Thursday, October 28, 2010

Grafton Notch State Park

My first trip up to Grafton Notch was with Marcus. Grafton Notch is in Newry, Maine, in Oxford County. It was a two hour scenic drive from where I live. We started off with beautiful, sunny weather. The forecast was for "partly cloudy", which is was...up until Newry.
Actually, even Newry was pretty, it was Bear Road- not even the whole road, only the area where the park is, was overcast. We decided to take our chances.

We parked at the hiking parking lot and hit the Old Speck trail. Halfway up was a beautiful waterfall. The trail is quite intense. I had to stop quite a bit. I'm overweight, which doesn't help. I was doing the Darth Vadar breathing sounds the whole way up. We got poured on for most of the trip. But being a "trooper" (so Marcus kept calling me), I was fine with us continuing. Somehow, we accidentally re-routed ourselves on to the Eyebrow Loop trail. This was what I can call a happy accident, the clouds and rain were thick over Old Speck so there wasn't any point in trying for the top. The Eyebrow loop did scare me a little, I hate heights. But the view was marvelous...except for the sunlight that was seen reflected off the other mountains.
By accidentally re-routing on to the Eyebrow Loop, though, we found ourselves going down the up trail- or so the big arrows on the cliff face indicated. We passed over a smaller waterfall, where there were metal hand holds and ladders, then into an area where there were metal cables out for use as hand railing. Because we were going down, we actually had to turn and face up the mountain and leverage ourselves down. But like I said...the view, was well worth it all! What you see here is the road and the parking lot, the little red speck is our vehicle. From there, we hit Screw Auger Falls and then went home. We were too wet to continue exploring. I did learn that boots are actually a hiking necessity- not sneakers- and there is no shame in needing a hiking pole.

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