ME4K Week One

My best intentions announced and shared with those who car. The intentions are to climb the Mountains in Maine that exceed four thousand feet in elevation aka the ME4K.  Obviously, this flatlander needs to engage in some serious training before heading out to head up.

The initial preparations occurred over the winter.  There were four separate snowshoe hikes. Two out the backdoor, to and across Runaround Pond. The other two were on the Bradbury to Pineland Corridor trail.  Being outside again felt good. Then as spring came, the snow left.20130324-145407.jpg

As the snow melted, the higher peaks beckoned. I knew I had to stop working out and start training specifically for this adventure was formulating in mind. Training would include stamina, strength, and daily walks.  The stamina would come through a balance repetition of elliptical work and rowing machine work.  Once this routine becomes natural, the strength element would be added.

Flatland training is not enough. Elevation gain then loss training is needed. My first target was to be Rattlesnake Mountain over in the Casco/Raymond region. Then, Pleasant Mountain – the highest peak in southern Maine.  After that, Old Speck – the first true ME4K – in Grafton Notch State Park.

Rattlesnake Mountain is privately held. But the owning family graciously maintains on a trail – on their terms.  This morning, I was surprised to drive up to find the trail closed for mud season.  Fair enough.  Plan A set aside and Plan B scheming began.

The first thoughDSC_0020t was to just drive by the Pleasant trail heads , for the sake of situational awareness. However, the day was too good to ignore, and with the encouraging blessing of my wife, I went up the trail. Only for an hour. With the best intentions of turning around after thirty minutes. Siri’s timer was set for thirty minutes.

After the promised thirty minutes, I sensed The Ledges were near. Just around the next bend. Just above the next rise. Fifteen huffing minutes later, the backpack was shucked aside and the ball of sweat cooled on my backside. After several moments of picture taking, elation, and sips of water, I returned down the path.

ME4K Week One: Hiked 2.2 miles for an 800 foot elevation gain.DSC_0015

I can do this. This ME4K challenge. Fourteen mountains between now and fall. All I have to do is continue training. Work up and down on elevation gained then lost.

There is a path over in the Pineland Public Reserves Land that will give me a modest training challenge. Rattlesnake and Streaked Mountains beckon. I will be ready for Old Speck.

Stay Tuned.

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