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camping 2017, part 1

the boys looking out to sea from atop a mountain

mountaintop moment

Eleven months ago we went on a camping trip. Somehow I never managed to write about it; now, as we get ready for this year's version of the expedition, I realize I really need to do it or I'll never remember what happened! Luckily I have pictures to jog my memory. Not that there aren't any gaps in the record; for example I have no recollection of how well packing went. But we managed to hit the road not too long after 9:00, so it couldn't have been too bad. And everyone was delighted to be in the car and on the way!

the boys in their car seats amidst the camping gear

ready to go!

After lunch in the car and a stop at the grocery store in Waldoboro we made it to Lincolnville in plenty of time to stop and enjoy a good long time playing on the foggy beach.

four of us in the water at foggy Lincolnville beach

photo by Zion

I don't remember anything else from the day, except that we made it to the campsite in time for a dinner of chicken fajitas cooked by Katie and Tim. The lap of luxury!

But the next morning I sprang right to work, lighting a fire and putting together a breakfast of eggs and toasted bagels (and cereal for the boys, who like that sort of thing). Then, thinking about the real reason we had come all that way, we made lunches, packed up, and hit the trail!

a selfie of me, with Lijah in the backpack, by Jordan Pond

happy hikers

For that first hike we started from the Jordan Pond House and walked along the shore of the pond, before heading up the lower slopes of Penobscot Mountain. It was a reasonably easy walk, but still too much for Lijah's friend Henry, with his newly broken arm—or, really, for his parents; he was all for trying, but they wanted to keep him in the stroller for safety. But they walked up the carriage road and met us where the hiking path crossed it at a bridge over a gorge. It was a delightful surprise!

After crossing the carriage road the path headed up more steeply, and the bigger kids showed how well they can hike.

Harvey, Zion, and Nathan walking up stairs in the woods

ever upwards

They got pretty far ahead of us, but kindly waited up at crossings in the trail, so we would know where to go. Not that everything was smooth and easy; it was a long way up so some complaints and doubts were inevitable, plus I dropped my camera and dented the ring on the end of the lens body, so it couldn't extend. That made me sad. Lunch at the top of the mountain made everything better, especially when I was able to use Leah's elegant lunch knife to pry the camera back to usability, in time to take pictures like this one:

the gang lunching atop Penobscot

lunch with a view

Going down the mountain we started along the ridge, with fine views all around.

Katie and Tim descending Penobscot with lots of ocean beyond them

walking in the open sky

When we reached the trees things stayed interesting, with the path dropping sharply along a steep rocky slope. There were stairs, a bridge, and a few places where it was actually pretty tricky getting down for the two of us carrying three-year-olds on our backs.

Zion walking down stairs along a small cliff

and now down the stairs

The group got very spread out over the last couple miles, with some kids fading while others had enough energy to run the last bit (as they zipped out of sight we hoped they knew where they were going). But everybody recovered once we were back at the Jordan Pond House with access to bathrooms, shade, and good cold water—everybody, that is, except the one who actually didn't have to do that much walking...

Lijah sleeping in the backpack carier

hiking is hard work for everyone

Even that one revived when we got back to the campground. Most of us zipped right off to the pool as soon as we returned—just the thing after a hot and dirty day of hard work!

Mama and the boys swimming in the pool

civilization

Not me, though; it was my turn to cook, and I was working hard turning out chicken, cornbread, and rice for everybody. Then we went to bed, and though I can't really remember I bet we all slept pretty well!

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