With lunch over, it was time to push on to the top of Penobscot Mountain. We were already close to the same elevation as Penobscot because we were on an adjacent ridge leading up to higher Sargent Mountain, but there would be another down and back up. As we dropped into the slight valley between the ridges, we came across Sargent Mountain Pond, widely believed to be the first lake in Maine, created nearly 17,000 years ago as the glaciers of the most recent ice age receded. We approached the main clearing along the shore, but there was a pasty fellow quickly disrobing, so we didn’t slow down. I was a little disappointed at not getting a moment to enjoy this rather significant landmark and, a little farther on, found a trail leading down to another section of shoreline. Chloë immediately went to get a drink of the cool, clear water. Just then, we heard a splash. Chloë looked up and seemed disturbed to find aforementioned pasty guy in her drink.
A short climb later, we were at the summit and it was crowded, as usual. It had turned into a lovely day, sunny and warm with just a little wind. We stopped briefly for a snack and a few photos and to figure out which trail to take down. I didn’t mention it at the time, but I was concerned about my choice of trails. We would be doing a small section of Jordan Cliffs Trail, which is deemed unsuitable for dogs (and small children) because much of it is on narrow ledges along the sheer cliffs and there are some vertical climbs requiring the use of iron rungs. I was relying on my interpretation of the topographical contours on our hiking map to determine that we would be beyond the dangerous part, but there was no way to know for sure.
Next time, the thrilling (or not) conclusion.