Over the holiday weekend the bearded fellow and I took a reprieve from Portland and wandered our way up to Newry, Maine. Situated in the western part of the state, Newry has historically been a popular destination for great ski slopes in winter and spectacular hiking throughout Grafton Notch State Park all year.
Grafton Notch State Park includes part of the AT (Appalachian Trail) and offers a range of hiking opportunities for mileage seekers and day hikers alike. L and I decided to tackle Old Speck, a mountain known for its challenging climb and stunning views. Although we spent all day Friday pelted by heavy rain and high winds as ‘post-tropical cyclone’ Arthur made its way up the East Coast, Saturday was a perfect day to summit.
Surprisingly, the climb was not as tough as we were expecting. Cool weather, swift breezes and a complete lack of biting bugs definitely worked in our favor. We started up the white-blazed AT at 10:00 am and reached the summit by 12:20 pm, 3.8 miles covered. At the top of Old Speck is a very (very) tall tower to climb for even better views of the surrounding landscape. Even though the ascent was nothing but nerve-racking (for me at least) the views from the top were worth the increase in blood pressure.
After a leisurely lunch on the summit, we took our time descending the trail as it was a bit tricky with lots of exposed granite made slippery by Friday’s storm. There were plenty of neat little spots like this one which are, without a doubt, where magical faeries live.
Overall the climb was easier than expected and quite worth the effort. Definitely up there on my list of favorite East Coast summits.
Back at camp we refreshed with our feet up by the campfire. The bearded fellow taught me how to make feather sticks, traditionally used to start fires when you have damp wood and need to reach the dry, seasoned wood inside your logs. Their open design allows for air to circulate to get the fire going.
No campfire would be complete without knitting and I made sure to bring plenty of projects with me. Although I was not able to work on my second upcyled sweater mentioned last week, I was able to make great headway on a new project. A dear friend of mine is tying the knot in August and we are celebrating this upcoming weekend with a camping getaway and whitewater rafting. She is a classic gal with a healthy obsession for all things flowery and pastel. I found it fitting to make her an ultra-soft camisole to suit her feminine tastes. Even better, the yarn I selected fits with her wedding colors of lavender, green and peach. Score! The pattern is loosely based on this one, with lacework in place of the stockinette. It offers vintage appeal in an old lace slip kind of way.