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A hike in Maine

Remembering a hike in Maine......Stratton to Monson 9/96

Rocks and roots,
rocks and roots.
step up,
step down.
keep your eyes on the ground
roots and rocks,
roots and rocks.

Bogs and bog bridges

the sounds of bogs, squish, squish, squish, squish, SPLASH
the sounds of bog bridges, clunk , clunk, clunk, SPLASH 

Mushrooms of all colors, frogs of all sizes

Hikers we met:
-toulouse (sp?)
-sprout and twisted sister (aka 2 bumps on a log)
-six pack
-scruffy (sp?)
-sky and sun dog
-the 2 southbounders with the dog who were "going till the weather catches us."
-nicole and thomas, section hiking (had met thomas in the smokies in May)
-lobo solo
-the newlyweds and the very cold soda they provided

The silent Gray Jay that joined us for lunch on Avery Peak, pereching on my
fingers as he ate from my palm.

A snack of fresh-picked blueberries from Moxie Bald

The Tubs at Bigelow Lean-to and cold swims at West Carry Pond and Pierce Pond.

Heather demonstrating the "environmental swish" at Horns Pond.

Having made the climb to Moxie Bald,  knowing it was the last big one for
this hike and seeing the entire trip in panoramic view.

The earlier skirmish between the noseeums, the mosquitoes and the hikers has
been declared a draw with casualties on both sides. It is now quiet in the
shelter. Under a dark sky a lone Loon glides effortlessly across the pond.
Feeling utterly alone the Loon let forth with that awesome cry that is as
much felt by the soul as it is heard by the ears. There is no reply.
Another cry. No answer.
The hikers are now mostly awake, (the loon is quite close to the shore),
smiling in the dark. Quiet whispers are heard.
Another cry from the Loon and from far down the lake, a reply.
The Loon calls again, this time almost frantic. Another reply, closer this
The Loons come together,  the joy of companionship overcomes them and they
burst forth with  a series of sounds that must be heard to be believed  and
can be best described as "looney tunes".
This goes on for several minutes. The hikers, fully wake giggle in the dark
at the absurdity of the sounds. And then suddenly it ceases. Quiet returns
to Pierce Pond. The hikers drift back to sleep, having been touched by
nature. All except one tired soul who mutters to no one in particular, "Damn