|One of our victims sitting in Pug's Puddle|
|Attempting to catch frogs|
First order of business complete, we proceeded gaily down to the edge of Pug's Puddle, where a little cluster of bamboo-poled green nets sat by a "frog catching here" sign (you do have to release them after, in case you were wondering). We excitedly pointed out the plethora of green frogs that were calmly sitting amidst the reeds, as well as the giant tadpoles that quickly wriggled away into the murky depths, and eagerly grabbed nets to begin the hunt. However, our excitement was short-lived as we realized that we were surrounded by a cloud of black flies and other various bloodthirsty insects, and we bid a hasty retreat to the car to mist ourselves in a cloud of noxious repellent. Alas, it was too late for me, as a hungry individual had marked me with a bite (the only one I acquired that weekend) smack in the middle of my forehead.
|Northern water snake!|
|Campfiring it up|
I had made ambitious plans to take gorgeous photos of the sunset and moonrise from within Pawtuckaway State Park. Little did I know that the State Park authorities had different ideas. Upon reaching the park, the first thing we learned about the parks being "open year-round for recreation" meant that you could walk as far as your legs could take you into the park, but the roads were closed to motor vehicles. Walking an extra mile each way on a paved road to get to the start of the trail that we actually wanted to walk on seemed a little bit frustrating, but we were there and hell, we were going to walk! Before heading out on foot, we scrounged up 5 dollars in singles and change (all our cash had unexpectedly gone towards our campsite, thanks to the malfunctioning credit card machine) in an attempt to be good citizens who paid state park fees, although no rangers were manning any booths and the self-pay station was equipped with the wrong envelopes. We stuffed the money into a donation envelope and left a note on our dashboard, and headed out along the road into the park.
Pawtuckaway State Park seemed to be a mysterious, cool green place with mossy boulders and groves of pine trees, small brooks and the low sun filtering through the greenery. We trucked along the road and finally reached Burnham's Marsh, where we watched the birds for a little while (no moose made an appearance, unfortunately), before heading off on Fundy's Trail which skirted the edge of the marsh, since I figured that taking a little stroll would be a good way to kill time until sunset and the (super) moonrise. Dusk was descending, and we heard owls calling to each other (if you know us, you know that Matt has an obsession with owls), and we spent a while trying to spot one particular tease of an owl that would keep calling, and then shut up when we got too close for comfort.
We got back to camp and pretty much went straight to bed - but as luck would have it, we were stationed next to the loud, drunk group of campers who insisted on playing crappy music (Country Metal? Is that even a genre?) at unreasonable volumes. Thankfully, they turned things off and went to bed at some point, although the music was soon replaced by deafening snores that echoed through the New Hampshire night - we could hear them quite clearly in the site across from theirs, and it definitely made us grateful that we weren't the snorer's tentmates - although, judging from the mess of cups and bottles on their picnic table in the morning, they might have been too drunkenly passed out to care.
|Somewhere in Bear Brook State Park|
|Matt looking for porcupines|
It was a good weekend outdoors and a great way to kick off camping season, but I think I'm ready for some bigger climbs - hopefully Memorial Weekend will bring good weather! I'm eyeing Mt. Marcy in upstate New York for a good ass-kicking, but we'll see - we need to get some proper camping gear first if budget will allow.