*Names and identifying details have been altered to protect the innocent people who could sue me.

February 7, 2011

Day 38

Dear all,

Chester came down to the Peninsula this weekend and we sat by the fire and read for a while. That’s what Friday nights are for, right? (What’s that? Some people go out partying on Friday night? Ok, but how do you get to sit by a fireplace with your boyfriend and read Jane Austen and drink tea if you are out of the house? I don’t understand.)

Also this weekend we hiked Skyline, a trail leading up a smallish mountain in part of the National Wildlife Refuge. (Though really, what isn’t part of the wildlife refuge around here?) I’m going to be honest and admit that the first 15 minutes were fun, the next hour and change were not as much fun, and the 45 minutes heading down were fun again.

[The first fifteen minutes.]

I was prepared for the cold this time: I knew that my fingers especially would tingle a bit at the beginning but once I got moving I would warm up. I started out the trail wearing boots, a long sleeve thermal shirt and wool sweater, and snow pants. Part way up I took the sweater off (and sometimes I was wishing I could remove the pants, too).

[I think what’s happening here is Chester doing a flip – back down the way we came. I, however, was not about to sacrifice any of my hard-earned gain just to have to repeat it.]

The path wasn’t straight up all the way, but there were parts where I needed all four feet (you know, the two under my hips and the two coming out of my shoulders) in order to keep going. Usually this was just from the ice – where the snow was deep I could kick my feet in and get a good grip. (Or I could let Chester go first, and use his footsteps as a kind of ladder. You know.)

[About half-way up, I start contemplating what would happen if I just rolled all the way back down.]

“It isn’t that hard a hike,” says Chester. “Easier than the Precipice one we did in Acadia.”
Me: “The sign says ‘Very Strenuous.’ Isn’t that the most difficult rating?”
Chester: “That’s just for tourists.”
Me: “I think that in situations like this, you should consider me still a tourist.”

We didn’t make it all the way up, only ¾ of the way. Let’s pretend this was only because we were having friends over for dinner and needed to get home to start cooking (which was true) and not because I was too tired to keep going (which was also true).

[This is as far as we got. It was beautiful. I’m sorry you still can’t see my face – I was not exactly up for smiling.]

So, we had friends over for Beef Wellington. One of the girls brought the ingredients, but instead of beef she had Caribou Wellington (from a recent hunt) and Moose Wellington (from a recent road kill) – all deliciously wrapped in mushrooms and bacon and puff pastry. Well, the wrapping looked delicious – I only ate the meat inside. (I am consistent if not stringent in my kosher-keeping.) To round it out I made steak fries, garlic bread, and chocolate chip cookies. There was lots of music playing, a little bit of crocheting and knitting, and a good fire going – and let me tell you, there’s nothing like a mountain hike, a belly full of Caribou, a chocolate chip cookie shared with the boyfriend, and a warm fire to give one a good night’s sleep. Oh, and friends. Friends are good too.

Much love,


  1. Hmm...the bacon is off-limits but caribou is okay? Interesting interpretation of kosher dining. (Mind you, I'm the person who won't eat leavened foods on Passover but has no problem mixing milk and meat at the Seder, so who am I to talk?)

    We are all very impressed that you hiked the mountain.

    Sk8terdude wants to know how far you are from the nearest indoor skatepark. Apparently his plans include a visit...but if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath, especially not in winter.

  2. I feel sorry for those who are reading this in the email rather than the blog! The pictures tell so much of the story in context. At the same time, without your explanation I'd never know that Chester was doing a back-flip let alone if that was even a human figure!

    So when do you start jamming with the others?