Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 17: Ragged Mountain Brunch

A perfect fall morning, which was lucky for a group of nine of us who'd planned to ride the Snow Bowl chairlift up Ragged Mountain to enjoy a bagel brunch at the top. With backpacks loaded up with goodies, we slowly rode the lift in pairs, enjoying the fall color that seemed to have miraculously spread over the landscape since the previous days' storm. At the top of the lift, we gathered on a ledge with our decadent spread, which included a box of Rock City coffee, orange juice, bagels of all kinds from the Bagel Cafe, cream cheese, smoked salmon, various jams (including one made from some exotic Japanese citrus), Nutella, lemon curd, some ingeniously wrapped fried (and home-grown) eggs, apples, and chocolate hazelnut espresso cake.

After such a filling moveable feast, is it any wonder that we felt the need to hike a bit further up the mountain? Our hike was short but rigorous (and a bit muddy, given that more than four inches of rain fell on Friday and Saturday), as we were on a quest for a good view. I think we found it:
View from Ragged Mt. to Mt. Megunticook and Mt. Battie
Bright red maples and some glowing yellow striped maples punctuated the evergreen forest near the summit. Colorful leaves created picturesque tableaux where they had fallen amid still-green Christmas ferns, ruddy blueberry plants, moss, and hen of the woods mushrooms. Two vultures soared overhead, and a red-tailed hawk seemed to hover motionless on a thermal. A merlin shot past. In the distance, Penobscot Bay shone like a mirror in the sunlight, and we tried to name all the islands we could see.

When we stepped out onto a broad ledge near the summit, several of us exclaimed aloud as the breathtaking, panoramic view suddenly opened before us. A few in our party were from out of town, and one of them asked, a bit surprised, if we hadn't been up there before. Oh yes, we said. Many times. But it's just as amazing each time. 
Bald Mountain from Ragged Mountain
This view, this beauty.
Gold leaf the size of my head,
whole glowing mountain.

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