Three Ponds Loop | 7/4/22
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
Twelve days ago, I was tossing the crutches I became too stubborn to use back into the woodshed at camp. Today, a lot has changed in just a few days, landed me back at home, and put me at a trailhead that I was a lot happier to be at the last time I saw it: The Three Ponds.
The last time I was here was mid-March when I stupidly decided to car spot both sides of Carr Mountain in rotting snow, brisk temperatures, and of course rain. Last time, I was ecstatic to get back to the trailhead. This time, I was nervous. I pulled off my Chacos in the parking lot and put the hiking boots I’d been neglecting since I got my trail runners back on to provide me some more ankle support. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t painful to get my left foot into the shoe- but I’d driven too long to surrender at this point.
I started up the wide trail I walked in the winter and soon veered right onto the Mt. Kineo Trail. The trail was in significantly better condition than I had imagined and essentially provided me with a rooted sidewalk with occasional water crossings. Though my ankle didn’t hurt, it was beyond evident that my strength wasn’t up to par and even the simplest water crossing required my complete focus and attention; even then I still lost balance at almost every single one, nearly causing me to turn around in defeat.
Before I knew it, the water crossings ceased and I started to get into a little bit of a groove, the secret waterfall on the Brown Brook helped the mood too. Once I traveled the 1.6 miles of Mt. Kineo I had on the agenda for the day, I took to the Donkey Hill Cutoff which was easily my pick of the day. I got to listen to the frogs, travel from pond to pond, and take in all of the incredible greenery I passed along the way.
Shortly off of Donkey Cutoff and onto the Three Ponds Trail, I was frightened by a Grouse and then some fishermen right after. I took a quick walk up to the shelter, forgot to take a picture, and then continued onto the rest of the trail. When I realized the trail was a snowmobile trail, I was thrilled. Just what I needed for easing myself back in.
Maybe this little recovery thing won’t be so bad for a couple of weeks. Definitely, a good time to have had a mental note of hikes I was saving for unideal times of physical state, weather, or whatever else the beast that is the Whites will throw at me.