A rain delay isn’t always a bad thing

Fields Pond Audubon Center became our hiking destination for this week after assessing the weather for Baxter. Stacey and I were going to head back up to the wilderness for a leisurely hike in and around Daicey Pond in Baxter State Park. But Wednesday night we altered our plans after a glimpse at our weather apps. The drizzly forecast was not too appealing. The percentage of rain for Orrington was low so Stacey suggested we do a hike on the Fields Pond trails and end with a swim at the rope jump. That sounded great to me. Something else to add to my new experiences list. I’ve never had the thrill of swinging from a rope swing and plunging into the water.

It poured all night but tapered off by the time I woke at 5:30 am. I was packed and ready to go when I received a text at 6:30am from my hiking buddy that it was raining in Orringtion. I decided to have a little more to eat for breakfast then head out anyways. It would have been so much easier to crawl back into bed. But I am working on developing habits that get me out of my comfort zone. What’s a little rain? I am sweet, but I wasn’t going to melt. Besides, it was early and I was hoping it would stop raining there also. We were not planning to meet until 8:30am.

It was a quiet ride down I-95. There seemed to be less morning traffic then I was accustomed to. I only annoyed one driver with my pace car speed. I like to drive the speed limit, no faster and no slower. I find I am in the minority with this habit. It doesn’t matter what the speed limit is, most people like to go faster than it, no matter what the road conditions are. But that’s a topic for another day.

The clouds blocked the usual morning sun raze from blinding my vision. I have logged many hours of windshield time driving down I-95 in the morning and most of the time the direction of the road in relation to the sunrise is blinding. The car visor and sunglasses do little to offer protection. But yesterday the clouds made that stretch of road more comfortable.

The Fields Pond Audubon Center is located at 216 Fields Pond Road in Holden, Maine just outside of Brewer. I pulled into the parking lot at 8:23am and sent a text to Stacey letting her know I arrived. It was dry the entire way down but as soon as I parked it started to sprinkle. Stacey replied that she was hearing thunder and we should postpone. I had not heard anything so I decided to at least check out the surroundings. A few steps outside the car I smelled the sweet scent of flowers. A familiar fragrance that brought me back to the Appalachian Trail. I knew exactly what it was, milkweed. I was intrigued then and was yesterday by how such a visually unappealing plant could emit such a wonderful aroma. The Nature Center’s store had a small flower garden in front with a few of these plants nestled in the middle. I took time to drench my senses in its perfume.

I peaked in the windows of the shop, it wouldn’t open until 10:00am and took a picture of the map secured in the information kiosk before seeking shelter back in my vehicle. I wasn’t sure if it was thunder I heard or a construction vehicle but I wasn’t taking any chances. I decided to follow in Stacey’s steps and not taking any steps on the trail. Hiking in the rain is one thing but hiking in a storm is another. I had to do it a number of times on the A.T. and it wasn’t fun. It was down right terrifying!

Instead of dwelling on the fact I was not going to be able to hike I decided to focus on something positive. After all, a rain delay isn’t always a bad thing. I had a hand full of errands that needed tending to and what better time to do it then on a rainy day. So I headed back through Brewer with a slower pace then my usual pace car speed and took in the surroundings. On Elm Street in Brewer I passed Pa’s Workshop. What a nice display of outdoor furniture. I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my hubby about what I saw. My favorite piece was a wooden swing that would be perfect on our shore front.

Sometimes happy hiking isn’t always about the hike. It’s just like life, it is the journey that is the fun part, not always the destination. A goal is needed to keep you moving forward but if the end is only what will make you happy, you are missing out on so much more. I did not get to hike yesterday but I found not only a new business of interest, I saw other sites, listened to an inspirational story on the radio I would not have otherwise heard, and got my errands done.

Happy Hiking

Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.