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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Sugarloaf Mountain

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yavanna earth
Today, Bobby and I went hiking out in Frederick County at Sugarloaf Mountain. Sugarloaf Mountain is a monadnock, or stand-alone mountain; all of the other mountains around it have since eroded away. (The Appalachians were once the highest above-water mountain range in the world. They're significantly humbler now, but they've earned the right. :) Because Sugarloaf is largely composed of quartzite, it has resisted the erosion that has destroyed its brethren.

The hike was beautiful. We started by getting the worst part over: climbing to the summit. We've done worse--it was about a four-hundred foot climb over a quarter-mile, so rather steep but not long, at least--but I am really out-of-shape. We hardly hiked at all last year, and I'm not even really sure why. That quarter-mile climb sure reminded me of our negligence last year, though.

The "east view" from the parking lot. We are looking toward home. Actually, Sugarloaf Mountain only has about 200 feet of elevation on our house.

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A panoramic of the east view:

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The view from the top was splendid, of course. To the south, we could see the Potomac River. It was an overcast day--actually, it rained most of the time we were there, but under the forest canopy, you can hear but not feel the rain--and hazy.

The view from the top:

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Bobby!

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Me!

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Bobby and me together!

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The summit:

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I found baby pinecones and am very excited about them.

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After we scrambled around on some rocks and explored the summit, we climbed back down, discovering in the process that, of course, luck would have it that we'd selected the most difficult of three trails for our ascent. Alas, the exercise and the challenge were both good for us.


Going down the green trail--the easy one!

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Once at the bottom again, we did a short loop around back to the parking lot, more or less along a ridge partway up the mountain. There were frequent spectacular views from there as well. There are longer trails that we want to try next time, skipping the summit and going for the long haul.

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A cool-looking 'shroom we found that we photographed in order to identify.

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Finally, last year, we saw Sugarloaf Mountain too ... in Ireland. *whine*

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In non-mountain-related news, I am no longer a squatter on LJ. I have purchased another paid account for myself. Which I said that I was not going to do, being as I was/am/something pissed off at LJ. But I've decided that 1) I know the place, 2) all of my friends are here, and 3) no matter what, LJ ain't going back to what it was. And I do believe in supporting groups financially when I use their service regularly, and I have been on LJ for over five years with five years' worth of rambling, pictures, and so on kept here. So I guess I'm back. And now I will have more than the same few icons that I've been using for the last year! And going to the full-page view of my LJ will use my layout and not the dull LJ layout. It's the little things.

(And no more ads! The big things too!)
  • Sugarloaf. That is an awesome name for a mountain. *g* Those are great photos; such beautiful scenery and you and your husband are adorable too!


    I have purchased another paid account for myself.
    It's funny to read this at this point in time, just because I just got myself another paid account today. Admittedly, just for 2 months - and then I'll see how it goes - but I was just sick and tired of the ads! I'm not even fussed about the userpics. (But I was on a sponsored account before, so the main upgrade is with the lack of ads, I think.)
    • Thank you! :)

      I was just sick and tired of the ads! I'm not even fussed about the userpics. (But I was on a sponsored account before, so the main upgrade is with the lack of ads, I think.)

      I was on Basic, so I had, I think, six userpics, which were my default and the last five I'd uploaded. I made them work (I could have switched them out but was too busy/lazy). When I let my paid account expire, I think LJ defaulted me to Plus, but I couldn't bear the ads, so I switched back to Basic. On Basic, I still saw ads on other people's journals, which was pain enough and reason to celebrate my return as a paid LJ customer! :)

      ETA: Your icon is gorgeous, btw! :)

      Edited at 2010-06-06 01:32 am (UTC)
  • Oh, lovely pics. ::dreamy sigh:: I'm curious though -- have you ever thought of hiking the Appalachian Trail?
    • Thank you, Sam! :) We have indeed thought about the Appalachian Trail, probably when we're both teaching and have weeks/months off together at a time. That gives me plenty of time to get back into shape; it'd probably kill me if I tried to hike it now! :)
      • Maybe you could do a teaching-related thesis or something when you finally are able to hike it?

        I always hoped to *try* to hike it one summer (even though I am more of a couch potato) but my health is too bad.
        • Are you near the Appalachians? Even as someone who was in really good shape once upon a time (then came grad school, and my butt became glued to my computer chair ;), it's definitely something to work up to, I think.
          • No, I'm afraid I'm not anywhere near -- I'm about 1500 miles to the west, lol. But my cousin used to live near there and I always thought it would cool to go for a day hike, or something.
            • I was wondering if maybe we were neighbors! :) Well, if you ever end up in the Maryland area, let me know; we know tons of beautiful places to hike! :)
  • Great pictures! Always nice to see your smiling face!
  • Oh, what gorgeous mountain scenery! And you and your Bobby are such a cute couple! Now I know what you actually look like. (I have this tendency to imagine my friends looking like their icons. Isn't it odd that so many of them look like a hobbit?)

    • Oh, what gorgeous mountain scenery!

      It is. We are so lucky where we live. (Being only 200 ft lower in elevation than Sugarloaf, we have similarly spectacular views at the end of our street. That was definitely a motive when we chose this house! :)

      And you and your Bobby are such a cute couple! Now I know what you actually look like. (I have this tendency to imagine my friends looking like their icons. Isn't it odd that so many of them look like a hobbit?)

      Thank you! I do that too; imagine people as their icons. Was I a crappy Tengwar D and F made in Illustrator after working with the software for no more than an hour? :D *points to default icon*
  • Ooh, hiking pics! And mushrooms! And you're back on LJ! Yay! :D

    I remember how much it blew my mind to learn how the Appalachians (and other east coast mountain systems) used to be so much larger than they are today--even bigger than the Himalayas, apparently. There are scratch marks on top of my local mountains (not Appalachians, but still) that give a hint at how insane some of the glaciers during the ice age were, and then it makes you wonder at how incomprehensibly old things are...
    • I thought you'd like the mushroom. When we were photographing the mushroom, I said, "Niki would be proud of us!" :D

      It's pretty amazing to consider the Appalachians as the sorts of tall, jagged mountains like the Himalayas. When we get annoyed, digging in the garden, which grows rocks, since we live in the foothills of the Appalachians, we sigh and say, "Well, millions of years ago, our house would have been on top of a huge mountain--what else should we expect?!" At least we don't dig down and hit solid rock!

      The geology of Sugarloaf is particularly fascinating. Apparently it was once at the edge of a Cambrian sea that deposited piles of sand that, under intense heat and pressure, became the quartzite that makes up the mountain today. And that protects it from erosion where its neighbors have all disintegrated into the rocky hills like where we live. Walking there and thinking on that, I felt how profoundly deep time is and how impermanent, by contrast, our time is. And how insignificant human problems! :) In all, it was a very cool place.
  • What gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing.
  • Pretty! And the scenery is nice too! ^_^
  • I have to say, your hubby is cute! (I hope you don't mind me noting that?) Actually, his build is rather like what I imagine for Imrahil's sons, though of course with longer hair.

    The mountains are probably the one thing I miss about living in NC. I love NY, but when I think of Bilbo's wistful longing for mountains, I totally get that. So your pictures actually brought a tear to my eye. So beautemous!
    • I don't mind at all! :D I agree--though I'm a bit biased. ;) He has his hair tied back here, but it comes down to about his shoulders. When he washes it, he looks like Aragorn in the movie posters. Not a bad deal. ;)

      heartofoshun often says that his eyes remind her of her Fingon. (And I should say that when I met him, I was not a Tolkien fan! :D)

      I can understand missing natural environs too. When we lived in Ellicott City, I missed the peace and quiet of the country so much. We had briefly considered living in Baltimore--that nixed that! :) This is my first time living within view of the mountains. I can see how one could become attached; after only three years, I am. The view from the end of our street, looking west at the Blue Ridge Mountains, was a motivating factor when we chose our house. :)

      Hey, if ever you want to visit them in person ... we're not that far from NYC. ;)
  • Looks like you had a great time! :)
    • We did! My legs have already forgotten the pain of that climb. They want to go back and do it again today. :)
  • First effect of your no-longer-working-for-WAU: More LJ entries! I approve!

    Looks like you had a lovely hike - some impressive scenery you've got there! And Bobby and you look so happy and content. :)


    Edited at 2010-06-06 11:38 am (UTC)
    • Yes--being able to keep my journal again is one of the perks of my new line of work! :)

      We did have a lovely hike--I can't wait to go back and do some of the longer trails! And we are scarily happy too. :)
  • Have I ever told you that you have the most adorable little-kid smile?
  • Gorgeous pics!
  • The Appalachians were once the highest above-water mountain range in the world. They're significantly humbler now, but they've earned the right. :)

    I am always so curious to know what happened that they are no longer the highest. Errosion is what the site says, but perhaps seismologic changes as well?

    And a happy!Dawn and a relaxed!Bobby :D

    LJ= as far as I can tell, no big screw ups of LJ happened, they have been behaving.
    • Errosion is what the site says, but perhaps seismologic changes as well?

      The information at Sugarloaf definitely indicated that there were seismic upsets that caused the formation of the mountain; it was so long ago, that I can't believe that that wouldn't have been an influence, somewhat, on the diminishing of the Appalachians. Also, if I'm not mistaken--and I'm no geologist--wouldn't the presence of mountains that dramatic indicate significant seismic activity in the first place? So I'm sure it was many things. :)

      LJ= as far as I can tell, no big screw ups of LJ happened, they have been behaving.

      It seems that way to me, though I'm not following metafandom like I once was. :) It's kind of ironic given the panic everyone went into when SUP purchased LJ from SixApart. However, as far as I can tell, SixApart have been the worst owners so far. I still don't think that they quite knew what they were getting into when they came on board and found LJers a little less compliant and malleable than they expected! :)
      • Well I was more wondering about fault lines and plates friction causing the mountain range to lower during such activities. I'll do some googling myself because I find this mightily interesting! So far I found this and I'll read it later this evening when the kids are asleep.

        As for SixApart, I love their product Vox, its very reliable and haven't caught them in any asshattery so far. I just think that SA and LJ users was a very bad romance to begin with :)
        • That makes sense to me but ... I'm so not a geologist! :D

          I just think that SA and LJ users was a very bad romance to begin with

          I agree. I think SA came in here without realizing that the site had a deeply entrenched culture that tended to be ... well, countercultural. :) Was Nipplegate SA or when LJ still owned itself? I don't remember, but I do remember the "child porn" incident that had half of fandom in a panic. SA clearly didn't get at all the culture of a large number of communities on its site.
  • I agree with Oloriel - more Dawn on LJ is always good news!

    What lovely landscape, so close to your home. One of the most serious drawbacks of Buenos Aires is that nothing interesting landscapewise happens in under 500 kilometers so there are no weekend hiking expeditions :( - I felt exhausted just by looking at the slopes
    • We are very lucky where we live. :) Maryland is called "little America" because we have a sampling of just about all of the landscapes in the country. We're missing the desert, rainforest, tundra, and tropics, but we've got just about everything else: the ocean, a large bay, forests, plains, wetlands, mountains, cities, suburbs, and farmland.

      I felt exhausted just by looking at the slopes

      They were wicked ... probably the third hardest climb I've done.
  • It sounds like a great hike, and those are gorgeous photos :)

    Since LJ wasn't prepared to post comments for me last week, let me wish you all the best in your future career here! I'm sure you'll have a great time :D

    Edited at 2010-06-06 06:18 pm (UTC)
    • Thank you, Moreth--both for the compliments on the photos (most of which my husband took) and the well wishes! :D I had my first full day as a freelancer today, and I survived and think it's going to work! \0/
  • That looks like a wonderful hike! i can only imagine how beautiful the place must have been in person.

    LJ's slide into evilness seems to have slowed considerably since SUP bought it, so I don't feel as guilty about continuing my paid account here as I once did. And like you, I feel bound to financially support sites I visit and use often. (I can't stand the way people refer to ad-funded sites as "free." They're not! paying a bit of cash is, in my opinion, far preferable to abusing my eyeballs and risking my privacy, which is what the ad-driven places do.)
    • It was! I love the Appalachians. They're not very dramatic anymore, but they're so lovely in their own right. (I am biased, too, though. ;)

      I agree that SUP--who were heralded with full-blown panic, if I remember correctly--seems to be handling things much better than SA ever did. And yes, I so totally agree about the ads! Most people live in a sort of la-la land where the Internet is concerned; I'm not sure where they think the money to run a website comes from if the site is truly "free." If I'm going to inhabit a site, like I do LJ, then I don't want to be looking at garish, blinking, possibly virus-ridden "Wanna Hook a Hottie?" ads that look like the guys being offered could be my students ... I'll suck it up and pay my almost-$3 per month! :)
      • Anyone who thinks the Appalachians aren't dramatic has obviously never hiked them in spring!

        Most people live in a sort of la-la land where the Internet is concerned...

        Exactly. There's no "free" on the internet, you're going to either pay with money or pay in other ways. When you're paying with money, at least you know for sure what the price is going to be!

        (Mind you, I might have had a different opinion if online advertisers had exerted even a modicum of self-restraint. But they didn't, and there's no reason to think they will in the future, and there's only so much blinking, moving "punch the monkey!" crap I can take.)
  • Love the views!
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