We decided on a walk in the woods on the Sunday of our Monhegan adventure. The Cathedral Pines trail is always enjoyable and not too difficult, and it leads to other connectors that can get to almost any other part of the island’s seventeen mile trail system. We connected with trail #7 which goes to the lighthouse and on to one of the highest points on the Maine coastline, White Head. We had an apple and were alone at the top for about 20 minutes.

On the way down, having carefully negotiated the muddy and steep slope near the top we encountered a gaggle of older women who were about to begin that final steep climb to the top. They all were dressed for an afternoon shopping on Newbury Street. A few had on stylish canvas shoes but most were shod in what looked more like house shoes than hiking equipment.
They were all made up and decorated with jewelry, scarves and whatever other accessory needed for presentation in genteel society.

Dragging up the rear was this woman dressed in a pant suit in black with ballooning sleeves along with a long silver big loop chain neckless and rings on most of her fingers. Her shoes were more slippers than actual shoes that would have served her well on a city sidewalk for a short foray into a boutique but she was about to be challenged past the limit of her attire.

I actually felt, for a brief moment the compulsion to offer a bit of trail wisdom and immediately thought better of it and simply said instead that “They were serving cocktails at the summit”. One of the women shouted “Liar! Liar!” and we all laughed. What I really wanted to do was to follow them and photograph the event, and it was sure to be an event.

But hey – they were here and out and challenging the trails. I am sure they could have been on Newbury Street spending money and sipping cocktails. They surely would have felt more at home in their clothes there. I’ll bet they will tell the story often how they all climbed to the top of that cliff on Monhegan Island. I know one thing: when they all got to the top they would have marveled at the sight and possibly laughed together at their achievement and had a group hug as well. Now, that would have been a picture!

Jerry Henderson

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