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.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Makes me feel like a holiday myself! Thanks for sharing these thoughts...

KGMom said...

I hope you let us see the completed blanket. What a great idea. Do you determine what shade for each temp? or is there some guide? I can sort of visualize a weather map effect.
Also, depending how long it takes to crochet, you might go back and forth with colors.

Beth said...

I did get the colors from a weather chart but I would make some modifications if doing it again to reflect the range for our area. I would also use a smaller stitch--the double crochet that I have been using is creating a very big blanket! I expect that it will be 20 feet long by the end of the year. So live and learn, but it has been fun to do and I think of temperatures in terms of color now more than numbers.

Anvilcloud said...

The first outings after a long winter are so satisfying.
We also love British Mysteries, but I think we're just about caught up with most of them

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What wonderful photos! There is nothing quite like that first hike of spring :)

Jayne said...

I love seeing the places where you all hike, and like the others, was enthralled with the idea of the weather blanket!

altar ego said...

I'm so glad to be able to go along with you on your journeys and hikes. And the weather blanket is an extraordinary idea! I hope you'll share images as you stitch your way through the year.