
and I'll sucker one of my nieces or nephews to dump some 
of Uncle Richie there, too. :-) 

That's a good forever view, don't you think? 

Yesterday went to Devil's Den on South Arm road. Maybe the most fun we've had in the past couple of days was 


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Arctic Climb

Yesterday, we trekked up Whitecap at about 10 degrees F with a windchill. Every time I hike or ski in cold weather, I think of a couple of my miserable experiences with cold as a kid. 

Back in my USEASA ski racing days in middle school and high school, I raced at the back of the pack at Saddleback in Rangeley. It was butt-ugly cold with a wind that shot right through us. At those temperatures, it's difficult to get the body moving--picture the Tin Man in Oz making turns on skis at 35 mph. When I got to the bottom of the race course, my body felt as if I'd be sitting next to a swimming pool at 10 degrees. Thing is, whoever was supposed to have brought my parka to the finish area forgot or missed it. That meant I had to ride up the lot with my racing outfit on. I'm sure I cried.    

Somehow, my mother and I messed up my pick up time at Black Mountain. She didn't show. I was the last one at the ski area besides the mountain manager, and I assured him my mother would be right along. Didn't happen. After waiting for 15-20 minutes, I walked a mile with my skis, boots, poles, and school bag to the nearest house to call my mother. The wind caught my skis and blew them across the road and--again--chilled me to through and through. I'm sure I wept as I trudged the road in that winter wind storm.  

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Facebook Brag Post


Loving the snow. 

I tried not to sound like a braggart when posting our 213 hikes for '21 on social media. Here's what I wrote with pictures below. I did write captions for each picture, but I'm too lazy to do that again! I received a lot of positive responses from friends and family: 


Yesterday, Bailey and I scampered up Whitecap to the western overlook on the Yellow Trail. That was Hike #213 for 2021 (last year we hiked 209). This wasn't any big athletic accomplishment on our part; more like good scheduling, access to Ibuprofen, the know-how to tape up broken toenails, luck (especially in the summer heat), and treats for the old mutt. I'm done counting hikes; now we're just going to enjoy our days on the trails. I wish the same for all of you. HYOH...