Overlook Mountain Hike

We finally had a comfortable, cool, cloudy day– perfect for a vigorous hike. We’ve been staying at a friend’s house in Woodstock this week while our hallway floor was getting sanded (it was covered linoleum with tar paper underneath that had probably been there well over 100 years, maybe over 200 years, so it was due for refinishing), and we’re not far from Overlook Mountain, so that’s where we hiked today.

The ruins of the old hotel make me think of Cair Paravel in the book Prince Caspian


Woodland sunflowers? Whatever they are, they are beautiful!
One of several large glacial erratics
I always love gnarly, old trees; they are so full of personality.

It was too foggy for a view from the top of Overlook,  but it was pretty up there anyway. We also hiked down to Echo Lake and back,  which was pretty with the lake view, as well as many interesting,  gnarly trees and glacial erratics along the trail.

Normally there is a fabulous view to be seen from this spot– not today!

Ramble on the fire tower at the top of Overlook Mountain– we only went up to the first level- I think he’s laughing at me 🙂

All together with going up to Overlook then down to Echo Lake and back up to the trail junction,  then back down Overlook,  plus a little detour to get some photos, it was 9 miles and 2,500′ elevation gain,  so we are feeling well- exercised this evening. This was Ramble’s first mountain hike,  and he enjoyed it and did great. And this evening he is content to hang out quietly,  which is nice for everyone.

Stephen using his “Peak Finder” app to identify the peaks we would be seeing if it were clear
Sketching at Echo Lake, while Ramble watches a pair of Canada Geese
Echo Lake and unfinished sketch — unfinished because mosquitoes drove us away

Picture Perfect by Jodi Piccoult– Book Review

As always with Jodi Piccoult’s books, I had a hard time putting this book down. It is an engaging and insightful story that clearly depicts the confusion, denial, and relational enmeshment that allows abusive relationships to continue, even when the abusive pattern is obvious to everyone but the victim. As such, it is an excellent book for helping both victims of domestic violence and others understand the dynamics involved and begin to recognize patterns of kindness followed by beatings, followed by more kindness and so on for what they are– abuse.

I recommend this to anyone who wonders if they might be in an abusive relationship or to those who, like me, may have grown up in an abusive situation. Reading this helped me see some ways I have carried relational patterns from childhood into the present, so that now I can more effectively address those patterns and also try to bring truth into those relationships that, while no longer abusive in the same way now that I am not a child, still are not healthy.

Cabin fever painting

It’s been a hazy, hot, humid summer– not my favorite weather! I’ve actually been feeling like I have cabin fever– normally more a winter than summer condition, but I was outside much more last winter, even with the bitter cold temperatures we had, than I have this summer. We’ve also had very few days without rain, usually in the form of torrential downpours, since early July, so it’s been difficult to plan hikes or plein air painting outings, so I’ve been doing more studio paintings, studies, and experiments from photos and then quick sketches when I do get outside (sketches will be in another post).

Asheville View
“Asheville Vista” This is based on a photo I took from the deck of the Wayward Moose Lodge in Asheville, NC 9″ x 12″ Watercolor $150
Sunrise from Blueberry Hill
“Sunrise from Blueberry Hill” When I was at Acadia National Park on Schoodic Peninsula, I walked down to watch the sunrise over the water nearly every morning.This is based on one of my sunrise photos. 9″ x 12″Watercolor $150
“Lake Walton”– Gouache on toned paper study 9″ x 6″