Crazy FabulousOvernightSnow Shoeing May 7, 2016
I returned home to Portland late this afternoon and after visiting with my family, sat down to write and capture some of our time up at West Branch Pond Camps before the magic of it evaporates and before my brain space becomes crowded up with the bits and pieces, appointments and responsibilities of everyday life.
The first LAC overnight (two-night overnight, really) was truly, crazy fabulous. We arrived at WBPC after lunch on Friday afternoon and Eric the owner of WBPC, and his uncle Chuck were there to welcome us and help us settle into our cabins. Each cabin had a wood stove, fully cranking and heating the place up so we were totally toasty and comfy. Everyone unpacked winter gear (and snacks and wine) and as a group we decided to head out on a short cross-country ski/snowshoe. There was a lot of springtime mud around the camp, but happily and surprisingly, enough snow in the woods. We skied along a river, saw animal tracks, owl pellets, witches’ broom (an odd and interesting tree growth), British Soldier lichen and lots of moose scat.
Cocktails in the cabin followed and then it was time for dinner. Eric treated us to a full turkey meal with all of the fixings. Think: the best Thanksgiving dinner you’ve had plus cream puffs drizzled with chocolate for dessert.
We awoke on Saturday and so nicely, Kate carried carafes full of hot, steaming coffee from the kitchen to each of our cabins. Breakfast was at 7:45 and you’d think after that gigantic dinner we’d want only a piece of toast and a hard boiled egg for breakfast, but Eric cooked us about three breakfasts rolled into one. And we ate it all.
It was then time for our big adventure and what an adventure it was. The saddle of White Cap Mountain (part of the 100-Mile Wilderness) was our destination and after a river crossing, lots of bushwhacking, and a steep and challenging ascent on snowshoes we made it. Eric guided us up the mountain and toured us past an old Appalachian Trail lean-to, a rusted out stove used by fire watchmen (I think), trees felled by tough Maine loggers in the 1950s and lots of animal tracks. We made it to the mountain’s saddle; it wasn’t an easy hike and we each had our own individual challenges, which made the climb so much more rewarding.
Back at the camp that evening, after hot showers (yay!), not-quite-full mugs of amazing bourbon (thanks, Maria) and a howling with laughter game of Cards Against Humanity, it was time to eat again. Somehow in a two-hour time span Eric had prepared a fabulous lasagna, homemade rolls, pie and more (all from scratch). And starving from our big and physical day, we ate almost every bite.
There’s more to the weekend; lots more. But I won’t go on. I do want to say how very happy I am with the first LAC overnight. The backdrop of the Maine woods and mountains was lovely and the adventures we embarked upon were gratifying, but for me, what made the weekend special were the woman who came and the enthusiasm and joy each person brought with her. Thank you to Ashley, Becca, Cammie, Carla, Casey, Catherine, Figgy, Kate, Shea, and Maria for jumping in with all your good energy and willingness to push that inner envelope and take a risk. It was crazy fabulous.