The winds were howling and the house was creaking this morning when the alarm went off in the predawn darkness. With the weather forecast calling for cold and windy conditions I figured it was a great day to head out to the mountains of western Maine and scout some new terrain: Mount Blue State Park. I jumped out of bed and into the cold.
“Powerful winds that crack the boughs of November! – and the bright calm sun, untouched by the furies of the earth, abandoning the earth to darkness, and wild forlornness, and night, as men shiver in their coats and hurry home.”
By the time I reached Mount Blue, the trails were slushy delicious – half frozen and slippery like the surface of gelato on a warm day. Although this area is ridden predominately by ATV’s during the warmer months, the fat bike makes it fun and rideable. A network of snowmobile trails run through here and since it’s a multi-use trail system on State land I’m pretty sure that fat biking will be possible here during the winter months. Multi-day tours may be possible using the adjacent trail systems… western Maine is a gem!
“And then the lights of home glowing in those desolate deeps. There are the stars, though! – high and sparkling in a spiritual firmament. We will walk in the windsweeps, gloating in the envelopment of ourselves, seeking the sudden grinning intelligence of humanity below these abysmal beauties.”
Speaking of winter, right beside the trail – a warming hut (teepee, whatever) with a supply of firewood. Reminded me of the shelters I’ve seen in other cold parts of the world (Finland, Alaska, Minnesota). This could come in handy in the future. Awesome.
“Now the roaring midnight fury and the creaking of our hinges and windows, now the winter, now the understanding of the earth and our being on it: this drama of enigmas and double-depths and sorrows and grave joys, these human things in the elemental vastness of the windblown world.” – Jack Kerouac
Though today started cool (around 20 deg F in the AM) it warmed quickly to the upper 30’s melting that little bit of snow out there frosting the mountains. With the climb up to Hedgehog Hill getting my blood moving I was sweating up a storm by the time I powered up to the summit. Of course this basically sums up the near-term forecast for this part of the world in this year of strong El Nino: warm and wet. Since the skiing will no doubt suck I sure am glad to have the fat bike to get out into nature and enjoy the elemental vastness of this windblown world, Luckily There’s so much to explore out here in the wilds of western Maine!