Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Up, down, and repeat...

It was another good day today, a day of two ups and downs plus some other walking on the side. I guess I should say it was good other than Denise getting dive-bombed (and bitten) by black flies on our second hike. Yikes! I was very lucky; the evil little bugs don't seem to like me.

Back to our day...

It was a blue sky day, cooler than yesterday but still shorts weather. Denise wanted to do the Gorham Mountain trail as a loop, so we left the car at Sand Beach and headed down the Ocean Path. We stopped often to soak in the scenery and to chat with other people walking on the path. When we reached the Gorham Mountain trailhead we started our first up of the day. This is one of Denise's favorite trails so we knew it would be a good walk.

It's usually quiet when we're here, but the three-day weekend plus beautiful weather means that both the trail and the park were a bit crowded. Many of the people we were sharing the trail with were hiking up Gorham Mountain then turning around and returning the same way. For some reason many of them turned around before the true summit. The trail has a number of wonderful viewpoints near but not at the top. There were a few other people who kept hiking; we chatted with them at the top, and they were happy that the hordes didn't continue. Wow - that means it's not just Denise who likes to hike in quiet.

Oh! I don't want to forget to tell you this. We stopped for a few minutes at a viewpoint, and after looking at the scene below us Denise looked around the space where we were standing. She saw a lady slipper tucked into the vegetation surrounding the rocks. It was pink and perfect, so nice!

We stopped at the summit before heading down the other side. Down, down... The trail on the down side is a bit harder than the trail on the up side. There are places where I decided to ride in the camera bag; Denise was hopping between rocks so she didn't get her feet wet or mucky. I think the trails here could be a bit nasty if in wet conditions.

Close to the end of the trail we stopped again to watch people climbing the Beehive. It's not a trail that we'll do because Denise doesn't like the kind of exposure that is part of doing a trail where you need to climb up iron rungs pounded into the rock. There were lines of people snaking up the cliff. Amazing.

Ah, the end of the trail... It was time for a snack, then time to decide on our next hike. We headed to the west side of the island for our next wander.

Up again... this time up Beech Mountain. The trail headed through the woods. It split fairly close to the bottom of the trail so Denise stopped to check her trail guide. Both trails ended in the same spot, but the one to the right was supposed to have better views. As the trees opened up we could see Long Pond and beyond. There is a fire tower at the top, and it's possible to walk up one level in the tower. That wasn't the top, but it was high enough for Denise; both the structure and the stair treads were open metal. the stairs were really really steep too. It was a good view from there, but Denise preferred the view from just a little lower.

I think we'll be walking Beech Mountain again on another trip. Maybe the next time I can convince Denise to do the big loop, heading out the Valley Trail to hike down to Long Pond, then completing the loop by climbing back up the mountain.

I wonder where we'll wander tomorrow.

--- Rover