full circle in the hundred acre wood


Great Long Pond on Mount Desert Island in Maine is a water source for the local community. On one side is Beech Mountain. We climbed to the old fire tower there on Saturday, then returned on Sunday to hike two miles of shoreline on (what you see as) the left side and then turned upward and inland toward Bernard Mountain and Little Notch.

Buck and I are packing for the trip home tomorrow, so there’s only time for a few photos and word snips from Sunday’s hike. It was something else.

It’s called the Western Mountains hike. It begins at the Long Pond pumphouse and continues for two miles of the most spectacular shoreside scenery one could imagine. Buck observed that one reason this part of the trail is so dangerous is because the sheer gorgeousness of the lake draws the eye to it and away from the sharp rocks at ground level ready to trip you up.


We stopped for lunch at a huge outcropping of granite hanging over Long Pond.  Later, when the trail turned sharply upward toward the notch between Mansell Mountain and Bernard Mountain, the trail deteriorated dramatically. When we weren’t balancing on rocks and avoiding the black muck in the path, (which looked like it would be a running stream during wet season), we were duck-walking over a complex latticework of heavy tree roots.

IMG_1541  This is the path.


 IMG_1544 And this is the path. 

IMG_1546 And so is this.

The sharp, clean aroma of spruce was exhilarating.

Evidence of storms was clear in some places, where large falling trees took smaller ones with them, coming to rest in a pile of wood, foliage and cascading boulders.

Each difficult portion of the trail was followed by a smooth, chartreuse pathway of moss, ferns and comic red toadstools.

IMG_1536  And then, suddenly around the next bend there would be a wicked witch’s idea of fun, as though the trees had been hurled into the air and slammed back down again all helter-skelter like a giant’s package of all-brown pick-up sticks.

This is life, I thought. Again and again, this is life. Get ready. Stay ready. Buckle up and hunker down. Don’t be deluded.

With each new footfall safely placed, I thought: Yes. There is satisfaction and pleasure in the solving of this small problem. Maybe we will make it home for supper, after all.


0 thoughts on “Life Is Like. . . A Path In The Woods

  1. DSK says:

    Nice pictures.
    You’re correct that in the spring you can count on many Maine trails to be creeks (although I’ve never been to the Acadia park area), when they aren’t rock scrambles.
    And swarming with black flies.
    And very colorful slugs.
    My wife loves hiking in Maine because the trails and forests usually follow that Forever Wild theme.


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