The summer is in full swing up in the North Maine woods,
with the bugs mostly at bay and trail work progressing on several fronts. The
second group of teen volunteers
continued basic maintenance work on popular summer trails around the Maine
Viewpoints on Indian Mountain near Little Lyford lodge are
now unobstructed after the teens took their saws to downed trees and giant
rootballs, and the corridor and drainages along the magical, mossy Henderson
Brook Trail are now in the clear!
The group also broke out maps and compasses
to travel off-trail along the Appalachian Trail corridor boundary. They cut
brush, repainted blazes and located survey monuments to clearly define the edge
of the AT's buffer zone, spurring conversations about wilderness ethics, our
impact on the land as trail workers and how we value nature.
To finish out the
work week, the group continued a ski bridge project initiated earlier in
the season. Everyone got wet, dirty and stronger from hard work digging up rocks from the muck, hauling dirt
and setting 10-foot cedar baselogs. Each day finished with a refreshing dip in
Long Pond, experimenting with campfire-building techniques and hanging out
watching the sunset on the dock.
Particularly “boss” was the hike through Gulf
Hagas, the Grand Canyon of Maine, on the last full day. Following along the
rocky cliffs above the Pleasant River, the hike culminated with a swim below a
breathtaking (literally: the water was cold!) waterfall.
Thanks to the whole
group for rising to new challenges each day, sparking dynamic conversations
about politics and culture and being so positive!