Spring is definitely upon us at Chewonki. Instead of sliding around on ice, we now slosh around in mud around campus. But this past Saturday, the group traveled north to the Camden Hills to go for a hike –that turned out to be more of a slide– on roads and paths coated with thick, wet ice. But as per usual at Chewonki, everyone made the best of the situation. People with Yaktrax gave rides to those of us with less traction on our shoes, some went belly sliding back down the trail only to have to slip-n-slide back up. But we managed to skirt around the most perilous parts and, with only a couple slips and falls and a lot of fun including many Hunger Games reenactments, we made it to the top.
The Camden Hills look out over the Penobscot Bay, and as we neared the summit, the sparkles off the water gave me the energy to keep going until I got the full view. I had wiped out twice and the trail had gotten steeper, but what I found at the top was completely worth it. The sun was shining, it wasn’t windy, and the day was completely perfect. The water was a turquoise-blue that I thought only happened in the tropics, the sky was pale and cloudless, and the rocks that we sat on were warm and flat.
We ate our lunches looking out over the Penobscot Bay, a tiny piece of water that appears gigantic. Eating my hummus sandwich I had one of those moments that seem to be occurring more often since coming to Chewonki where I realize how small I am in reality, how massive the world is. I’m learning to really appreciate those moments. Marjo told us some history of the Penobscot Bay, making sure to point out all of the islands with French names.
After sightseeing, sunbathing, circus acts, and a lot of picture taking, we headed back down the mountain. This time almost all of us submitted to the ice and just decided to do it the tobogganing way—without the toboggan. We plopped down on our bottoms and let gravity and the slippery stuff beneath us do the work. It was so much fun. We got back to the buses muddy, tired, a little tanner, and all-together content. Camden Hills was a perfect way to reconnect with the adventures that we had had on wilderness trips, experience a little more of Maine, and recognize the beauty of the world we are lucky enough to be surrounded by.
– Eliza Huber-Weiss, Montclair NJ