The final adventure in our productive week up in Maine, was to explore some new trails in the Camden Hills State Park. Normally, we head over to the Multi-use Trail at the intersection of Youngtown Road and Rt. 173 and climb Bald Rock Mountain with its spectacular views of the Penobscot Bay. After examining a trail map of the park, we noticed that the Cameron Mountain Trail was directly across from the Bald Rock Mountain Trail. If we walked a little further along the Multi-use Trail, we could form a loop using the Sky Blue Trail. So with the thrill of a new adventure we headed out.
We arrived at the Multi-use Trail mid-morning, figuring we would spend two, maybe three hours exploring the trails. Sometimes the beauty of vacations is that you can disconnect from the outside world where there is no television, computer or cellphone. Sometimes the downside of vacations is that you are disconnected from the outside world where there is no television or computers to inform you of important information, such as weather. We should have been suspicious as we passed hikers traveling in the opposite direction, as they finished their outings for the day.
We knew that we would walk nearly a mile in order to reach either the Bald Rock Mountain or Cameron Mountain Trails. Traveling beyond the Cameron Trail, it wasn’t long before we reached the Sky Blue Trail. Along the way, I discovered some interesting fungus growth.
The trail traveled through a mixture of hardwoods and pines. The pine scented forest was very calming. It wasn’t long before the calming aura was replaced by hard work. Our journey took us up quick gains in elevation, followed by some rapid descents. The weather remained sunny but it became hot and very humid (hence all those hikers finishing their rambles early in the morning before the humidity kicked in). At some point, I had to take a rest. I sat on the nearest boulder and poured water over my head as the mosquitoes enjoyed their lunch.
Because I am a bit thick, we carried on instead of turning back. This was a mistake, for it was some time before we reached the intersection with the Cameron Trail. Our goal had been to then proceed to Zeke’s trail and then to Zeke’s Lookout. By the time we reached Zeke’s Trail, I was experiencing that shaky, jelly feeling that one gets when they have overextended themselves. And I realized, we still had to get back. Back two miles along the Cameron Trail and another mile down the Multi-use trail to the parking lot.
My husband explored Zeke’s trail a short distance in either direction but when I saw that the path towards the lookout included a steep incline, I decided that we would just find the nearest rock to sit upon and have our lunch. I rested for some time trying to recover enough energy to make the trip back.
Eventually, we proceeded along the Cameron Mountain Trail. I think this trail was actually easier than the Sky Blue Trail but that could just be an incorrect assumption based on my state at the time. My husband claimed my perception was based on the downhill direction of the trail (which would have been completely uphill on the way in). It didn’t matter. At this point I was in trudging mode, moving more slowly with each step. Even in this state, I was able to appreciate a patch of flowers beside the path and a group of turkeys crossing in front of us.
We arrived back at the car, over four hours and nearly six miles from when we set out. On arriving at the house, I took a cool shower and consumed at least three large glasses of water. But, I had finished a hike that was longer than any of my previous hikes. Maybe, it wasn’t the most successful ending but I did finish.