After our sunrise morning we arrived at the trailhead just outside of Cutler Maine at 7 A.M. We headed from the parking lot with about a mile hike to the coast. The usual moss covered boulders and slippery roots were our view until we popped out on the ledge. The same calm waters we had seen at dawn were here as well. The hike followed the cliffs sliding in and out of the tree line with side trails to magnificent views.
We kept commenting how cool it would be to be down there with a couple of kayaks pulling up on the rock beaches. We finally made it down to the waters edge before heading back through the forest to the parking lot.
The Mules were a little tired and hungry at this point so we headed back down the coast and stopped for lunch on the wharf in Corea. What a great couple of days we have had! Not to mention the weather was perfect!!!
After our day at Reversing Falls we headed to the town of Lubec. We were hoping to find a spot to boondock for the night. We were able to find a spot just about a mile from the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse. We are so far north that twilight lasts for several hours and total darkness starts about midnight. After grabbing a couple hours of sleep we got up and stepped out of the truck to view the stars. The view was great and the Milky Way was in plain view! Without some light pollution from Lubec it would have been perfect.
We jumped back in and grabbed a few more winks. We woke at 3:45 to see the first light on the horizon. I slipped out of the truck to capture the view from our boondocking spot. Notice the silhouette of the truck?
We headed on to the lighthouse to be the first to see dawn on this day in the U.S. We walked out a little side trail to a bluff. This location would give us a perfect view of sunrise.
We watched the lobster boats heading out to tend their pots just before the sun broke the horizon.
We hung out for a little while letting the moment soak into our souls….
We headed back down the trail to the lighthouse. What a beautiful spot and what an amazing life it must be for the caretakers who live there!
We also came upon the bell that was used back in the day for fog. Take notice where it was made!!!
On our way out we stopped in Lubec to enjoy the view of the fishing boats in the harbor.
With that done we headed on to the next destination for the day! Hiking!!!
We headed out on a two day jaunt north close to the Canadian line. Our first Destination was a spot where the tides move through an inlet at such a rate as to create waterfalls in both directions. Hence the name “Reversing Falls”.
As we traveled along highway 1 we swung by Columbia Falls. The rain from the day before had it a little muddy but still a nice little spot. Suzie found a great spot to enjoy the morning sun as well!
Now that warmer weather has started the wildflowers are in full bloom and we enjoyed them all along the way.
We arrived almost at the end of the outgoing tide but there was still quite the push!
We headed on to see what the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge was like. We were not disappointed. Some beautiful crystal clear lakes and some Bald Eagles!
After a short visit to Calias and a quick peek at the border we headed back to see the falls in reverse… There were a couple of seals playing in the current but they stayed just out of camera range. The power of the current was impressive and the fact they could swim against it was cool to see.
We also came across a bunny and a scallop I wish I had found alive! That is a big scallop!!!
We had planned to stay here for the night but as darkness fell the swarms of mosquitos were too intense. We decided not to set up the tent and to go ahead and stage ourselves closer to the next morning’s location…
We headed over to Monson Maine to find a spot suggested by a couple of the local Mainers we work with. Monson is a great little town that sits at the beginning of the 100 mile wilderness that the Appalachian Trail traverses on the way to Katahdin. While traveling the gravel road we spotted a snapping turtle so we stopped and snapped a picture!
We arrived around 7 am and the mosquitos were in full force. We took a quick Deet bath and headed out. The hike begins in a pine forest filled with rocks, roots, and moss everywhere. The morning sun was working its way to the forest floor like spotlights on a stage.
There are three spring fed Alpine ponds that are fishless and crystal clear.
After passing the lakes the hike takes on a different feeling as you begin the assent rather quickly. Loads of rock scrambles and exposed roots make foot placement tricky.
We absolutely loved the surfaces of some of the granite slabs.
We were just clearing the tree line when we were given a glimpse of what was to come.
We headed on to the west peak to find the wind much greater than in the trees. We adjusted our hats so as not to lose them over the edge… But the view… breathtaking…just breathtaking. We are so blessed to have these experiences.
What a special hike! We were the only ones there the whole time. Our own private mountain.
On our way home we came across a covered bridge so we stopped to check it out. Originally built in 1830 it was washed away by flood waters in 1835 and 1837 only to be rebuilt. The 1837 bridge lasted until 1987 when another flood took it out. It was rebuilt in 1990 just as before with just a few adjustments to bring it up to code. It was also raised by 3 feet in hopes to stay above future flood waters.
We finished our ride home and fixed one of our favorite dinners, grilled pork loin with sautéed brussel sprouts and fried sweet potato fries!!! What a day for a couple of lucky mules!!
We had been here before when we hiked Schoodic Mountain a few weeks ago. There are many more trails here so we knew we would be back! The hike was along ridges overlooking great views and through some beautiful Maine woodlands. No big ups or downs today, just a wonderful saunter in the great outdoors!
This area offers so much of what Maine is all about…Pine forests, mossy bogs, the sounds of Hermit Thrushes just out of sight, boulders the size of mini vans…… and mosquitos…..!
We meandered around for several hours just enjoying the total Maine emersion. We do feel blessed to have this opportunity and are doing our best not to take it for granted. We even found a friend out doing the same thing!
Another of the unexpected highlights was coming across a stone stairway in the middle of our hike.
We finished the hike back along the ledges and enjoyed a nice cool breeze working its way in from the sea.
A beautiful sunny day beckoned us to get out on the pond so off we went! One of the perks here is the kayaks are free as long as no one else wants them… We grabbed two and were off to see what we could find.
There are two islands in the pond. We stopped at the first to have a look and scope out possible tent sites for an overnight. Much to our delight there were no mosquitos because there is nothing warm blooded on the island! There is a doable tent site so that is good news! As we wandered around we came upon a plethora of blooming wildflowers highlighted by Lady slippers.
We headed on to see what we could find on the other island. We had been told there was a cabin anyone could stay in overnight so we were eager to find it. On the way to the island a loon popped up next to us which was exciting and frustrating because the camera was stowed away in a safe place..
We arrived at the island and found the cabin…with locks on the door and all the windows…. Not sure what is up with that but we will find out! We wandered around and found a couple enormous shelf mushrooms! We made it to a sandy point only to find some butterflies hanging out on the beach. Suzie took the opportunity to take her first swim of the season also!!
We headed back for now knowing we will be back many times this summer to enjoy the solitude this area will provide!!!
When we were looking for our first gig we were looking for something off the beaten path but close enough to experience all Maine has to offer. We have found it! Patten Pond Campground is 25 miles from Bar Harbor and Acadia. You will find us three quarters of a mile down a gravel road nestled along the shore of a 749 acre pond.
The park has full hook up sites for RVs of all sizes, 3 apartments, 5 cabins, and 2 tiny house cottages. There is also a cottage that overlooks the pond from about 10 feet away.
There is plenty to do here from the play ground for the kids, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, bike rentals, and canoe and kayak rentals.
Suzie and I have settled into our roles with a great group of coworkers. Suzie is part of the office staff fielding phone calls, taking reservations, running the camp store, and handling housekeeping for the apartments and cabins. My role is working with the maintenance crew keeping the grounds mowed, fire pits cleaned, filling propane, keeping the bathhouse clean, and doing pump outs with the “Honey Wagon”…. All in all a pretty sweet gig!
Another day off so off we went!!! We didn’t have to go too far this time though, about 12 miles down the road to Fort Knox. This fortification is one of the best preserved on the New England coastline. Built from quarried granite and into the hillside overlooking the Penobscot Narrows it is quite the forbidding fortress. Construction began in 1844 and finished in 1869.
Suzie and I being the history geeks we are were like pigs in slop!!! We spent 3 hours pouring over every nook and cranny, enjoying all the architectural thought that goes into these buildings…. So much more than the forts of my childhood out in the woods…
We always find it interesting reading about the daily life of the soldiers. Seeing the living conditions of the Enlisted men and that of the Officers. Trying to imagine the concussion to the body just from firing the cannons while enclosed by granite walls…
The fort was manned during the Civil War and the Spanish American War but never had a reason to fire any of these massive cannons. The greatest challenge would have been from blackflies, mosquitos, and boredom….
Next up was the Observatory which is right next door. This is the tallest bridge observatory open to the public in the world. The elevator travels up 420 feet in 50 seconds. Yes you do get that butterfly feeling way down deep when the doors open and you step out looking down on the river. The views were not perfect today but we could see to the ocean and as far west as Saddleback Mountain 71 miles away. We were told on a clear day you can see the shadow of Katahdin… We may return for that!!! The price for both the fort and the observatory was $8 each for non residents. Another successful outing for the Mules!
We had the day off so we wanted to make the most of it! That means we were up at 4:30 because the sun rises here at 4:45…. We have been doing some bike rides on the Down East Sunrise Trail in the evenings so we decided to get in a good stretch today.
We started biking around 7 and had the trail to ourselves for a while until the ATV’s started to make there presence known. Most of them are respectful of us lowly bicyclists but a few blow right by leaving us in a cloud of dust. We really do enjoy this trail in spite of the ATVs.
The trail passes beautiful wetlands and springs working their way down the mountains to the sea.
By the time we finished our day we had knocked out 22 miles and had given the bodies a good workout!!!
Next up, as we were heading back home we spied a little antique store so of course we stopped in to have a look. A couple of days earlier we were antiquing and came across a cast iron griddle with a gate mark on the bottom. This means it is older than the 1890’s…. It had a price tag of $125.00 so it stayed on the shelf… Today we came across another one… $18.50 is a much better price!!! All in all a great day and we finished up with hot dogs, corn on the cob, and baked beans!!!
Back in 2012 we had the opportunity to see this spectacular gorge but our minds were on getting through the 100 mile wilderness and on top of Katahdin. Seems silly now that we didn’t do the 5 and a half mile loop trail but we didn’t…
Once we paid our 20 dollar entrance fee we tracked down the parking lot for the start of the hike. We slipped out of our warm jeans and into our hiking shorts in order to ford the Pleasant River. Lets just say it was anything but pleasant.. The water was thigh high and just above freezing!!! The last time we crossed here it was ankle deep and a nice sunny August afternoon. Safe on the other side we dried off and put our boots back on to continue. Our brains were so cold we didn’t get a picture of the river… which we crossed twice. Suzie did get a shot of me crossing one of the smaller creeks.
As we got moving we were passing leftover snow and ice waterfalls. The small ponds along the trail were also frozen over. The first falls we came to was the Corkscrew Auger falls. This was just the beginning of the eye candy to come.
We wandered through the forest heading to the gorge. We knew we were getting close with the sound of roaring water. We worked our way out onto the cliff edges to take in the view of the Jaws. Suzie wasn’t happy with my vantage point…
As we moved on the cliff walls continued to climb until we were standing 150 feet above the water below. The slate walls were just so impressive and imposing. Very cool!!
The trail just kept moving in and out of the forest onto the cliffs for more views. Each more breathtaking than the last…
We finished up at the Head of the Gulf where the gorge begins and then headed back for 2 more river fords before getting back to the truck. We are not sure why the Appalachian Trail doesn’t take this trail for it’s footpath rather than parallel it a mile away… Wish we had been forced to take this route and have this memory from our AT hike.