Today, I decided to wander while Denise and Jeremy were both at work. I put on all of my layers (it was in the low 20’s outside), shrugged into my camera backpack, and started out on Whiskeag Road (pronounced whis-keg). On Thursday night, Denise and I tripped the trek and we figured it to be about 2 miles into downtown Bath, my current destination. I had barely crested the hill to the left of their house when the snow began to fall… a very light, dainty snow. I continued on, covering my camera with my gloved hands when I wasn’t taking a picture.
Right by their house is pretty and slightly rural – fields blanketed in white, sparkly snow and if you stop and listen on the hill you can hear the water flow underneath a layer of ice in the ditch beside the road. It was a dainty, tinny sound. In some places the ice had melted away, leaving small windows to the hurried water underneath. I passed by a field with horses in it; the sign read “Please No Tresspassing – Rescue Horses Recovering.” That same house was home to a flock of geese gathering around a frozen pond, honking noisily, if not angrily, at my presence so close to their ice-covered home.
After making a right at the yeild sign, I entered a residential neighborhood. I glimpsed a moment of a boy playing with his chocolate dog out in the white backyard, and many houses that were so sad from the winter, obvious in their age, holding up against their hardship (the weight of snow), and all standing in a palette that was quite lacking joyful color. I began to think that perhaps Maine prefers to blend into the winter landscape, only to emerge in a glory of greens, yellows, pinks and reds come spring.
I knew I’d entered downtown Bath when I arrived upon the Chocolate Church, which has been renovated as an arts center. To the left was a small gallery run by the Church, which had quite a nice photography exhibit displayed on their walls. I hadn’t been in the downtown area very long when the snow picked up in its intensity. The flakes grew larger, and they called more of their friends down to fill the skies and my eyelashes, and to rest on my nose. I put my camera away.
Jeremy called; he’d gotten out of work early, so he met me and we had lunch at Beale Street BBQ, a restaurant that both he and Denise really enjoy. Filling our stomachs with ribs, jalapeno cornbread and some beans, we ventured back out and went into a few of the stores and shops – more to stretch our legs than to really purchase anything. We met Angel Dog, a black lab, and her owner in one such shop. Jeremy had to remove his hat; apparently Angel Dog wasn’t too fond of men in hats. But we both know something about pets with possible abuse issues, and with the hat in his had Angel Dog allowed herself to receive a scratch.
Jeremy and I decided to head home and take the dogs for a walk in the woods. I was very glad to have a ride back to the house – the roads were now coated in about an inch of soft, white powder. It would have made the trek home slippery and difficult, as many of the sidewalks were already holding enough snow to make them unpassable. It was good to ride down the road than walk on it. Asia loved bounding through the woods behind the house with us, but after several hundred yards Riley decided we were too far out to be safe without Denise, and returned home to sit on the front porch. The woods were beautiful in the still-falling snow, and the places where water would normally fall down the hillside and stream towards Whiskeag Creek were encased in ice. With the covering of snow, it was hard to tell if we were putting our feet on solid ground or not.
The ice and snow was hard on Asia’s feet – we noticed that she was bleeding slightly on her pads – so we put both dogs inside before venturing out on Whiskeag Creek. Like Denise, it makes me nervous to walk on ice, but the fissures – like zippers across the ice surface – allowed Jeremy to show me that it was several inches thick. The snow allowed us to walk, if we were careful, without slipping. I realized that I can now go home and say that I walked on water in Maine!
Denise came home, and we drove back to the base in Brunswick to get fitted for boots, skis and poles at the MWR. $15 a piece for gear rentals – you can’t beat that!!! 🙂 We ate a dinner of hot sandwiches at The Big Top, a pizzeria/deli in downtown Brunswick, and by then the snow had made driving a careful business. The snow plows were starting to come out to clear streets, and Denise sang the praises of her Land Rover, Salty the Rover.
We finished off the evening with a DVD, Becoming Jane, which was alright, but not terrific. The best part, after spending so much of the day out in the frosty air, was getting into PJs and holding a cup of hot tea. Today was a perfect spool-up for tomorrow; we’re going skiing!