Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blue Skies, New Feet and a Wild Snow Creature

This past Sunday, Steph and I decided to go out for a little hike around Mt. Agamenticus. It was such a beautiful day, so we took advantage of the mid-afternoon sun. We arrived at the parking lot at the base of the mountain road and it was jammed with cars. It seems every year more and more people venture out into this vast area of conservation land. In the summer on a Sunday morning, you shouldn't be surprised to see 40-50 cars parked in the lot and all along the road. So we started our hike up along the road in the snow. You could see snowboard and ski tracks just off in the woods. I have skied here before on a big dump day and it is a blast. Use your climbing skins or hike to the top and take some runs! You see, Mt A. used to be a ski area back in the late 60's until around 1974. It is a very unique mountain for its location. It is located just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean in York Maine, having an elevation of 691 feet. Amazing views of the White Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean are visible from the summit. I just learned that Mt. A has the highest elevation of any hill within its distance to the ocean from Portland Maine to Brownsville Texas (with Blue Hill, MA coming in a close second at 635 feet). If you wanted to ski Aggie you had to drive your car to the top and ski down the back side. Then a t-bar or a chair lift would bring you back up. Aggie had 8 trails from beginner to expert, some of them we still mountain bike or hike on. A bad local economy and a poor snow year eventually closed the slopes.

Steph near one of the remaining t-bar towers

We saw this rare and never seen before snow lizard climbing a tree. The bummer for you is, you'll never see such a creature either, well maybe if your lucky...This one melted seconds after this picture was taken!

Steph on her new feet!

We had a lot of fun hiking out there. It is a nice change to see the woods at a slower pace since we are always blasting down the trails on our bikes. I was surprised how many people had been out hiking, skiing or snowshoeing. We made a nice loop out towards Second hill and then back over to Aggie. If your into Geocaching, there is one up there somewhere near the summit. The bike group I ride with sometimes found it one night as we were just stopped on the trail right near it. Someone just looked over with their helmet light and there it was! Who needs a GPS? I tried to find it to show Steph but, I was unsucessful. It was probably buried under all the snow. Getting to the summit was a joy! Great views of the mountains and ocean. It was pretty windy from the north west so we headed down the sunny and sheltered Blueberry bluff trail. There was so much snow, we were able to just stomp off the trail and not worry about trampling the land. It was fun to really get to use the snow shoes off the beaten path.

A fun day in the woods!

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