Friday, July 20, 2018

Midweek Running

Slept in on Monday. I had originally intended to get out Monday through Friday this week as I knew I wouldn't be running over the weekend due to crewing Ryan at the VT100 and I had hoped to hit 40 miles this week but Monday just didn't happen. That's OK. Sometimes extra sleep is what is needed and another week in the mid-30s is fine too.

Tuesday morning I got up and out early into the foggy morning for a run on the cart paths. Kept the effort steady and didn't stop for any photos ;) Did see one groundhog and one Belted Kingfisher though. (6.0 miles)

Wednesday, I headed out onto the powerlines. I was hoping for a sunrise but it was too overcast. Too humid too. The weather app said 99%. Seriously. Talk about sweaty! Regardless, a nice run with lots of brilliant wood lilies blooming in amongst the brush and a few blueberry stops too :) (7.0 miles)

Yesterday, I took the day off to make sure everything got done before we head to VT this morning, so after dropping Sam off at camp at the Y, I ran the Whiskeag Trail out to Thorne Head. It's a great 5 mile trail that runs through the woods along Whiskeag Creek to its confluence with the Kennebec River. There are a few road crossings but otherwise, the trail feels fairly remote, especially for being right outside of Bath. Of course, it is also really really rooty and fairly technical, so, for me at least, it is just not fast running. But no matter, it was a lovely day with bright sunshine, no humidity (YAY!) and a nice breeze. The woods were quiet and shaded and it was a fun meander. I stopped at a few of the viewpoints and then once I got to Thorne Head, ran up the main trail to the overlook and then looped in and around and everywhere on the different trails to get in some additional mileage. I felt pretty good, and it was a great way to start the day because once I got home I was going a mile a minute baking and cleaning and packing for VT!!! (14.0 miles)

Always love this stretch along the horse field near Sewall Woods

Kennebec views

Thorne Head vista

Trail along the water

Stone Steps!

The current was flowing really fast today!

Lily pads

Joe pye weed along the edge of the creek. Saw an osprey fly overhead here!

Lily pad 💗

This morning, I was up and out early in the cool morning air. Really lovely out with crisp air, clear skies and a beautiful glow as the sun rose over the Heath. Ran the cart paths and added on the lollypop down to the river and back. A good way to kick off the day! And now it is off to VT! Looking forward to crewing and cheering and supporting Ryan in his adventure this year and to seeing all our friends out on the course too! (8.1 miles)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Blueberry Mountain Hike

Sam did such a great job hiking up Pleasant Mountain that we thought we'd get out again on Sunday for day hike. With Ryan tapering and me still building back from after Laurel, and nothing on our schedule for the day, I did some research and we decided on Blueberry Mountain over in Evans Notch. The description included ledges, blueberries and a natural pool near the end of the hike to enjoy. Sounded perfect!

The morning, however, got off to an inauspicious start with a detour enroute, which turned into us thinking we could take another route, which turned into Google sending us off into neverneverland and taking us on the most inefficient route ever to Evans Notch. And to top it all off, Sam ended up getting car sick about 10 minutes from the trailhead. All. over. the. car. Although amazingly, she didn't get any of it on her own self. Still, ewwww!!! 😁😖😷😑 And so stinky. Ryan hates the smell of vomit and was simply horrified and convinced we would have to sell the car.

We pulled over and did the best we could cleaning things up with wipes, hand sanitizer and tissues 😂😜 then backtracked to the Stow Country Store in the hopes of finding some better cleaning products and assessing the situation. They didn't have any cleaning supplies for sale but the very nice woman behind the counter lent me some of her own supplies and a few rags to clean things up a bit more. While I did that, Sam and Ryan sat and she had some gatorade and something to eat and felt much better. After sitting for a while, she was up for continuing with our plans to hike, with the caveat that we turn around if she started feeling badly again.

And so, after much ado, we were off again. And after a not so good start to the day, it really turned out to be a great hike!

We took the White Cairn Trail up, which begins about a 1/4 mile in off someone's private road and winds steeply up through the hardwoods. It was fairly cool out but very humid so we took our time and stopped a lot for Sam to drink Gatorade. After a mile or so, the trail climbed up through some huge erratics on steep stone steps and we hit the edge of the Caribou Speckled Mountain Wilderness. Shortly after, we began to ascend up along the edge of some rocky ledges with beautiful views out into Evans Notch and lots of blueberries to pick in and amongst the rock slabs and pine trees.

We stopped for a snack, admired the view, and then meandered our way along the trail, stopping to pick blueberries as we went.

We did an additional loop out to the lookout atop Blueberry Mountain, which was well worth it! So so many blueberries!

After coming back off the lookout loop, we took the Stone House trail down to Rattlesnake Pool through a hardwood forest. Sam was tired and it was a slow go, but we knew she'd be excited about the pool and she certainly was! It was a gorgeous spot. A super deep turquoise water natural pool with small brook trout swimming in it fed by a moss-covered waterfall. When we arrived, there were a handful of people there, but by the time we left, there must have been 30 people there. Definitely a popular spot!

Sam loves the water and was brave enough to jump in. Three time 😃 Of course, the water was freezing and we didn't carry a change of clothes with us so she had to hike the 3/4 mile out soaking wet, but I think she'd say it was worth it! A great way to end the hike! (5.0 miles hiked) 

We stopped back by the Stow Country Store on the way back home for ice cream. Perfect! 🍦 And the way home was thankfully much less eventful! 😂😀

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Enjoying the Tastes and Sights of Summer

Friday morning I had plans to get up early and go over to Bradbury but honestly, I wasn't really feeling it, so I relaxed a bit and had an extra cup of coffee instead, took Sam to camp, hit the farmer's market for some fresh produce and ripe berries and then headed out from home around 9:00 am onto the powerlines.

It was a beautiful morning, with warm sun shining overhead and a cool breeze blowing. My legs felt kinda dead so I took it easy, stopping often to enjoy the blueberries and raspberries that I found trailside, taking photos of the beautiful wood lilies, stopping to enjoy the deer leaping through the brush and the two Monarchs I spotted on the way back, flitting amongst the milkweed and spreading dogbane. So lovely. (8.0 miles)

Puddle frog

A new gnome marker...


Meanwhile, Sam was having a great time at camp, roasting marshmallows and hotdogs! Sounds fun to me!

This morning, I got out a little before 7:00 am and headed into the Cathance. Another nice morning, although a bit more humid than Friday. I headed past the Heath and down along the river, taking the trail out to Head of Tides. Took my time and just enjoyed the scenery, which included one deer, one wood frog, black raspberries out near Head of Tides (yum!), a few bullfrogs, lots of summer wildflowers and some blueberries too. Legs thankfully felt a bit more peppy today! (13.0 miles)

I had told Ryan and Sam about all the blueberries I found on a stretch of trail I don't normally traverse along the powerlines plus a new patch of wood lilies too, so after lunch we rallied to get Sam off the couch ;) and out for a walk around 2:00. It was kind of overcast and cool with a good breeze, perfect for walking. We saw lots of wildflowers including fireweed, spreading dogbane, swamp candles, bunchberries, rose rugosa, milkweed and of course wood lilies, blueberries and raspberries! We had a long stop early on to pick a good amount of blueberries and then continued on across Highland Green Road, enjoying the sweet smell of the hay-scented ferns and marveling at the cinnamon ferns as big as Sam! From there, we found a few nice patches of raspberries further along to snack on, finally turning around about 1.75 miles in. Also saw one Monarch! Yay! Sam did a great job, and it was a really nice afternoon for a walk and to stop and eat berries :) (3.5 miles walked)


Yum! Blueberries!

Wood lily

Swamp candle


Rose rugosa