We had to take M to camp in Western Maine on Sunday, so we decided to make a trip of it and went camping near Grafton Notch State Park. C and I had been there together once before, on our first wedding anniversary thirteen years ago.
Since our last trip there, a sweet little campground has sprung up right outside the park--one that does not come equipped with swimming pools and tennis courts and mini golf like most of the other campgrounds in the area--and we were able to get a last-minute camp site, with our very own river-front property.
(I'm going to pretend the soft focus in those two pictures is intentional, but I think it's just a really dirty lens).
We headed up Friday night, after work and grocery shopping and packing the car and eating take-out burritos, and arrived in time to set up the tent in the dark.
But it was warm and not raining and not at all buggy, so, despite a few splintering poles (on the list for next summer: new tent), we were set up and snuggled in our sleeping bags in no time.
The park is famous for its deep, narrow gorges carved by boulder-logged streams flowing beneath the glaciers.
And it offered plenty of opportunity for dare-devil boys to shimmy up and down.
At one point, I asked C to show a little restraint after he went past a guard rail to the edge of a cliff. "Mama doesn't want Papa to explore," he grumped.
We climbed to Table Rock, up the steep side. My blood was pounding on the climb up, but with a 90-year-old man ahead of us, and a family with five tiny kids behind us, I had no choice but to soldier on.
Z, of course, had to get as close to the edge as possible.
The view was pretty spectacular.
Well worth the climb.
On the (much easier) hike down, I had to stop and photograph these shamrocks, now that Ireland is in my blood. (Of course, I only saw one tiny shamrock plant, about one-tenth this size in all of Ireland).
See that chunk of rock up there, right below the patch of blue sky? That's where we were.
Later, we did some exploring downstream of Screw Auger Falls.
We came to a place where you had to cross above a waterfall, and I chose to sit down and watch everyone else enjoy themselves.
After several attempts at getting E to stop leaping across the falls, I gave up and took pictures instead.
Z, who is much more
sensible cautious, like his mother, crossed upstream (let the record show that Z is only more cautious when it comes to water crossings and very little else).
We also went to the granite slides at Step Falls, but I didn't think sliding down streams into pools of water would be too good for the camera, so I left it behind.
As an early birthday celebration, I whipped up this Mexican Chocolate Cake the night before we left.
As nice as it would be to have a husband who baked cakes, I guess I'll settle for the blackberries he picked on top.
Sunday we dropped M at his camp (where he took off to join the fray with nary a backward glance at his parents), and headed home to decampress and return reluctantly to regular life.