More Water

August 29, 2008

Ponds, rivers, streams, waterfalls ...

Oscar drinks from Baker Stream

The canoe ferry bringing hikers across the Kennebec River (Oscar and I skipped the boat ride but visited the put-ins on both banks).

Reality check watching the timber industry at work - access to the AT is over logging roads (recreational users at our own risk) where the trucks are huge and the tree-cutting equipment is huger. Logs are stacked by the roadside in 2-story heaps waiting to be moved. A constant stream of loaded trucks leaves the woods on major and minor roadways. Make the connection between this and the stuff we use and throw away down in the cities and suburbs!

But back to the scenery:

The view north from Moxie Bald Mountain - one of my favorite spots, blueberry heaven and views across the 100-mile Wilderness.

Pierce Pond Stream plummets 500 feet down through slate bedrock to the Kennebec River.

I'm heading home for a few days before the next big travel adventure ... to be continued ...

So Much Water

August 28, 2008

Maine is a watery state and I'm not even talking about the ocean! The whole interior is a boggy sponge overflowing with water that pours out in torrential streams. Here are a few of my bog favorites:

Pitcher plants in the Fourth Mountain Bog of the Barren-Chairback Range

Oscar staying on the bog bridges!

Sundew growing in an old beaver pond near Little Wilson Stream

Morning and Afternoon

August 25, 2008

Here is my view from Barren Ledge in the morning on my way up the mountain.

By afternoon, on the way back down:
Moments later I noticed this dramatic scene in the western sky, and figured I'd better scoot on down before the storm caught me. This was the last hike to complete the famed 100-Mile Wilderness!

Trail Magic

August 25, 2008

Trail Magic is the name for pleasant surprise treats and helpful acts provided to hikers (a ride to town in the rain, a cooler of cold drinks encountered on the Trail). Oscar found his Trail Magic lying on the side of the path!

Trail Dog

August 24, 2008

Oscar's been my faithful sidekick these last two weeks. Here he is bravely fording one of Maine's numerous rivers.

Family Time - Part 2

August 18, 2008

Louisa and Li Zhuang came to Maine and we camped at Mt. Blue State Park - miraculously we had perfect weather for three days and capped it off with a thunderstorm the last night for a taste of real camping.

After a couple of days of hiking, now I can count the two of them on my team of AT helpers.

Here we are going down Moody Mountain - a steep cliff descent which included a new landslide that wiped out part of the trail! Oscar impressed everyone with his mountain goat skills.

Louisa made this great early birthday present - it works as a brow-mopper and also as a pot holder in camp.

* Sweat Rag -

Oscar finally got tired - here he is resting on the Trail.

Family Time - Part 1

August 14, 2008

We're jumping around a bit here - moving Trail-south, I met Bob and Oscar in Kingfield to do a hike in the Stratton area. Here is a view of Bob looking down at the cirque on Crocker Mountain with its little beaver pond. Oscar is enjoying the woods - lots of water and mud which he loves.

[Note looking back in hindsight - little did I know when Bob blew out 2 tires on his rental car by driving over a rock, why he was so distracted - this was the period of Deception - I wish I could delete him entirely from the record of this season - but alas not it's possible]

Coming attractions: more family time ...

August in Maine - means BLUEBERRIES!

August 12, 2008

Finally the rain has let up - I made a tour of a couple of Maine's state parks. Peaks-Kenny on Sebec Lake had a gorgeous sunset view of the Chairback Range ( my next destination - it's in the 100-mile Wilderness ) with pink and blue clouds on the far side of the lake. Perfect Maine.

Then I went on an overnight backpack over Chairback Mountain to Third and Fourth Mountains - here is the top of Third Mt. with a view north to Long Pond. See the white Trail blaze on the rock?
It was blueberry heaven on the ledges - being part bear by nature, I made slow grazing progress through these patches!

Then I toured briefly north to Moosehead Lake and spent a night at Lily Bay State Park listening to loons in the night.

Monson Slate

August 7, 2008

Here I am in the mountains of Maine, where this summer has seen a lot of rain - 6 inches over last year. This is the southern end of the 100-mile Wilderness.

The Trail goes through the Slate Belt here - many local houses and barns have black Monson slate roofs. The slate is very slick to walk on. Even when on it's been turned on edge by geologic forces, it was later carved smooth by glacial action. Here are scenes from a ridge-top east of Monson.

As a result, I'm leery of hiking in the rain. Today was rainy, so I stayed "home" in the tent and did some reading and email - the campground caters to the RV set, and has wifi.

All Together Now ...

August 1, 2008

To celebrate the summer birthdays and have time together before Mabel and John (in the red Phillies cap) and Bea (in the splash) move to Texas ... we were trendy "staycation"-ers right here at home. Pizza and beer at Bar, more beer at Delaney's, lots of hang-out time.

Here we are having a picnic at Lake Wintergreen - a great place for dogs to swim, and good for canoeing too. The bottom picture is Abby and me at Martha's Vineyard where we went to see Abby's friend Noli and slept in her yurt in a pouring rainstorm.