Hitting the Trail for Ideas


Vicki Doudera here, hitting the dusty trails in Western Maine even as you read this!

Each year, I hike with a dozen Midcoast Maine girl friends somewhere in New England for two or three days, and this is our 16th year climbing the peaks together.  These buddies have heard me describe everything from trying to get an agent, to finishing my first novel, to writing more novels, and on and on.  Our trips are fun times of female bonding, as well as intensely physical exertions that don’t seem to be getting any easier as we all age.

This trip we’ll be gone for three days, hiking into the the gorgeous new facilities of Maine Huts & Trails.   We sampled the very first hut – Poplar – several years ago, and are now back to stay in all three huts.  How lucky we are to have these excellent facilities in our North Woods! If you haven’t ever checked out the website, please take a look and plan to stay at one.  They have all kinds of special events at all times of the years, and the buildings are beautiful.  They even sell wine – one last thing I have to cram in my pack.

The photo above was taken two weeks ago in our neighboring state of New Hampshire.  That’s my daughter and I atop Mt. Jackson, one of the peaks in the Presidential Range. We stayed in the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Mizpah Hut, and had a wonderful time.  Our group has visited these mountains many times, and we love the hut hospitality and hearty cuisine. Yes, there is always a guy snoring away on a nearby bunk, but nevertheless – it’s a blast.

I’ve always loved to hike, and I take advantage of my town’s trails at Camden Hills State Park whenever possible.  Sure, it is great to hike with friends, and super special to hike with any one of my kids, but I also treasure the times that I hit the trail alone.  Why?  There is something about moving my feet (hiking, walking, or biking) that makes my head churn out ideas. Story ideas for new novels, character sketches for mysteries I’m working on, even non-fiction ideas that I’d like to flesh out.

So off I go for a few days of adventure. Who knows how many ideas I’ll dream up?  Tell me where you like to hike, and whether it’s creative time for you, too!

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2 Responses to Hitting the Trail for Ideas

  1. This has been a great summer for hiking. I’ve hit many of the peaks on MDI (such a hard place to live 😛 ), finally reached the summit of Katahdin, hiked most of the Bigelow range and made it to the top of Mnt Washington. I love hiking on MDI. While the ocean views are spectacular, there is nothing as magical as walking a trail that wanders through the emerald moss covered forests. I think the tablelands of Katahdin is my favorite place this summer. There is something mystical about climbing so high (we took Abol) to reach a grassy plateau.
    Anyways, love hiking in Maine and it’s definitely a creative time for me. Nothing like motion to get the brain working.

    • Michelle, I’m finally home and able to reply! Yes, Katahdin is amazing. Abol is a great trail, although I don’t think you’ll find me ever doing Cathedral again! Have you ever gone in the Pomola caves? Really cool and creepy.

      We did the Bigelow range this trip. The last time I hiked it, we were worried about slipping on the rime ice — this time it was overheating and running out of water. The views are so amazing from those peaks, and knowing that it was all saved from development makes it even more special.

      I agree — a great summer for hiking! Let me know if you are ever in the midcoast.

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