My father and his wife are visiting for the week and the kids are having a marvelous time. There is always someone willing to put together a jigsaw puzzle, play another round of Clue Mystery or Stone Soup or Parcheesi (with made up rules), read a story, or go for a walk. Unfortunately it has been raining most of the week so they haven't done many of the typical Maine touristy things. They did take Will for the afternoon on Tuesday to the Maine Maritime Museum and today the plan is to go to Acadia National Park, somewhere I have never managed to go. Yesterday we decided to take a shorter excursion up to the top of Mt Waldo, a hike that isn't too strenuous for even Julia Ellen's 2 year old legs.
When we pulled up at the rocky road that led to the base I was surprised to find a new gate across the access point with a huge sign: NO TRESPASSING VIOLATORS ARE SUBJECT TO ARREST AND PROSECUTION. Since we didn't have an alternative outing I decided to risk said arrest and the possibility of an irate farmer pointing a shotgun at us and we started up the road on foot. After a quarter mile a large dog barked at us from behind a fence and we didn't see another soul until we were resting close to the top. We had passed the now empty blueberry field and scrambled up the patches of slick granite stone that are visible from our farm as huge white patches. The children discovered patches of wild blueberries nestled among the rocky outcroppings and filled their hands with sweet berries. "I collected these for you," Timmy and Charlie said over and over to each of the adults before filling their own tummies with fruit.
As we sat there enjoying our snack and the view I saw a lone figure coming up the road. Assuming it was the farmer wanting to chase us off, we got to our feet and climbed the rest of the mountain so that we could enjoy the panoramic view from the top before we were forced to descend. After a lot of huffing and puffing from the steepness of the ascent and having to drag the children away from the berry bushes, we found the view worth the effort. The Penobscot River leading out to the bay was off to the southeast, Swan Lake was sparkling in the southwest quadrant, Bangor's and Brewer's multi-story buildings (the only city for 50 miles) were visible to the northeast. For the first time all week the weather was clear and we could see mountains 40 miles away, including one large one that I will have to look up in the Maine Gazetteer once I buy another copy to replace my ratty one that had pages missing. Our group descended the mountain with a cup full of fresh blueberries to put on our morning cereal, a very muddy Timmy and Geraldine who fell on a slick patch, and aching legs and backs that were only relieved by a bottle of Rolling Rock and a good night sleep. So, for all my fears of imprisonment and shotguns, we had a very lovely day trip.
Who was the man coming up to "get us"? An elderly hiker with his shirt tucked up so his huge belly was exposed to the sun. Nothing to fear but a little too much flab for public decency.