This picture was taken from the top of Streaked Mountain, Maine. After growing up & knowing about this mountain, my first ascent was last fall. In a half a mile, this trail ascends seven hundred feet across a mixture of terrains, trails & surfaces. The bottom segment passes through a forest. After a brief period of complacency, the trail transitions into a modest climb. The, the forest is left behind leaving a relentless climb up mixed granite ledge. This abrupt steepness makes this trail a good training trail.
I struggled up this mountain today. Like any other serious climb, the mind games & voices in my head, along with the heaving breath through my chest, all said to that death by sloth was not so bad an alternative. The mind games, along with persistent reluctant trepidation were summarily rejected. Instead, I know that this hike remains an element of my ME4K training regimen. 1.2 miles with an elevation gain of 700′.
The next mountain on today’s best intentions was Rattlesnake Mountain over in Casco. Like Streaked, I have been up here before. At least ten years ago and via a fifferent route This one presented different challenges, longer length-2 miles and an elevation gain of 600′. Today was hot, muggy & unseasonably sultry. The 100 ounce bladder in the backpack was put to good steady use.
At the final approach to the summit, my thighs were screaming and threatened to cramp into knots. Rest & rehydration tempered the pain allowing me to get on to the trails end and enjoy the solitude with a view. On the way back down, the pain returned and was nearly unbearable. One of my hiking principles is to always be able to self-rescue, that is to walk myself out of any situation that I walk into. Another rest followed by a slowing of the pace got me back to my truck, back to where I needed to be going.
In two weeks, by this time two weeks hence, I will have completed ME4K.1 – Old Speck.
The training continues.