Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hiking Mt Agamenticus

We were looking for a good introductory hike with a little climbing to rehab from my stroke. We saw a TV program about Mt Agamenticus, and it looked like it would fill the bill - short, (2.2 mi round trip by the "Turtle Loop",) a little climbing, (692 ft,) but no hand-over-hand, and facilities at the summit!

Mt Agamenticus is an easy drive off Rte 95 in York, Maine. There are numerous parking areas along the summit road. We parked at the bottom and started up the Ring trail and followed it in a clockwise direction to the Witch Hazel trail that leads to the summit.

The "Turtle Loop" is a relatively easy interpretive loop with some more or less gentle ups and downs and some rocky and rooty areas, especially where it steepens. All trails are very well marked.

Judy reads one of the many descriptions of flora and fauna lining the Turtle Loop

Here and there we were treated to a glimpse of the scenic vista that was to come.

On the Ring trail: a glimpse down a stream bed to the White Mountains

On the Witch Hazel trail leading to the summit, the going gets a little steeper and more rugged, but not bad at all.

The summit of Mt Agamenticus is mostly treeless, but a great variety of grasses and shrubs grow exuberantly between the rocky outcroppings. It has more the look of a post-glacial meadow than a wild and woolly mountaintop.

out of the woods, and onto the summit

And, (How civilized can you get?) a lodge at the top! not to mention porta-potties and picnic tables. 

We had a nice picnic at one of the tables and enjoyed the view.  Afterwards, I walked around the summit perimeter and took some pictures. There are also two viewing stands on the summit, affording a spectacular 360° view -- to the east, the Atlantic ocean, Cape Neddick, and even Cape Ann, and to the west, the White Mountains.

Looking Northwesterly toward the White Mountains

 Looking East to the Atlantic Ocean
Cape Neddick just behind the right branch of the tree, and Cape Ann off in the distance on the right.

Looking West to the White Mountains

View of the White Mountains from below Vulture's View

We went back down the Witch Hazel trail, and took the Ring trail down the East side of the mountain.  It seemed a little steeper and a bit more rugged than the trip up, but, again, not bad. We did get briefly lost when the Ring trail seemed to end at the summit road.  After going out on the summit road and not finding the continuation of the trail, we discovered that the trail actually took a hard left as it touched the road, and we continued on our way. 

All in all a very enjoyable hike and some spectacular scenery were just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Hike for Rehab

Well, it's been awhile.  The summer has passed with no hiking or biking to write about.  On July 8, I suffered a stroke while undergoing a cardiac stent operation.  I was lucky.  It was a mild stroke, and, although my strength, coordination and mobility were compromised, I was able to move my left arm and leg.  I spent two weeks in a rehab hospital, and have spent the rest of the summer rehabbing at home and outpatient.  Much of my rehab was a walking program to develop strength, coordination and balance.  I was finally able to do a little hike at Maudslay State Park last weekend, and again Tuesday.  Did a couple of miles with hiking poles.  Tuesday I felt more confident on the downhills and over roots and uneven ground.  Things are looking good!

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The trails at Maudslay are lovely.  The terrain is easy - gently rolling - with few bumpy parts.  Scenery is also lovely.  A wonderful place to take a rehab hike.  Will be going there every chance I get for the next few weeks.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

2013 Shakedown Hike

Took a nice hike this morning at Winnekenni Castle, around the perimeter of Kenoza Lake -- about 3.5 miles, 78°F, Hazy, 1.5 hrs -- that served as shakedown for my new hiking boots.

My previous boots were LL Bean Knife-Edge, a top-quality hiker of the time, (17 years ago.) They were rugged, dependable hikers, but a little narrow for me. I take a 4E width, and the LL Bean hikers only come in D or EE. This past winter I dropped a log and smashed the big toe of my left foot, and the 4E width became a pressing necessity, (excuse the pun.) Finding serious hiking boots in 4E width is not easy. I came across the Propét Cliff Walker hikers, which are available in 3E and 5E width. The price seemed pretty reasonable, and the reviews were pretty positive, so I ordered a pair. Reviewers said they run large, so I ordered a half-size down in 5E. Got them this past week. They are definitely a notch or two below the LL Beans in quality and apparent ruggedness -- The leather is a cheaper, more open-grained leather, and very thin -- but they are wonderfully comfortable, and give decent support.  They performed admirably on this shakedown hike. Longevity remains to be seen.

Anyway, Winnekenni and Kenoza Lake were beautiful...

Winnekenni - Kenoza Lake - 2013
Winnekenni Castle - Kenoza Lake - on the Dudley-Porter Trail

...and my feet were very happy!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Some Long-Delayed Pictures

In creating Galleries for my new blog, I've finally uploaded some pics I should have uploaded a couple of years ago:

Hope you enjoy them, and, please, feel free to browse the rest of our

Monday, May 6, 2013

After Work: Hooker Farm Loop with Judy

one of our favorite local short rides  The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
9.5mi, 13.4mph, Rolling, 68°F, sunny, Wind Southeast 7mph.
As short local rides go, this is a pretty one, and, while the climbs are still a chore for this big boy, the long, flowing downhill from Providence Hill, past Hooker Farm, to the shores of Captain's Pond is an absolute delight!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Plum Island

Lovely ride The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
12.9mi, 13.2mph, Mostly flat, 58°F, sunny, Sea breeze 6-12mph.

Worked in Newburyport this morning, so I loaded up the bike and accessories, and had a lovely ride after work from the Visitors' Center to Plum Island Refuge, Hellcat Marsh, and back.  Stubborn headwind going out, but, for once, the wind didn't shift when I got to Hellcat Marsh, so I had a lovely tailwind coming back.  Plum Island Turnpike and Refuge were beautiful, as usual. Got to use my Geezer Card for free access to the Refuge:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

To the Bike Shop and Back

Judy and I both worked today, but I had only a half-day, so I rode out to our Bike Shop, Cycles Etc, and bought a new patch kit and glue-less patches.  I have learned from experience that these should be replaced yearly, lest one finds oneself with a flat and all the glue dried up.  Of course, we always carry a spare tube as well.  That should also be inspected regularly and replaced if there's any hint of dry rot.

Nice ride The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
13.6mi, 12.6mph, Rolling, 60°F, sunny, East wind 10-15mph.
Traffic was a bit heavy, but drivers were courteous.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

After-work Ride - 4/30/13

Rode the short loop today.  Felt good, even after a full day's work.
5.4mi, 11.3mph, Hilly, 70°F, sunny, no wind

Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013 Shakedown

Took our first bike ride of the season today.  Felt good to be back on the bike.  Everything worked.  Nothing broke - including me :D

5.4 mi., 11mph, hilly, sunny, 70° light SW wind.



I have started this new blog to log our biking, hiking. and other recreational activities.  I hope to maintain a timely, detailed log here, and also post pictures and stories of some of our past experiences. 

Hope you enjoy :)