Monday, April 18, 2016
Shagg Crag - the first hike of Spring
One of my projects for 2016 is a weather blanket. I started crocheting on New Years Day and stitch a row every day based on the temperature. Every 10 degree increment has a different shade. Anything over 60 degrees, takes me out of the blues of winter and into shades of green. On Sunday, my stitches took on the second shade of green. Under sunny skies Charlie and I decided it was time to try out our hiking legs on a relatively easy nearby mountain.
This mountain is a real favorite of ours, not only is there a beautiful view from the top but 1 mile to the summit and 560 foot elevation gain makes it easy to tackle when there isn't much time or when the hiking muscles have disappeared after a winter binge-watching British mysteries on Netflix.
The official name of the mountain is Bald Mountain but there are dozens of mountains named Bald in Maine. This one is Bald Mountain in Woodstock but the local name, Shagg Crag, comes from the vertical cliffs that rise above the north side of Shagg Pond.
When my kids were teenagers and were climbing every rock they could find, they spent lots of time
with ropes and carabiners on the cliffs. Our trail, though, follows along the gentle slope on the side of the mountain and passes Little Concord Pond which we found with ice still around the shore and with a lone loon in the center.
Falcons nest in the cliffs and I have been buzzed by an angry one at least once while hiking in the Spring. In the Summer, the hike leads to a bonanza of wild blueberries and the first time that we discovered this, we emptied our water bottles and filled them with blueberries.
In the last few years, a windfarm was built on the next ridge but on this still day, not much electricity was being generated.
We lingered on the top--Charlie took pictures and I sketched. Mara mostly scared us to death by
getting too close to the cliffs.
On the way down we stopped at the pond and
Mara swam while the loon dove for fish and put on a show. It's hard not to feel gratitude for every breath and every moment at times like this.