I didn’t sleep at all that night. That’s not an exaggeration, either, I literally did not sleep from the moment I lay down to the moment my alarm went off in the chilly, darkened Waterville hotel room. I was excited, but not excited enough to stay awake all night, I just overthought my sleeplessness until it became my reality. Regardless, it didn’t matter that much. I survived on roughly….three? Four? Hours of sleep in the truck in the morning.
Being able to see the ocean, yet still be surrounded by blueberry fields and pine trees, was something I’d never experienced before that day in July. I hold on dearly to my memories of Mitten Mountain and Littles Mountain, and what it was like to feel like my dad and I were the only two people in the world, traveling from tower to tower while the scent of balsam surrounded us.
Mitten Mountain itself felt isolated, the recognizable landmarks of Katahdin and Bigelow and the other peaks of farther north not visible this far south. Only fields, and bumpy, low hills until the land met the ocean in the far distance. Isolated, but not terrifying the way Pittston Farm would be one year later, or hollowly-pleasing the way the hills of Pennsylvania in early spring are. It simply was what it was: Isolated, rural downeast Maine. I felt contentment with where I was, happy that I had made it there, and excited for the rest of the day ahead.
There are very few times I’ve felt such promise and elation than on Mitten Mountain.
I don’t know if the lack of sleep had something to do with it. The incredible depression and unhappiness of the end of spring a month before certainly made my experiences following it all the more vibrant, as I had gotten through it and was now on the other side and whatnot. It was true for me then, certainly. I can definitively say that one factor was just my love of fire towers, Maine, and a whole weekend with just me and my dad to experience both of those things as a team. But looking back and looking deeper, there was definitely something special about Mitten Mountain.
I hope everyone reading this has their own Mitten Mountain too.