AUGUST IN MAINE
Fog rolls in slowly
Replaced by the scorching sun
The sea breeze gives relief.
I set my alarm this morning (on my day off which I rarely do!) and got up early so I could catch the 8:30am shuttle to the Sieur de Monts area. My goal was to transfer to the Park Loop shuttle and get dropped off at the trailhead for the Champlain North Ridge Trail. It was already way to hot and humid at 8:30 am! This was going to be one hot hike. I wanted to get an earlier start to beat the heat but am limited by the shuttle schedule. Perseverance is the name of the game today! I started my hike this morning trailing two couples accompanied by their dogs. We traded taking the lead all the way to the summit. I truly felt sorry for the dogs. They had water for them but still had to stop frequently during the steep mile climb to the summit of Mt. Champlain. And the rocky granite trail was heating up fast and must have been hot on their little paws!
I was well-equipped with water and snacks. A year ago, in the Tetons I purchased a small Camelbak pack called the L.U.X.E. NV. It is just the right size for me for both hiking and biking, and has a 3-liter capacity water bladder. What I really love about this small pack is that it has a magnetic attachment for the water line that very nicely stays put while hiking. Since using this pack, I have found that I stay much better hydrated on the trail. I can take small sips as I am hiking instead of needing to stop and pull water bottles out of side pockets! I started the day with 2-liters of water which I was sure would be adequate for the 5 mile hike. 😊
I’m going to offer up a list of some of my favorite hikes – starting with this mornings hike. Short, sweet entries detailing route and mileage with pictures – starting with two of my most recent hikes.
CHAMPLAIN MOUNTAIN TO BLACKWOODS CAMPGROUND
Take the Park Loop shuttle to the Champlain North Ridge Trail, hike up and over Champlain Mountain. Take the Champlain South Ridge Trail to the Bowl Trail. Two choices depending on weather and preferences – take the Bowl Trail to the Ocean Path Trail and hike along the cliffs until reaching the Gorham Mountain Trailhead parking lot. Take the Gorham Mountain Trail to its junction with the Otter Cove Trail. Pick up this trail and hike the Quarry Trail back to Blackwood’s Campground. Alternately, you can take the Gorham Mountain North Trail off the Bowl Trail and hike up and over Gorham Mountain – picking up the Otter Cove Trail on the other side. Either route gives you about a 5.7 mile hike.
SARGENT AND PENOBSCOT MOUNTAINS
Park at the Jordon Pond Boat Launch Parking Area and take the Jordon Pond Path to the Around Mountain Carriage Road. Hike this to the Deer Brook Trail and start your ascent. Vere off onto the East Cliffs Trail (.8-mile steep climb) and take this to the summit of Sargent. Pick up the South Ridge Trail to Penobscot Trail via the Sargent Mtn. Pond. After summiting Penobscot Mountain continue on this trail to its junction with the Spring Trail. This steep descent lands you at the carriage road back to the Jordon Pond Path and the parking lot at boat launch. Approximately a 5.4-mile loop hike.
Hiking with a swollen, rolled ankle was not pleasant. Once I got back to the parking lot, I felt a sigh of relief that I did not injure it more. Back at the trailer, I was surprised how swollen it was when I took my boot off! Iced it up, and was lucky that it was just a sprain. Three weeks later, I’m fully healed!!