Friday, January 6, 2012

The Mountain- Belgrade, Maine.

So, first hike of the season. I wanted something light. I worked a 16 hour shift and got home at 8 a.m. So, after only 3 hours of sleep...can someone tell me where to by kitty tranq's and a blow gun? I hoofed it out to Belgrade. I love the trails there. They are quick, generally no more than 3 miles round trip. Just enough of a challenge to make me work for it, but not so much so that I am huffing and puffing my way through the most excrutiating march of death of my life- I call that place Old Speck. I packed a lunch, a blanket and extra provisions. I tend to believe in bringing a lot more than I need on these trips. I am a clutz and have a realistic fear of falling and breaking something, or god forbid getting lost and having to camp for a night on the trail. Granted, Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance does a lovely job marking the trails, I can't be trusted not to take a wrong turn once in a while.

Because I was limited for time- I got out there at 1pm which gave me about 4 hours of trail time, I was exhausted which will make me trip more, and it was getting overcast- little did I know, I chose "The Mountain" trail. It's about 1.5 miles. You start out on a gravel road with 2 loop trails off to the sides. I usually hit both loops. One trail- the Great Pond Loop- is pretty much exclusively under trees with little view, even with the loss of the leaves, there isn't much view. You can make out Great Pond just barely in certain spots. Now, the Long Pond Loop, has nice views, an interesting trail that takes you over slabs of granite, and as of yesterday some unfortunate areas of ice. I took a wee bit of a skid and am eternally grateful I remembered my pole so I can haul my arse up when I tumble...which can be a lot. I sat down just next to the "Caution Steep Drop" sign and enjoyed some lunch, but not too long. The overcast skies meant snow which I love to hike in, but the extremely cold blast of wind I was getting nailed with made me stash my lunch and run for the end of the hands were red! Unfortunately, the only pictures I got yesterday were on my cell phone. It wasn't until I was at the trail that I realized I had forgotten to charge my camera- yup, way to go. But I REMEMBERED my head lamp...dork.

I've done this trail in Winter- Umm...January used to be winter...- and I have done it in the Summer, and I think it would not be prudent to snow shoe the trail because it really isn't very wide. I bet it would be beautiful to hike in Fall and Spring.

They are planning on doing some late night hike on one of the trails there in Belgrade. As much as I want to go, unfortunately, I am working on each of the nights they have them scheduled...bugger. Hopefully, they will do some next month.

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