Monday, August 27, 2012

Chapter One, Debar Pond

The dogs and I had driven up to the farm on Sunday. When Monday morning rolled around, I put the four youngest dogs in the car and headed out to a hiking trail shortly after dawn. I wanted to stay cool. I drove down the Port Kent Hopkinton Turnpike as I commonly do on my way home, but then followed the instructions and turned onto an unmarked, tiny dirt lane I'd never even noticed before. About a mile through the forest I saw this sign and parked:

It took me a minute to locate the trail, but it was abundantly clear after I'd found it because it was a series of planks taking us over wetlands. The dogs were thrilled:

We passed over brooks where Joe-Pye Weed grew in abundance:

And continued through wet, boggy forests of White Cedar and other trees, walking about three feet off the ground on the planks:

Clearly there had been a big blow-down in places and I thought how utterly terrifying it would be to find oneself in the woods during such an event:

And on we walked. The planks were covered with chicken wire in places to make them less slippery:

Eventually, though, we left the raised boardwalk behind and continued on the trail as it traversed the forest on solid ground. I passed some of the largest, healthiest patches of Shining Clubmoss I'd ever seen:

And it wasn't long before we arrived at Debar Pond, surrounded by mountains and far, far, far from any roads except that tiny dirt lane. Its beauty was enough to cause me to gasp. The dogs, however, only wanted to play in the water:

And play they did, with even Fergus and Daphne going right in and actually swimming. That was the first time they've ever done that:

I took a side trail off toward the east side of the lake and the dogs came with me. Seamus did also, but at first he was reluctant to leave the water:

We walked just a short way to where someone had a privately owned log cabin. Though there were no signs posted, I didn't want to trespass, so I stopped there and admired the view of the west shore of Debar Pond:

A spectacular, wilderness place to be sure. I thought this was to be the end of our brief hike but it didn't turn out to be so. I'll post more tomorrow:

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