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So as not to repeat myself excessively, I am reducing the amount of description of trails that have already been posted. Please use the search function ( upper left) to find older posts which have more detailed trail descriptions and pictures. You can also use this to find specific hikes either by trail or mountain.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

1/30/12 Walden

Late start because of an eye appointment ( me- I'm OK ) so we just went to Walden to wander for two hours- and I do mean wander. I mostly let Kelley choose the trails, some of which weren't really trails, and we eventually found ourselves unable to find the trail and did a fair amount of bushwhacking until we found one. Kelley was, as usual, just glad to be out and didn't mind wandering among the brush. ( She was very disappointed this morning when I got my coat on to go out to the doctors and didn't take her) . Not much photography going on as my vision was still blurry from the eye exam. Still it was good to be out in the woods with the sun shining and Kelley enjoying herself.

1/29/12 Marsh Island

Didn't feel like a long drive so we went to Marsh Island. These trails can be confusing for me but today we managed to go where I intended. When we got to the river we turned toward the south and were pleasantly surprised when we got to the difficult part ( where we usually turn back) to find the marsh completely frozen which allowed us to skirt the bad part and go to to near the start on Penobscot St. Someone had preceded us and we followed his track hoping he was at least as heavy as me. We then turned back and walked to the Old Town end of the river trail before returning the way we had come.

I was taking a picture of this concrete post when Kelley decided she added to the composition.

A pleasant 2 1/2 hour outing.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

1/28/12 Breakneck and Carriage Roads

Mix of sun and clouds but little wind and temps around 30. The Breakneck and carriage roads loop seemed like a good idea. There was still a bit of ice on the trails but easily walked around.

Clear water

This is a small stream that spreads out over the rocks and I hesitate to cal it a 'waterfall' but it looks dramatic in winter.

When we got to the stream crossing the water was higher than I had seen it before and the stepping stones were under water. We searched both up and downstream for a suitable crossing but all seemed to promise wet feet at best and possibly worse. We opted to return to our car to make the short drive to the visitor center and continue from there. On the way out we met a Border Collie pup and his owners and that was fun for Kelley.

From the visitor center parking we walked down and did the Witch Hole Pond Loop. The footing was good as it was mostly packed and pocked snow with small icy patches.

Witch Hole Pond from the start of the hike

and near the end

We met several other people - some with dogs - out enjoying the day. Not a bad hike 3 hours.

Friday, January 27, 2012

1/27/12 The Hood

We woke up to snow with a forecast of more snow, sleet, freezing rain, and regular rain. We went for a walk around the neighborhood because Kelley so loves the snow. We had to go by Sarge's house but he wasn't home. On the way back Kelley's old friend Gracie was outside and there was a joyous reunion- they had not seen each other in a long time. After I cleared the drives - with Kelley watching and waiting patiently, I had to go to the library and so we also had a short walk downtown ( no pictures).

1/26/12 Buzzy Brook Trails - Sunkhaze

Still looking to avoid icy sloping trails and we got a late start because the city needed to change my water meter. Sunkhaze is flat and only a little over 20 miles from home. Cold but sunny and little wind. Last time we were here we had tried to find the South Buzzy Brook trail from the McLaughlin Road and did not succeed so today we went at it from the north trail to the South Buzzy Brook Trail.

Last summer we had also tried from this trail and were stopped by this very wet marshy area. Today it was frozen and we continued across and the trail did continue and took us out to the road. We now know where to access the trail from the road.

We backtracked to the fork and turned south hoping we were on the other branch which would take us to Little Buzzy Brook. Again, we were wrong and the trail ( indicated by black dots) took us back to the North Buzzy Brook Trail near the brook.

The brook was completely frozen as well as the marshy area around it.

After exhaustive investigation, Kelley accepted this fact also.

We took the North Buzzy Brook back to where we had started. Next time we will try starting from where we came out by the brook and see if we can find that other trail. Still a pretty good hike. No wet feet and no spills. 2 3/4 hours

1/25/12 South of Kebo Street

Mix of sun and clouds with temps in the 20's . Still lots of ice on the trails so we went to an area we use in winter. The road that leads into the park is gated in winter but you can park next to the golf course and walk in. We started west on the loop road which was mostly clear

but with a few areas of snow or ice where shade prevailed.

I thought we would walk up to Kebo or the Gorge to check their condition but Kelley wanted to take the Stratheden which is relatively flat ( she is smarter than I am sometimes) .

We walked to the Jesup Path near the nature center and took that to the Tarn. There is an interesting but sometimes difficult rocky trail through a field of boulders I thought we might be able to get around if the Tarn was frozen. It was but not along the edge so we gave that up.

From the Tarn we took the new trail back to the Jesup and the followed the new boardwalk. In the past this trail was often impassable because it was under water. Kelley thinks this might be a good spot for lunch.

From there to the Hemlock, up the loop road east and back, explored a trail not on the map that just went to the highway, then took the Great Meadow loop that brought us back to our car. Lots of variety and not much ice. 3 hours

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1/24/12 Gorham Mtn. and Ocean Path

Foggy morning but supposed to clear later ( lessened some but didn't really clear). In light of all the ice we have had to deal with we went to the Sand Beach area which offers some alternatives.

And , of course, started with the beach for Kelley. The barrier is to keep people off the fragile dunes. The upper part of the Beehive is shrouded in fog.

Kelley doesn't like large waves but likes the fresh water stream that flows into the ocean here.

We crossed the road from the parking area and started up the Bowl Trail , thinking if conditions were good we might try Champlain. Turned out to be very icy in spite of the warmer temps and we had to do a lot of off trail to get around the ice. So, Champlain was out but we would go to the Bowl before turning back.

We did so much bushwhacking that we inadvertently ended up on the Gorham Mountain Trail and decided to just continue to Gorham rather than go to the Bowl.

Not much of a view from the summit but the trail had been easier than the Bowl Trail.

We continued on the Gorham Trail down to the Ocean Path. This seemed mostly ice free so we continued south to Otter Point before turning back and following the trail back to Sand Beach. There was some surf and that combined with the clouds and fog made for a scenic walk.

This is Thunder Hole, a narrow cleft that under the right conditions produces huge noisy wave action. I have never actually seen it in it's spectacular phase, though I've checked many times. There is a gate at the top ( open today) with the sign "closed- dangerous conditions" - I'm waiting for them.

In spite of the dangerous ice it was a nice hike with lots of natural beauty to observe. 3 1/4 hours