After our explorations on Mount Desert Island and another hike up Bald Rock Mountain the following weekend we were reminded of the things we didn’t do over the summer. We didn’t accomplish any uphill hikes that required even minimal exertion. The 4 mile walk along the Carriage Roads should not have left us so fatigued and we should have been able to reach the summit of Bald Rock Mountain without stopping half a dozen times. It seems that as we get older, weeks of exercise is wiped out in just a few days of non-physical activity. And so, we try to start again.
While my other half tried to figure out how he was going to increase his activity level, I decided I needed to up the ante on my walking route. I had been trying to walk to the lake and back several times a week, which included a few small uphill grades, (including one that always gave me a hard time) for a total distance of less than 2 miles. But this was not enough. I needed something that just might increase my breathing ability.
I thought that maybe walking up the multi-use trail to the Bald Rock Mountain trailhead 2 or 3 times a week might help. With that in mind, I was the first to arrive at the trailhead early one morning to begin my solo walk 1.25 miles uphill. The beauty of trying to exercising along the multi-use trail was that I would be hiking along a tree-lined country lane as opposed to a paved road. Always a better option, in my book. On the downside, I did not realized that the uphill grade began immediately from the kiosk onwards. I knew this by the change in my breathing right from the start. Darn! When did they increase the steepness of this hill?
In order to keep myself going, I looked for specific landmarks to mark my progress; .8 mile to the Frohock Mountain trailhead where I paused until I stopped wheezing, then on to the mile marker where I stopped once more before making one last push to the Bald Rock Mountain trailhead. Once I reached my destination, I sat on the old stone foundation for a bit. I was the only one in this section of the park, so I spent quite some time watching the light streaming through the trees, listening to the birds and squirrels rustling through the leaves and thinking about the changes in my life and future goals. For now my goal is simple. I would like to be able to hike up to this trailhead without feeling like I’m going to die.