Boston, you’re a beautiful harbor city.
Boston, you’re a beautiful harbor city.
I again headed downeast since this is the last weekend before the Loop Road opens on May 17. This time with Tracey and Pat. Let’s just say they’re athletes that have a lot of experience in adventure racing. Foul weather, extreme terrain, & pushing hard running/cycling is no prob for these two. So it was game on with the forecast 50°, windy, and rain.
We parked at The Tarn (small glacial pond) and planned to bike the Ocean Drive section of the Loop Road then return to the car, change and run up Cadillac via the Ladder Trail over Dorr Mountain.
The rain started hard once we parked at The Tarn parking area. Soaked within five minutes, I was cheering the uphills so I could warm up and pump some blood into my very cold fingers. (50°, wet, and with the wind chill of road riding I get very cold hands.) We glimpsed Sand Beach, beautiful as ever, and the rocky coast was still stunning in the rainy mist. We rode past Blackwoods Campground just off the Loop Road and climbed up the overpass bank to Route 3 then rode back to the car. (And it stopped raining.) A short ride of only 13 miles but my hands were just not functioning well by the end they were so cold.
We dried off and changed for running. I jumped out of the van, turned to grab my pack (with the car key in it) but assuming I had everything Pat and Tracey, simultaneously, slammed the doors shut as I reached for my pack. Bye bye pack and key locked in the car. Oopsie! Ok let’s run to Bar Harbor or, as it worked out, just Jackson Lab 1/2 mile down the road. The very friendly and helpful security guards let us in to use the phone and within an hour AAA tow truck dude popped the lock in 10 seconds flat. Ok back in business.
Cadillac is deceptively close if you look at the map. Just two miles from The Tarn but pretty much straight up hill. The Ladder Trail is a stairmaster from hell initially, then a short section of iron rungs and bars, then just steep ledge. The view is amazing on a clear day but we were cloud swept most of the way. So we ran/hiked up and over Dorr Mountain then up Cadillac. Cadillac was socked in and crazy windy. We decided to add a little mileage (and not descend iron rungs) so took a trail south that looped back to The Tarn. Really great time to explore and the weather added a nice crazy twist to the whole day.
Of course, Finelli’s pizza in Ellsworth on the way home. So, so good.
This was yesterday. Patriot’s Day. Boston Marathon Day. I was biking with my buddy Tracey. (She ran Boston last year in the heat…and finished.) We stopped to check the women’s elite results and continued to check the progress of a friend.
Then bombs and unfolding news swirled around my short run with my 7 year old later that day. At an event focused around what I have come to love: Running. Families, children watching loved ones finish a physical quest to only be physically destroyed. Absolutely horrible.
Boston is my “big” city. The Boston Public Library was a sort of hub from where we explored. My father was Maine State Librarian for years and we accompanied him on many trips that centered around the library and nearby sites. I was a total country mouse and Boston gave me confidence about cities. It’s history is rich and deep and I am not sure you can understand the United States without knowing Boston & it’s environ’s history. So, again, a feeling of place is lost.
A collection of news stories about occurrences that feel as though they could only be possible in Maine.
(And other related ephemera.)
Here’s a neat 39-minute history of Rockport (and Camden, kinda), Maine. It’s good to be reminded that this neck of the woods was highly industrial back in the day, producing ice and lime and building ships that were transported and sailed all over the world. There are great interviews with a handful of midcoast elders and a fun segment on Andre the seal.
The Camdenite/Rockporter rivalry that caused the two towns to split is pretty funny to think about in the context of today. Apparently rocks would be thrown at the town line with jeers of:
Camden bums live on rum,
Rockport paddywackers live on soda crackers.
Here’s to history!
Trail Running in the FL
I knew I’d be able to eek out some trail runs on vacation in Florida. The only sketch factor was the exotic bug/animal factor. Coming from up north it always seems more scary than the rare reality of encountering a water moccasin or feral pig (wha?). Florida can be a hot, humid, altered reality that freaks me out then I go to a preserve or state park &, bam, awesome. (FL has 10% of the lower-48 wetlands, wetlands cover ~30% of FL. I love wetland flora & fauna!)
Estero Bay Preserve is ~3.5 miles from my Mom’s & the map showed a few miles of trails so I could get away from the concrete sidewalks for awhile. The trails ended up being overgrown, flooded in places, & muddy. Also lots of churned ground from the feral pigs. The flooded areas were a little freaky due to gators but I just kept an eye out and sallied forth. I forgot all about the snake factor & didn’t see any. So a perfect adventure from water to mud to hard pan sand flats with the super bonus of running in just shorts & a t-shirt instead of my 5° layered runs back home. Fun!
Rockport Harbor earlier today by Jane Kurko.
This is my annual reminder to the people of Tumblr to come to Maine for February fun.