Sunday, December 31, 2023

Michal's Holiday Card

Click on photo to enlarge. 


We received a fun holiday card from Michal (Slovakia, 2004), Hana, and Simon! Michal was here nearly 20 years ago. Wow! He loved soccer and skiing with the Mountain Valley HS kids. Now, he's all grown up... a dad, even! So wonderful to see his mom and dad, sister and brother. How lucky we were to know Michal and to have him in our extended family.    

Last Hike of 2023: #153

 Happy New Year from our Home to Yours

In 2023, most of our hikes were smaller mountains in the range of 3 - 4.5 miles. The rainy summer didn't help but the old bones slowed us down. But nevertheless, we got out there. That's the name of the game: Keep moving. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Back-to-back hikes with the old dog

See the puppy in the Old Dog? Click on pictures to enlarge. 

On Christmas and Boxing Day, we ventured out after work, and between football games, to take small hikes on local mountains. These days it feel more like November or April than late December. Right now, I kind of like that, especially after the flood. 

I may have written this earlier on, but I'm too lazy to check, but hiking with Bailey is like hiking with a DEA sniffer dog. He doesn't let much pass by without a probing sniff. Rarely, is he in my sight. When I run into another hiker, I always ask, "Are you bothered by an unleashed dog?" They look around as if to say, "What dog?" "He's sniffing most everything about a quarter mile back."   

Hiking with Bailey these days also gets me thinking about our last hike together. With the condition of his hips, that last hike could be any day now. Last year on Whitecap Mountain, a hiker asked me why he was still hiking once she discovered his age. She went on to explain that her older dog had retired from hiking the year before. "Ah," I said. "Well, Bailey's a mountain dog and this is where he belongs."  


Christmas Day... up Yellow Trail to the Saddle; back down to the Connector Trail and across to Orange Trail and down. 

Boxing Day on Mystery Mountain

We hadn't been on Mystery Mountain for about a month or more. Even though it was a bit muddy, I enjoyed the hike. So'd Bailey... :-) 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Flood: Rumford and Camps in Weld

Coos Canyon at the beginning of the flood
Click on photos to enlarge. Use a laptop or computer to view, if possible. 

We had torrential rains on Sunday and Monday, December 17-18. Currently, December 19, we're on an island as both sides of Prospect Avenue are flooded. Check out how close the water is to the bridge in a photo below. On a selfish note: a stroke of luck, my van is usually parked in a bay down near Community Energy's Variety store. That now has 3-4 feet of water in it. On a sad note: four people in a car attempted to cross a bridge over the Swift River from Rumford to Mexico on Monday night. They did not know about the flash flood and were swept away. Two made it to the shore. Two died--a grandmother and her daughter, a former Mountain Valley HS student. 

The high school is open as a shelter for those who need heat, food, a bed, or clothing. On this Thursday morning...  flood waters are receding. Roads have been washed out and bridges destroyed. The crews are working to open roads from, for example, Route two from Rumford to Bethel. A lot of Rumford folks work at Sunday River. It's sunny today but cold, so the utility crews can work on electric poles and ski areas can make snow. 

The green bridge onto the island. Look how close the
water is to the bed of the bridge. 

The reflections make judging the water depth difficult. 

The interior of the building on the left has been under
construction for the past 6 months. A new restaurant...

Dan's auto sales 1/2 mile from my home

West on Prospect Avenue--150 yards from my home.

West on Prospect Avenue 

The Rumford Falls

You probably know what's coming...

What remains of the covered bridge. Breaks my heart. 

Rum/Mex bridge and Hosmer Fields

Downtown Mexico

Hosmer Field complex

South Rumford Road

South Rumford road

Drone footage the day after. Note how high the
water is to the bridge and to the island itself. 

Burt's Point, Webb Lake, Weld, Maine
Use a large screen on a computer or laptop to view these pictures.

The high water swept across Burt's Point and moved stairs, logs, brush, and debris. The water marks on the Edwards and Kent camps look to be two feet up from there base. The Edwards, Kent, and Little House all have silt and mud inside. I'm sure that's the same with the Ogilvie's Burt Camp. 

Fred was doing what Fred always does: fixing stuff, including the hole in the Edwards' camp roof from a pine branch, cutting up downed trees, moving this, searching for that. We'll have to have a work party this spring time. The biggest issue is the brush and debris beneath the camps entangled with the plumbing. Fingers crossed the stuff won't damage pipes. 

High water mark on glass

Ogilvie Bike House

Kent c amp

Fred's handiwork at $14 per hour. Price goes up to $15 on January 1st

The circle

Debris field near septic mound at Kent Camp

High Water Mark

High Water Mark--thin dirt mark

Hired help... trustworthy, loyal, kind, obedient,
cheerful, brave, clean and reverent all for $14 per hour.   


Front porch. 

Fred fixing his mouse catching machine. 

Bailey assisting Fred

Cheerful hired help

Debris at Edwards'

Basketball backboard

Flood remnants

Bike House. 

Debris near brook

Fred, Fred, Fred... :-)

Debris behind Kent camp

Debris behind Kent camp

Little House stairs gone

Burt camp beach

Debris at Edwards

Bailey searching for dead things to eat. 

Ice field on beach 

Julie's future garden. :-) 

The calm after the storm.