Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beech Mountain and Southwest Harbor

We hiked up Beech Mountain this morning, a short, easy climb. Still, it was more exercise than we'd gotten on our entire trip last month.

I like hiking. I'm not passionate about it, although I enjoy getting to the top of a mountain and admiring the scenery along the way. It's a refreshing change of pace from our usual city walks — it gives me a wide variety of fresh topics for complaining, for example. I can grouse about the length of the journey, the trail, my feet, our guidebook, the weather, the bugs, the lack of interesting mushrooms, being hungry, the view, etc. I have been known to complain all the way up and down a mountain without becoming overly repetitive. But if the trail is slightly challenging, I have to be quiet and concentrate on putting one foot safely in front of the other. It's impossible to worry about anything else except where my foot has to go. And that is even more interesting than complaining.

There are times in life when all you can really do is concentrate on taking your very next step — and hiking is among the more pleasant of those situations. And I think it's good practice for the other, harder times. The times you didn't choose to experience.

Here are some scenes from Beech Mountain; the trail was wet, so I didn't get to do a lot of complaining.

The trail, very different from Beacon Street....

A view  of Long Pond from partway up the mountain

The ledges on the summit, where I complained about being hot and thirsty.

We spent the afternoon at the inn, eating sandwiches and fruit, and reading and swimming. We were lucky to have a pink sunset down on the dock. We never get tired of photographing the dinghies bobbing in lavender and rosy water:

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