Last weekend, in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, we ended up all covered with nature - we were surrounded by 175 square miles of it, after all.
Days later I still am finding fragments of natural stuff tangled in my hair.
Our hike to the campsite was an easy 3 miles. The mud puddles made it a little less navigable, but the accompanying leapy frogs made it more fun.
Wee warty frog tukus.
I was shocked and appalled to find some of the leaves subtly shifting from vibrant green to autumn hues of golds and amber. It's too early! I'm not ready for the death of summer.
We pitched camp on a hill in a pine grove, hovering over the cacophony of a stream.
For three nights we call our tent home ~ those were chilly nights, but it didn't rain.
Our phone and internet functioned fine, though, so we really weren't that uncivilized.
On Friday, after settling into our campsite. Ben and I ventured further down the trail towards Hour Pond.
Unfortunately, the beavers got there first and flooded out our path.
Ben scopes out the marsh for a trail marker.
I think the trail meandered somewhere under the beaver dam.
The rascal beavers, they were still there, swimming around all proud-like in their swamp.
Those aren't logs - those are beaver!
The next day, we hiked 13 miles, including a foray straight up Chimney Mountain. I blew out my calves halfway up and thought I might die around 800 vertical feet into the deal, but by then I was committed and somehow I survived the assent. My camera did not possess the same endurance; a battery exploded that day, so no scenic overlooks for you.
(Instead, here's a pretty oil slick from the beaver village. It is not an exploded battery - it is some kind of nature-oil.)
But the next day we hiked 6 miles...
...lingering for long hours at Thirteenth Lake.
The blanket got some attention...
...but honestly, I mostly just lay in a clover patch...
...while Ben curled against a rock and read.
The lake was quiet, but for some weird warring birds on the opposite shore, a kayak or two and the dragonflies.
Thirteenth Lake would have made a lovely campsite and we were reluctant to leave.
On the fourth day, we hiked out of the wilderness. We were dirty and smelled bad. My legs hurt and I counted 12 or so mosquito bites ringing my arms and ankles.
But I also felt revived (although in dire need of a beer and a turkey burger).
My dearest, long-lived, ever-loved hiking shoes breathed their last on this trip.
So long, my friends.