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I Finally Did It!!!

Yesterday I was so excited to write this post, but as usual, I experienced technical difficulties with technology. That, plus other commitments kept me from hitting the keyboard. After my day was complete, I was too tired to call tech support. 9:00pm and later is no time for my brain to get too detailed. So, I decided to sleep on it and tackle it in the morning.

I jumped out of bed ready to take on the day like I do most mornings - I love mornings. Yeah, I am one of those freaks who can't wait to start the day. Even before breakfast I headed to my writing room. I started my computer, only to discouragingly, find the issue still hadn't resolved.

I had been having an iCloud syncing issue for several months and kept putting off fixing it. Yesterday I called support and with just a few steps, Wayne, the very patient Apple guy had the problem fixed. I just needed to wait as my devices did their thing.

I went about my day, periodically checking in on the status. Right before bed I wanted to write my post about yesterday's adventure, only to find a handful of photos still had not synced with my computer. Of course it was the ones from the hike.

I didn't even try to figure it out on my own. Wayne said to call back if it didn't do what I needed it to do. When I called Apple, my phone informed me it was in airplane mode. I had forgotten to turn it back on after my hike. As I am on hold with support, I decided to double check my photos on the phone to confirm they were actually still there and not someone how accidentally deleted.

When I opened the app on the phone it immediately went into update mode showing 53 photos being uploaded. Ah, Hah! Feeling like a dweeb, I hung up the phone before a live person answered so I didn't have to admit my technology ignorance. I jump back to my iMac, and just like that, all my photos appeared.

Again, it wasn't the equipment that was the problem. It was user error. So here I am, 7 paragraphs in and still haven't started letting you know about yesterday's adventure. I just had to share yet, another event in the world of my technology adventures before getting to the good stuff.

So, I finally did it!!! Ever since we have lived here on this beautiful lake in Maine surrounded by woods, we have wanted to explore deeper into the forest behind our house. There is an old skiddah (spelled skidder for non-Mainers) trail we like to hike. We call it Mollie's Trail after one of our dogs we had years ago.

The skiddah trail dead ends with another skiddah path that heads south but is more overgrown and not so easily navigable. So we always turn around at the junction and head back home. It is a short hike about a mile and half or so, but all uphill.

This winter I have been snowshoeing weekly on this trail. I started by trimming and carving a path on our property up through the woods a quarter mile to an unplowed road. I follow that for another quarter mile to the beginning of Mollie's Trail.

At first I only snowshoed a short distance as I cleared a path and broke trail. Carrying my extra winter fluff, I huffed and puffed each time less as I grew in strength and cardio fitness. It was quite the challenge. Just as I would be able to go a little further, that night it would snow and I would have to repack the trail. I inched along increasing the distance each time I went out.

Below are different pics of various outings.

One of my rest spots

This is Barney

Eastern Hemlock cone

The unplowed road. Some days I feel my hips really are that big.

Giving up on the snowshoes, they wouldn't stay tight.

Morning rays.

(Mollie's Trail)

One hike, I was with Bruce and we made it to the end of Mollie's Trail to the junction. It was a nice day and we had time so he suggested we try to find our way to that road we know is "up there somewhere." But I rejected it. I did not pack enough snacks, water, or my compass. He said, "You always say that." Which is true, I do say that because we never prepare for it and don't think to do it until we reach the ending say, "Let's go further today".

One day I thought I had prepared. So I ventured further. I followed the skiddah trail that junctions with Mollie's trail. The winter snow filled in and covered the old cuttings making it a breeze to navigate. I made it to a semi-clearing that was beginning to grow up. Just on the other side I recognized a young stand of mixed hardwoods and fur threes. These were about 20 plus years old, new growth from a previous harvesting. I remembered seeing such details on a GPS satellite app I was using. I knew just on the other side of that stand of trees I could find the road.

I ventured into the new forest a few yards and found a spot to rest. I contemplated going further, but again, I did not have my compass. I forgot it again. And it was snowing just hard enough to cover my tracks so I didn't dare go deeper without a way to find my way back. So I took a little nap instead.

I spread out my sit-upon on the snow and nestled down. I stared up through the trees as snowflakes tickled my eye lashes and cooled my cheeks. There wasn't a sound heard. No birds, no wind. no man-made noises. Just the tiniest whisper of hissing as the snow fell gently to earth. It was pure Heaven.

Nap time view

Me, resting peacefully before Barney insisted we leave.

My escape was short lived. Barney wasn't too keen on being covered in snow. He nudged me as if to say, "Hey, I wan't to go home." So off we went, back home and the adventure to find the road would have to wait for another day.

Yesterday was that day! Adventure #2 of 20in2020 complete. Just the day before I was ready to throw my snowshoes in the dumpster. I couldn't get them to stay tight. That happened on a previous hike. I was so mad. It took every ounce of strength not to loose my temper. I had to talk myself down from letting that one irritation from ruining the day's hike. It was really annoying and even painful at times. My foot would slide backwards in the binding and if I didn't pay close attention my knee would hyper extend. I would step-step-slide. Step-step-slide. Then it was step-slide, step-slide. for a 1/2 mile. I couldn't wait to get home.

But I managed to calm down and just chalk it up to mechanical failure that could be fixed, I hoped. Before I set back out yesterday I played and futzed with my snowshoes and trusted the adjustments I made would not hinder my excursion. I wanted to punch through.

This time I had everything I needed; food, extra water, snacks for me and Barney. The weather was incredible for Maine. 45 degrees, crystal clear blue skies, no wind. I headed out in a t-shirt and sunglasses. After double checking my topo map and GPS we headed out.

behind the barn we started, easily reaching the unplowed road, then the beginning of Mollie's Trail. Up and up we continued. At the junction we dog-legged right, following the tracks from the previous days and reached the spot where I napped. Going further would be uncharted territory. I checked the topo app and confirmed if I stayed on a straight bearing I would in fact hit the road. I pulled out my compass, took a bearing and stepped forward. Every few yards I checked my bearing to make sure I was on course.

To my surprise we reached the road rather quickly. All those years of wanting to hike to the road but not knowing how far it was so we never ventured further. All along the road was within our grasp, less than a mile from the end of Mollie's Trail.

This adventure may have seemed like it happened just yesterday but it was years in the making. Little by little, pieces were put together to make it come to fruition. First we discovered Mollie's Trail. We traveled and hiked on that other road and looked at maps. Bit by bit learning more about our area on other excursions. Educating ourselves on map and compass skills.

Screen shot of Hiking Tracker app

Finally having the courage to put it all together only to find out it wasn't that far or that scary. How many times in life does that happen. We want to do something, or need to do something but think it is so unattainable. But if we just stick with it, have the patience, and have faith, even if it takes years, we can eventually figure it out.

Enjoy your day,

Emily M. Leonard

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