“I’m stuck!” Janelle wails.
Her predicament seems funny to me; standing there in the rain, up to her calves in mud. Both her feet are completely submerged in the thick, swirling mud between two wooden plank bridges. I imagine her feet are cold, too.
We are nearly two miles up the Success Trail and everything is wet. Despite a forecast that called for warm, clear skies, the heaven’s opened up on us 30 minutes ago, and it’s still drizzling. Now, Tough Cookie is stuck. Literally. She can’t move her feet, and she sways back and forth, trying to figure out some means of extraction.
She senses my amusement and it irritates her. “No, really, I can’t move!”
There’s a hint of desperation in her voice, so I find some solid ground to brace myself, reach under her armpits and lift her out of the muck. She breaks free with a squishy pop!
And so we stand there, looking at her feet, which are solidly encased in an impenetrable layer of goo. It really is funny, but I hold my tongue.
“What do we do now?” she asks.
“Well, we can turn around if you got really wet, or just kick off some of that mud and let’s keep going.”
Given the option of turning around, she wavers. She needs to begin making these kinds of decisions for herself, of judging on her own how uncomfortable is too uncomfortable.
“Ugh, it’s gross,” she grumbles, and I know she’s decided to keep going.
Mt. Success (8/31/12)
Height: 3,565 feet
Location: Berlin, I-93 to exit 35 to Route 3 north to Route 115 north to Route 2 east (through Gorham) to Route 16 north to Berlin, cross the Mason Street Bridge to the east side and follow Hutchins Street to Success Pond Road, go about 5 miles, trailhead parking on right.
Our trailhead: Success Trail up and back (Warning: Success Pond Road is a dreadful logging road. Cars without high clearance will have problems. Also, beware of fast moving logging trucks. Finally, though Success Pond Road is open in winter, it is not maintained.)
Distance: 6.3 miles round trip (includes the .3 loop to look-out ledges).