Monday, August 18, 2008

Sugarloaf, Summer.

High: 82° F
Low: 61° F
Conditions: Mostly sunny with a steady breeze.

It was a busy weekend at caninaturalist central. Ari and I served as mistresses of ceremony at the grand opening of the Belfast Dog Park (we’ll have pictures of the event later this week). We also were running the finals of the title contest for our forthcoming book (scroll to the bottom of this post to find out who won!).

With all this socializing—both real and digital—going on, we needed to balance the activity with a little quiet contemplation and good old fashioned physical exertion. And so, we decided to head to one of our very favorite winter haunts, Sugarloaf Mountain. From November to April, Sugarloaf is a kind of second home to us. Greg and I love the downhill skiing; Ari loves the fact that there’s always another dog or two around. And, when the lift lines are too long, she gets a nice ski-jore on the cross country trails just off the mountain.

Sugarloaf is no slouch. At 4237 feet, it is the second highest mountain in Maine. This is what Sugarloaf looks like nine months out of the year:

But this is what it looks like (halfway up the mountain) in the middle of August:

The caninaturalist and I were intrigued at the prospect of exploring this foreign summer-scape. Or at least I was. She was more distracted because I told her there was a really good chance we might run into a moose on our hike:

Unfortunately, that turned out to be just one more bait and switch in the mind of Ari. Although we saw plenty of signs of moose, the cause of these signs remained allusive:

Luckily, what we lacked in fauna, we made up for in flora. Like these late summer blossoms:

And this vibrant alpine meadow near the top of the mountain:

We also found scads of berry bushes. I thought these raspberries were just about perfect:

But Ari seemed to prefer the blueberries (must be that color thing again!):

It takes about 7 minutes to get to the top of Sugarloaf by chairlift. It took us just over 70 by foot (not counting much-needed rest breaks). The view from the top was hazy, but that's okay: the journey made it all worthwhile.


Congratulations to our friend, Marigold, Goat Philosopher! Marigold's title, "No Stone Unturned" won our title contest with 8 votes. Second place went to "Outside with Ari", and the other three titles tied with 3 votes each. Marigold will get a very special gift of thanks, and we'll forward all of the titles to our editor for consideration.

You all may remember that Marigold also won our Audubon Christmas bird count for the most birds counted. Now, dog bloggers, we don't mean to be speciest, but we are aware that twice now you have been bested by a goat. To quote our good friend Khyra, we're just saying. . .


Rhea said...

Beautiful photos! Too bad Ari didn't find a moose, although I did see the evidence that one was around somewhere. hehe

Congrats on being mistresses of the ceremony!

Kess And Her Mama said...

A lovely day for a walk! Great pics.

Pippa said...

That looks a super walk, beautiful scenery. Even better with a slight breeze too.

Eve said...

Ha Ha I won't say a word to Ole and Daisy about the goat thing!!
What a beautiful place that Sugarloaf is! Thanks for bringing us there!

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...


Do I wish I were there!!

I'm sure the moose were hiding with the skhwirrel!!!

PeeEssWoo: Yep, woo were just sayin'!

John Theberge said...

I haven't been to Sugarloaf in years but I like riding Rt. 16 on the motorcycle, it's a very nice ride.
The frog in yesterdays post was surrounded by duckweed.

Tracey and Huffle said...

You live in a WAY more interesting place than I do, Ari.

Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

The Army of Four said...

Wow, what gorgeous photos! Mom loves the scenery. Me? I was fascinated with the moose poop. I've never seen any before.
Tail wags,
Storms (Moose-less in Kansas)

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

That mountain looks really beautiful. We sure would like to visit there no matter what time of the year it was..
Oh a flippy is a flip-flop mom is so silly... We had it tore up in no time..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Marigold said...

I won??? How cool is that? I am humbled. Do I get Peanuts? :)

By the way, the first flora picture...are those Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium...or maybe it has been changed to Chamaenerion something-or-another)? We have lots of those. Wouldn't it be cool if they grew all the way across the US from us???

Simba said...

Just dropping by to say hello and catch up on all the news.

Simba x

sugarcreekstuff said...

I lived in Flagstaff Az a couple of years as a kid and loved riding the chair lift in the summer. Your mountain reminds me of that.
I love the photos and stories you and your beautiful pup share.

Anonymous said...

YIKES! Bested by a goat! We dogs better get busy! Can't wait to get the book.

What a beautiful walk you had, I love the pictures.

When we lived in Alaska we always said "All that's left of the moose" when we came across droppings. We were young and thought we were funny.