The adult children arrived home for the Christmas holidays and since all of them had a love of the outdoors, we managed to get in a few walks while they were here. On Christmas Eve we decided to enjoy lunch at the top of Beech Hill. After gathering backpacks and making sandwiches we made our way towards the preserve.
Although the weather was cold, there was no snow to enhance the beauty of the landscape. Prior to the arrival of our guests, the temperatures had soared and deposited an inch or more of rain which washed away any of the white stuff that remained. That did not dampen our spirits since we knew the views across the water towards Mount Desert Island would be spectacular.
We encountered quite a few people on our walk up the hill. It seemed as if everyone decided to bring on the holiday spirit by spending some time outdoors. The number of people did cause one of my daughters to comment that “the problem with short, easy hikes with wonderful views is that everybody can do them”.
After a 20 minute uphill stroll, we arrived at the Beech Nut House. After studying various locations along the veranda, each one of us found our favorite spot to sit and enjoy our lunch while gazing out at the water. My husband and son-in-law read about the history of the house, the girls found a bench and huddled against the icy wind and I perched on the wall (in the sun) where I could converse with some visitors to the area about the preserve.
The visitors were a bit disappointed that they could not explore the inside of the cottage but unfortunately the house is only open on a few occasions during the year. I did inform them that if they were still in the area, the hut would be open for a few hours on New Year’s Day and then left them to identify the islands, while I walked around the building.
As I studied the sunny side of the hut, a man approached a door nearby. He asked if we wanted to see the inside of the house, as he unlocked the door. What a treat! Everyone at the top of the hill was able to explore the inside of the building, while listening to the docent talk to us about the history of the hill. Speaking to a Land Trust person a week later, I found out that the docent had taken a walk up the hill and had just decided to open it. It was one of those being in the right place at the right time moments.
After exploring the building, I lead my little band towards another trail. We did not get far when someone complained about the cold, so we turned around and headed back towards home where a warm fireplace and holiday dinner would complete the day.