Recently, I celebrated my 30th birthday, and I’m pleased to say I’ve still spent over half of the summers of my life at Wyonegonic. Like so many other girls, Wyo has always been my special place. Over sixteen summers, it’s where I learned to love the outdoors, to challenge myself, and how to have fun. It’s where I made lifelong friends and formed many of my fondest memories. I started going to Wyo as an 8-year-old camper in 1992; nine years later I got my wiggie chair as an AC, and I only took one year off before spending six more summers as a senior counselor. As both camper and counselor, I especially loved going on trips or hanging from the ropes course. Wyo is also where I developed a strong love of hiking and of the outdoors, passions I’ve carried throughout my life. It’s been about five years since I’ve spent the summer “on the shores,” but I’m looking forward to more Wyo summer adventures in my future.
Unlike most Wyo girls, I have the rare pleasure of calling Denmark, Maine 0-4-0-2-2 my hometown. I grew up on Moose Pond, and I spent my first two summers at Wyo as a day camper. Sometimes, my parents even dropped me off by boat! After several years away, I am now living back in my hometown with my partner Chris and our golden retriever Zoe. This is my first year teaching 8th grade math in Fryeburg. I am lucky to be able to see Wyo throughout the seasons, and Zoe and I often take walks through camp during the fall and winter months. It is a unique pleasure to visit Wyo during these quiet times; it is usually empty and yet it always retains the warmth and spirit of summer. Pleasant Mountain always stands stoically in the background, and the sunsets are just as beautiful.
Inspired by Pleasant Mountain’s everlasting presence at Wyo, this year I made a New Year’s resolution to hike Pleasant during each month of 2013. December 28, Zoe and I finished our last hike! Over the winter, we hiked the cell tower road and telemark skied down; though I won’t say I looked good skiing in the backcountry, I put some turns together! In the spring, we enjoyed the lengthening days and warmer weather. In June, Zoe and I did a solstice sunset hike and watched the moonrise from the summit, and in July/August we enjoyed munching on fresh blueberries. One of my favorite hikes was in September, when Chris, Zoe, and I all participated in the Loon Echo Trek and hiked the whole traverse. The event raises money for Loon Echo Land Trust, a group that has been amazing stewards and caretakers of Pleasant Mountain. We also enjoyed seeing many Wyo folks that day, both on the mountain and driving our drop-off vans!! In the fall, I enjoyed beautiful foliage and the crispness of autumn, and I’ve rounded it all off with two cold and snowy hikes to welcome the return of winter. You can read more details about all of my hikes on my personal blog.
Wyonegonic has always been an influential part of my life, and I’m so thankful for the experiences and relationships I’ve built there over the years. The threads of Wyo are interwoven throughout the rich fabric of my life, and I’m lucky I can visit camp whenever I want. As I begin a new decade, I am looking forward to the ways Wyo will continue to be an important part of my future, and always to my next hike.