On October 11, 1791, Madame Rosalie de Leval climbed Schoodic Mountain to view the Maine lands William Duer and Henry Knox wanted her to purchase from them. On October 7, 2006, 215 years later, I climbed Schoodic Mountain in order to view what Madame saw. Below is a journal entry on our trek up the big hill.
On Saturday, October 7, 2006, my niece Erin, her husband Greg, their two children Paige (seven) and Morgan (five), Monte, and I climbed Schoodic Mountain, located near Maine’s Downeast coastline. It was my suggestion. I wanted to see and experience what Madame Rosalie de Leval, the main character in the first part of my novel, saw and experienced when she climbed the mountain in 1791 to survey lands she was speculating on.
At the edge of the parking lot was a sign: Foot Traffic Only, Road Closed to Vehicle Traffic. We entered a typical woodsy path, darkened by the leafy autumn trees. Sunrays danced off fallen leaves that padded the walkway ahead. We couldn’t have planned better weather—warm, registering in the sixties, and sunny.
We began our ascent of the mountain Madame Rosalie described in her journal as “one of the highest lands in Maine.” It’s actually the third largest mountain,1069 feet high.
Not too bad, we thought, relaxing and anticipatory, as we met a couple headed toward the parking area.
While we enjoyed their two huge wolf-like dogs I said nervously, “I hope there are paramedics up there.”
Their response? They were paramedics! Unfortunately they were going the opposite direction. We should have started earlier.
I’d begun this journey with trepidation. I really wanted to climb this mountain so I could repeat somewhat Madame’s experience. This grand French lady is the main character in the first part of my historical romance novel—a work in progress. She’d been seeking land for a French refugee village during the French Revolution and was told the mountaintop was the best place to view the possibilities. She was the only woman climbing the mountain with the likes of Henry Jackson, William de la Roche, and a guide. I will also include her secretary, Louis des Isles, on her adventure. He is my ancestor and a key character in my novel.
I’d hoped the mountain climb would enhance my writing, making it more palatable for the reader. But I digress.
My hesitation in following in Madame Rosalie’s footsteps was medically based. Last year we cancelled our visit to New England. Instead, I had a (to continue reading, click on: OH, TO CLIMB SCHOODIC MOUNTAIN (Maine) or