Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On Independence Day Weekend 2011

NOTE TO READERS: Once again, there was SO much to put into this post that posting it has left me exhausted. I have not spell checked myself. You have been warned.

It was a busy weekend highlighted by many enjoyable and entertaining events.

There are many pictures.

Most of my hike.

I slept in Saturday. It felt good. But I didn't sleep in TOO late. I had a date with a hill who calls himself a mountain. (Okay, I know I need to get over my reservation of calling the Camden Hills "mountains". According to mountain definitions, they ARE mountains. Just like there are Mountains in the Ozarks. It's just hard...).

Once I got up, I strapped on my boots, loaded my pack, finished my brunch, and headed to the trail head. I am SO lucky! There is a trail head up the mountain that is about a 10 minute walk from my HOUSE!! How GREAT is that?

Let me take this time real quick to tell you all what I have told many already. I ALWAYS feel SO over-prepared when I go hiking. I had my pack with me. In it was the following: 3 water bottles, a cliffs bar, trail mix, a sandwich, a banana, a first aid kit, my rain coat and hat, my journal, bug spray, keys, camera, and extra batteries. I wore a moisture wicking t-shirt, bandana, and hiking boots (to be fair, I ALWAYS wear these boots because they are SO comfortable and I walk to work every day). Most people had themselves, a camera, and maybe a SMALL pack (maybe fanny pack size). One or two had a small backpack sized pack. And there were some who had NOTHING but the clothes on their backs. Some were even wearing flip-flops. Now I know that the flip-flop wearing people who had no water are just really bad hikers and were severely unprepared. I mean it IS a "mountain" (there I go again). But still...

Okay. Time for pictures.


The first picture I took: Yellow asters growing up a hill.


There ARE some tricky parts up this side of the mountain, but you are CONSTANTLY rewarded by view after BEAUTIFUL view of the surrounding area.


It was kind of cloudy for the first part. I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't rain.


This is one of those tricky parts I was talking about.

Here's another one.

Really, random person? A skull graffiti? Okay, I admit, I thought it was a little clever or I wouldn't have taken the photo. STILL. ZERO points to that person on their Leave No Trace skills.

View of the middle school and their baseball field. If there weren't trees in the way I would be able to see my house.


My first view of the harbor from the side of the mountain. STILL not at the top.


Here it is again, a little closer. Camden is SO cute!


More of Maine Mountains and Camden (the NOT downtown part).

The cemetery near where I live. I have yet to take a walk there, but I will soon. Or maybe that's something to be left for the pensive and cooler months of Autumn.


Nope. still not at the top. But one of the vistas did provide a nice view of Penaobscot Bay. I want you to know I just spent two minutes trying to decide is it was spelled Penabscot or Penobscot (knowing that it was either an "a" before the "b" or an "o"). I gave up and looked it up and I guess it's BOTH. Crazy Maine names.

The side of the mountain.

Looking up the Mountain (about halfway from the top).

Lowbush BLUEBERRIES! I guarantee (I HATE the word guarantee. I NEVER spell it right) that I will be back up there at the end of the month to HARVEST!


A little rock house that someone made and left behind.


A giant pile of rocks. I didn't add to it.


A city of little stone towers. I feel like these have a name (Trail blazers? Something like that?). I can't think of it.

I added the tiny rock to the top of this one.


The distant mountains and islands of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. One of these days I will GET there.

Once I got to the top, things began to flatten out. Green mountain tops have their own style of rugged beauty.


Random little stone fort.


Oh LOOK. The tower in the SUNLIGHT. You can see things AROUND it!


Stairs.

From the top of the tower.

Closer up, Camden and the harbor from the top of the tower.

Bar harbor and Acadia from the tower.

Last view from the tower I promise.

Tower arch.



I know I have already shown you a billion pictures of the harbor and what not. With this one I want you to look hard. Past the harbor, past the bulk of land south of the harbor (or to the right of the harbor). To that hazy, thin strip of land in the distance. Do you see it? That's Owls Head. I used to live near that strip of land. Sigh...the memories...(Ew, sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit).


A cute little bog on top of the mountain. I bet you didn't think you would hear the words cute and bog put together, did you?


I don't know what these are but they were next to the bog and LOVELY.

It's the very beginning of mushroom season and I am back to taking pictures of all of them.

See how tiny? Why do I love them so much?


Okay that was Saturday. I also did laundry. I walked ALL the way to the nicer, "GREENER" laundromat. And they closed early that day. Great. So I had to walk from THERE (luggin ALL my laundry in my big red pack) to the OTHER laundromat. The one that is a 5 minute walk from my house. UG. Oh well. Clean laundry.

NOW I want all of you to be jealous. Because I made THIS for my Independence Day Eve/Break the Fast dinner.


THIS is a turkey burger. I cooked it in a blend of garlic, rosemary, and lemon pepper. I topped it with smoked Gouda, red onion, and a raspberry balsamic honey mustard that I made myself. It was pretty much the best turkey burger I have ever had in my LIFE. Maybe the best burger EVER. In addition to that, I made a BLT macaroni salad with a tomato basil seasoning and sweet potato fries baked in cinnamon, raw granulated sugar, and nutmeg.

Best dinner I have had since I've been here? Well, that's hard to tell. I've had some pretty amazing dinners. I never TOLD you about what I had at the Old World Potato Company!

Briefly: tomato Parmesan soup (ALWAYS get soup when you can), a side salad with their HOMEMADE sun dried tomato vinaigrette, and the LA VIVA. A peanut butter, banana, honey, and BACON sandwich on whole wheat bread. Was it amazing? Yes. Was it life changing? Yes. Because now I will always crave this sandwich and NEVER make it for myself because It hurts to think of how NOT that good for me it is.

Okay moving on.

I also made this on Sunday. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread. It's only dark chocolate because the only kind of peanut butter I had WAS dark chocolate. And YES, it is a very wonderful banana bread. But NEXT time I will add less nutmeg. Really, that's pretty much the only thing I can taste.

This is where I spent the REST of Independence Day Eve. Sitting on the lawn of the Camden Village Green. I got there early for their traditional Independence Day Eve fireworks. But all there was to see was fog.

But there was still a chance of a free concert and MAYBE fireworks. So I waited for an hour and 1/2, reading Harry Potter and writing more of the Bear Brook Massacre.

The concert started and they announced that the fireworks were officially cancelled for the night. Then the band started playing. They were a fun group but the SECOND they started, the rain started also. I gave the whole thing up as a bad job and just gathered my blanket and book and walked home.

MONDAY: INDEPENDENCE DAY 2011

At noon, I went to my branch presidents house to have a cookout with his family and a couple other families he invited to attend. The burgers were good (meat, cheese, onions, on a bun), there were many good fruit, pasta, and green salads. I ate to much. I had the best woopie pie IN MY LIFE (homemade) and it was a grand time.

THEN, I went with Kathy to her cousin's place on a pond/lake (from here on out known as P/L NOT to be confused with R/L).

The second I got there I was hurried onto their motorboat. An Uncle Sam hat was pressed into my hands along with a red, white, and blue lei. And I was part of THIS...


A local boat parade. Something they do every year. People dress up, decorate their boats, and bring sound-makers. They then go slowly around the P/L for the enjoyment of everyone sitting on their docks.


Yes. For your amusement, I asked one of Kathy's relative to take a picture of me in my Uncle Sam hat and patriotic lei. We got a lot of laughs from the observers.


A view of the pond from the dock.

It was a grand afternoon/evening. After we got back from the parade, I went and kayaked around the P/L. I went through a culvert that went under the road and into a peaceful pond with water lilies, and grasses. There was no sound but the swish of my paddle in the water.

I spied a hiding heron, I raced the water beetles, and I glided along with a family of Canada Geese. It was sublime.

Then I got back to the main P/L and there were people tubing with motorboats. NOT was peaceful but still enjoyable. The sun wasn't too bad and there was a gentle breeze. I want to make kayaking my next hobbie (well, when I become gainfully employed, that is).

After that it was a dinner of LOBSTER!! My first time eating one out of it's shell. YUM. SO good! But a little tedious. And as good as it was, I don't know if I appreciate the whole "cracking into it" part of the experience like native Mainers do. I got halfway through before I was too full to go on. It was great to scratch that quintessential Maine experience off my list.

I hope these videos work. Two short ones of the fireworks shot of on the P/L. Technically illegal. Maine is making fireworks legal next year, so I hear.

The longer one is the fireworks a particular family shoots off every year. The shorter one is one of the fireworks a Kathy relative shot off from their dock.

video video


Overall, it was a grand weekend. SO busy that I didn't even have time to think to myself "aw, it's a family holiday and I'm not with my family. (frowney face)". It was MUCH better than last year. To end this post, I give you this: Taken Tuesday morning on my way to work.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day.

What the foot! It's JULY?!?!?!


1 comment:

Peeser said...

"This is a burger made out of meat on a bun. You can add ketchup if you like; I couldn't care less..."

(Yeah, you get the hilarious picture!)

Despite the onion, that turkey burger did look pretty amazing. So did the banana bread.

I'm glad you got to hike Mt. Battie sans fog and mist. That is a pretty awesome view!

And your 4th sounds like it was fantastic! (Have you ever been tubing? It's kind-of freaky but so much fun! Of course, I AM jealous that you got to go kayaking. I would love to try that someday...)

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