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Hiking in Maine

100_6047I cannot remember ever hiking any trail in Maine when I was growing up. My family were not hikers. In college my roommate talked about climbing Mt. Katadhin, the highest mountain in Maine. This sounded exciting to me and I put it on my to do list. When my children were very young I became interested in taking them on beginners trails. By the time our children were 4 and 6 were had graduated to mountains like Mt. Blue, Tumbledown, Streaked Mt and Mt Battie. Two years later we were carrying packs to Chimney Pond and camping on Mt. Katadhin. It became an annual reunion for my college roommate and me and a hiking opportunity for her friends and my family. Each year since then I have hiked in Maine.

This summer I have been sitting at my desk more than usual with no opportunities to travel on long adventures. I have taken many day hikes which awaken my senses, refresh my soul and activate my body. It is a wonderful activity in my life.

I hike in all seasons. In the spring, rebirth of nature is keen. The Mayflowers and lady slippers are blooming. Leaves are opening and everything is turning green and new and bright. Brooks and streams and waterfalls are at their best. Birds let you know they are busy at work building their nests. The melt off of snow and ice leave plenty of mud on the trail but the loveliness of all that is new in nature is well worth the slipping and sliding that goes with the season. Summer is prime hiking season. The trails are safer for walking and the weather is condusive to hiking and overnight camping. On a warm sunny day is grand to sit on a peak or open ledge and take in the views for miles around. Fall is just beautiful with fall foliage at its peak. Hiking is great when it is a bit cooler and the black flies, mosquitoes and horseflies have disappeared. Winter is majestic after a nice snowfall. I enjoy hiking on snowshoes with cross country ski poles. It is so peaceful and serene with the sounds so muffled.

Recently I have hiked a variety of trails near our home. Ossipee Hill is a short, easy, open trail mostly on a graveled road. Streaked Mountain, my favorite training hill, is a short hike with a climb on ledges and great views in all directions. Evens Notch Region offers great day hikes. This fall I hiked Ames and Speckled Mountains on the Bickford Brook Trail and returned on the Blueberry trail. It is a nice easy trail. Hiking along a roaring brook adds to the pleasure of a daily hike. The Wheeler Brook Trail was a good day hike. The loop was through the woods to the summit of Peabody Mountain and along the Wild River back on a road to Gilead. Bickford Brook Falls is a trail I would like to take again with my granddaughters. It follows Bickford Brook with waterfalls in two locations. It is a scenic, easy and short trail.

In western Maine is Baldpate Mountain. This region has more mountainous but less accessible by road. The Appalachian Trail goes though this area and an area I through hiked a few years ago as I solo hiked the AT from Georgia northbound to Mt. Katahdin. By the time I hit the Maine border as a through hiker I had lost 50 pounds and was on my last state and nearly home. This fall a young friend and I hiked from the Andover hill Road to East Baldpate. It was a cold day with flakes of snow on occasion and ice and snow as we neared the summit. It was a bit slippery on some of the rocks and ledges but a good climbing hike.

I take my dog, Truffles with me when we hike. She is a brown cocker spaniel and loves the out of doors. My husband reluctantly joins us if it is spur of the moment if I haven’t planned for another hiker to join me. There are still trails I have not hiked in Maine.  There are great trails in the Camden Hills, Mt Blue State Park area, Acadia National Park, Baxter State park and The White Mountains on the Maine side it is less crowded with people. Fifty Hikes in Maine by John Gibson gives factual detailed descriptions of each trail. The Maine Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club is helpful to hikers.

I have enjoyed the different trails whether easy or more difficult. It is an opportunity to enjoy nature and I always feel so much more relaxed, happier and more alive after a good hike.

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Journals to a Published Book: Part 3

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Now that I have my book, in hand, I look back to how this endeavor became possible. Hindsight is a great teacher. My detailed, time labored daily journals were the key to my book. The first needed element was the adventure itself, something important enough to fill a journal of noteworthy purpose. Next came the tools, and that was the journals — without them there would be no book. When I began my adventures, I did not ever dream that those journals would turn into 12 chapters of my first published book: Outstanding Feats by an Ordinary Woman.

 

Journals to a Published Book: Part 2

My journals set in a drawer for a few years until one day, after a few people had asked me, “When are you going to write a book?” It seemed to be the right opportunity for me to sit down and put a manuscript together. This was a long, time-consuming endeavor. It took many months of transforming notes into essays, which later became chapters of the book, adding descriptions that would please a reader, eliminating other things, and checking for accuracy and details.  This was something I tried to accomplish in between many other projects, family, travel, running events, and daily living.

From Journaling to Publication 1(1)

After the journals were written in essay format, it became a handwritten rough draft. Then I had to decide how I wanted it to come together as one unit. The rough draft was changed and became twelve chapters. At this time, I found out that a small group of writers met each fall and spring in a room in our local public library. I joined them. This helped me build confidence as a novice writer.

Again, the unfinished manuscript set in a drawer for awhile, yet always in the back of my mind. Then the chapters were edited by a friend who was willing to take time to read what I had completed. Improvements, corrections and a final manuscript was laser printed and finalized. The work was transferred to CD’s, and photos were selected and a table of contents was added. Again, this writing piece was set aside in a drawer while my daily life continued at a busy pace. I was waiting for that window of opportunity, a block of time to seek out and find a publisher and time to pursue the publishing of the book.

For a few years, we had been spending time in Florida during the winters.  We hurriedly packed up our minivan and off we drove for a change from the beautiful Maine winters, which I enjoy. This year when we packed up. I went back to my writing studio, opened the drawer with my manuscript, and, for the first time, I took out a CD copy and put it in my laptop briefcase. In March, I was in our local tiny post office in Florida preparing to mail a package to my granddaughters when a lady dropped off a package. I picked it up, and we looked at each other. I knew then we had connected. It was a God connecting moment.

She thanked me and said the package was her book.

She mumbled that someone usually did her mailings, and she definitely was in a hurry.

I spoke out that I had a manuscript ready for publication.

She said she was a publisher.

She gave me her card.

I emailed her.

We set up an appointment, I gave her my CD and she said she would look at it. It wasn’t long before she e-mailed me and said my book was accepted, and she would take it on its way. We began in April after I returned from Florida. Little did I know how much more work lay ahead for the publishing of the book.