Hiking Boots and Sail Ties at the Ready

Thanks to Kim and Steve C., we had a scrumptious breakfast and a few Bloody Marys to kick start our first day of mini-vacation.  It was shaping up to be a lovely day so we planned to spend it outside.  We first headed to Mount Dessert Island.

Just north of Southwest Harbor, we’d selected the Flying Mountain trail.  It was packed with other vacationers!  It likely took us longer to park the car than to hike this moderate trail.  Once we started out we admired all the sights along the way.  Brian, Brian F., and Steve K. captured many moments throughout the hike with their stellar photography skills.  We had beautiful views of Southwest Harbor and Valley Cove.  We chatted away, paused for viewpoints and photo shoots, and refreshed by the gorgeous Valley Cove.  (Check out more of Steve K.’s fantastic photos, you’ll love them!)

Amanda tackles the trail!IMG_5815


Yea, we can roll with Team [ocn] CrossFit.IMG_5816Um, can someone move that tree?  It’s totally blocking my view…

IMG_5817That’s better.


What a hike!  Back at the guest house we took a break for lunch before hitting the water.  Rode Trip was anxious for another pleasure cruise and a nice little breeze was blowing out on Union River.  We piled everyone into the dinghy and headed out to the boat.  I didn’t hesitate to let the guys help me haul up the anchor; it was buried below 30 feet of water.  Brian F., Steve K., and I each took a turn hauling chain.  Viola!  But we’re not done yet…still have to raise the sails so we can get this boat cruisin’.IMG_2219


Time for dark-n-stormies!

Who’s ready for sailing lessons!?IMG_5845

Emily took to sailing like a fish takes to water.  She kept the wind in the sails and blazed a trail at six-knots.  Emily set a course that avoided rocks (and conspicuous islands), veered away from lobster buoys, and pointed out the sights along the way…I’d say by the end of the trip she could have taught Brian a thing or two about captaining.IMG_5852

At the end of our sail, Brian F. helped to douse the genoa.  He pulled the downhaul with all his might and when both he and the genoa landed, safely, on deck I concurred that the sail was indeed all the way down.  We faced a bit of a challenge when re-anchoring at Union River.  The conditions were wind against current and we had a narrow stretch between moorings where we could anchor in 30 feet at low before the depth rapidly increased to 60 feet.  Attempt number one put our stern too close; smack between an empty mooring and a lobster buoy.  Brian and I switched places and I motored away from the mooring and buoy while Brian hauled the anchor.  Round two, I was back at the bow with Brian F. and Steve K. at the ready to assist.  My arms were shaky and I wanted to be done but as we backed down on the anchor something didn’t look quite right.  I’d dropped the anchor on the wrong side of the stay which runs beneath the bowsprit.  We couldn’t risk the anchor chain chaffing the stay through the night, it’s a vital piece of rigging.  Round three, Brian F. and Steve K. hauled the anchor up and helped me to get it back onto the correct side of the stay.  I was back at the bow for the final time dropping the anchor with all my effort to not fall right over with it.  The anchor set and we settled into a nice space between moorings.  PHEW!

I think it’s safe to say that everyone aboard had a new perspective of living the dream; there is (at times) grueling, risky work involved before we can just sit back and drink cocktails all day in the sunshine.IMG_2267But once the work is done…it just doesn’t get any better than this!


Union River Mini-Vacation

Editor’s Note:  The recollection of this mini-vacation may become confusing to readers.  Yes, there are indeed two Steves and two Brians.  There are Kim’s Steve C., our hosts and Emily’s Steve K., our friends.  There are my Brian, Rode Trip’s captain and Amanda’s Brian F., our friends.  I’ll do my best to keep them straight but basically they are all awesome and likely whatever one of them would do the other would do the same.

Our mini-vacation at Union River (Trenton, ME) was one of those serendipitous occasions where plans fall into place with very little effort.  It happened something like this…Rode Trip landed in Maine and an email landed in my inbox.  A friend’s guest house was available in August; could everyone attend on such-and-such dates?  Wouldn’t ya know, those dates fit into all six peoples’ schedules!  And come that fine August day, Rode Trip sailed up Union River and dropped the hook right in front of the home of our gracious hosts.  Tremendous thanks to Steve C. and Kim, not only for this great parking spot, but also for welcoming us into their home and allowing all of us crazy kids to stay in their guest house for a wonderful reunion.IMG_5814Once we were confident that Rode Trip was secure we headed ashore to greet Steve K. and Emily with ginormous hugs!  Shortly thereafter we were reclining on the deck with beers in hand while getting acquainted with Steve K’s sister, Colleen, her boyfriend, Jeff, and our hosts, Steve C. and Kim.  All the while eagerly anticipating the arrival of Brian F. and Amanda.

At the guest house just up the lane, we settled into our temporary home.  I’d already loaded a batch of laundry into the machine when Brian F. and Amanda arrived.  We greeted them with more ginormous hugs!  Let the party begin!