Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hiking in the White Mountains, New Hampshire

Living in Maine has given me the opportunity to spend wonderful times hiking in the spectacular White Mountains of New Hampshire. One of my favorite things to do is a long hike with friends and stay overnight at one of the AMC huts along the Appalachian Trail. Upon arrival, I usually race into the hut to secure one of the highly coveted lower bunks and then I can enjoy the rest of the day and the amazing views.

View looking east towards the Presidentials and Mt Washington

We hiked the Gale River Trail to Twin Mountain and stayed overnight at the Galehead Hut. A beautiful hike straight up a rocky trail to 4,000 ft along the Gale River. Warm early summer day at the bottom and quite cold and wintery at the top. Temperatures dipped into the 20's that night and we awakened to a dustimg of snow on the peaks.

Hiking with my wonderful friend Patti and her brother Peter. We had so much fun being outdoors, putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the spectacular views as we acended to the hut. The walk back down the next day had the challege of being a little icy and slippery, but at the bottom it was warm and sunny and we were starving so we enjoyed a picnic before heading home.

These boots have taken me miles in the mountains and are amazingly comfortable, but it is always great to take them off at the end of a long day on the trail. I always bring something cozy and comfortable to wear around the hut at night.
I sketched as the siblings played cribbage.

Here I am at the top with prayer flags woven by my friend Sarah Haskell for her project Woven Voices—Messages from the Heart. Her amazing prayer flags are woven by a community of weavers from written messages of peace. They are hanging all over the world unraveling and releasing messages of hope, peace and renewal. The flags hung outside the hut overnight, however, I could not leave her flags up on the mountain because of "Leave No Trace". Soon, I will take these flags to another mountain...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Down by the sea

My little white dog, Sophie, absolutely loves the beach, but has never had much of an inclination to go in the ocean or any other large body of water. She will race up and down along the waters edge, roll in seaweed and any other unidentifiable beach debris, snatch and eat a sea urchin that the tide has pushed onshore and I have found her in a pile of mussel shells and seaweed chewing on the bone of a bird. Never much more than a toe getting wet, she can make the most of a walk on the beach.
One afternoon, my friend Patti carried her out and set her in the water and she swam like hell back to the shore. Her little legs started going before she even hit the water—hilarious!

Monday, September 5, 2011

End of summer blues

Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. Here in Maine the days are still warm, but they are getting shorter and the sun is lower in the sky. There is that gold autumn cast to the atmosphere. The dreaded end of summer blues have set in...

Not all has been blue this weekend like sushi and champagne at Miyake on Friday night.

Very blue hydrangeas at a friends house in Georgetown Maine.

Sketching on the beach today at Pupit Rock in Cape Elizabeth.

Here is the rock that Pulpit Rock derives its name. While sketching it, I looked up and remarked to my friends that I didn't think it was very pretty. I believe I heard the word "ugly" mumbled. Here I was sitting on a private beach, looking at the shipping channel into the Casco Bay and the many islands downeast, sketching a big ugly outcropping of rock and I couldn't have asked for a lovelier place to be on the planet.

As always the "end of summer blues" cast an unsettling shadow as I watch the sunset over the rooftops of Portland and the close of another wonderful summer in Maine.

Farewell summer!