Gulf Hagas Hike

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.

Mules with a view…

Note to self… Never plan a hike from a 17 year old book on hiking in Maine..

We picked up a book on Great Hikes in Maine from the library the other day and decided on a hike up Schoodic Mountain on our day off. We had breakfast in town at Martha’s Diner and then headed off to the trailhead… or so we thought. I put the mountain in the GPS and off we went. After about a half an hour we seemed to be moving away from our destination so Suzie pulled out the book that said we were supposed to be on a different road so we turned around and headed in the right direction. When we arrived where the book said the trail head was it wasn’t… No sign of it!

At this point Suzie went online and got the directions from the Conservancy and we finally arrived after 2 and a half hours of chasing our tails. Not really sure what happened with the old trailhead but at some point in the last 17 years it was moved…

Right off we had a great view of our destination as we moved along a forest road heading for the climb. Not long into the hike we came upon water across the trail thanks to the local beaver. He must have been hear a while since the Conservancy had re-routed the trail.

We really enjoyed traveling through the Maine forest for several miles before we began the climb. Remember it has been a while since we have had trail legs and it showed as we huffed and puffed up the side of the mountain. As it turned out the cardiac workout was well worth the view! The 360 degree view of the Maine wilderness was breathtaking.

From this vantage point we could see all of the mountains in Acadia and the ocean as well. We had a snack and soaked up the moment we were in, realizing these moments are the reason we have chosen to spend a summer in Maine!

Day Off Outing!!

After 4 days of computer work and some hands on learning we were itching to stretch our legs. Turns out the Down East Sunrise trail is just around the corner. This is an 87 mile Rails to Trails multi-use trail that also serves as the beginning of the East Coast Greenway that runs from Maine to Key West Florida.

The trail is closed to all wheeled traffic until the 15th for mud season so we decided to take a hike! A great crushed stone base made for easy hiking and we were able to travel at the Mule’s top speed of 2.5 MPH. Lots of birds, including grouse and osprey. We even came across several beaver lodges along the way.

We did an out and back totaling 10 miles. We have decided we will be doing some training with the bikes here. Before too long we hope to get a ride to the northern terminus in Ayers Junction and ride the 87 miles back to Ellsworth. All in all a very nice diversion from our camp training!!

Mules learning new tricks!!!

We have settled in at the campground where we will be training for the next week. Suzie will be learning the computer software she will be using in the reservation and office side of her job. I will be trained on the ins and outs of maintaining a corporate RV Park.

This park is the Narrows Too RV Park located in Bar Harbor, Maine. The company also owns Desert Narrows RV Park and Patten Pond RV Park. Our summer will be spent at Patten Pond. It is our understanding that the first 2 are very fast paced and has more of a tourist cliental. Patten Pond is a little more off the beaten path and caters more to the local folks. We think this will be the best fit for us…

As you can see not only do they have RV sites there are also “Tiny Houses” and small 1 room “Cabins”. The view isn’t too bad either…

We are excited to get started on this part of our journey! We are really looking forward to getting to Patten Pond and settling in to our spot for the summer. After 3 weeks without full power we are enjoying all of the perks 30 amp 110 provides…not to mention running water!!!

Cadillac Mountain (Acadia)

A Cadillac Mountain hike was on our to do list while here in Acadia. Our day was overcast but no rain was in the forecast. We headed out about 8:30 with a gradual climb to above tree line.

It didn’t take long to heat up and start shedding layers. We came to a few bog board walks that brought back many A.T. memories. The roots and large slabs of bedrock reminded us that we are definitely in Maine!!!

We had a few glimpses of the ocean about half way up but the sea fog was hovering doing its best to block our view. As we climbed higher the fog brought us into a complete whiteout.

We were a little disappointed with the view, but not the privacy!!! The best part is we have 4 months to catch the view but the crowds will soon be here! We really hadn’t given it much thought when we arrived in late April that no one would be here but we are happy it turned out that way. Next week we begin training for our Camp Host positions, for now we will keep enjoying our own private Acadia.

Meandering from Tennessee to Maine

We headed out to Maine with 3 weeks to get there. We stopped by and spent a couple of days with my brothers from another mother in West Virginia. This is always a good time and was a great start to our trip.

We rolled out heading in a general northerly course toward Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Unbeknownst to us, the back road we were on went right by Appomattox Court House… Well we do love the Civil War so we stopped and spent 3 hours wandering the grounds trying to imagine that fateful day Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant.

After Appomattox we headed on and found a spot about 10 miles from Monticello at the local Walmart. Oddly enough we sleep pretty well there. We were up early headed to Monticello for our 9:15 tour. To say Jefferson was an eccentric would be a bit of an understatement. He was also quite a collector (read hoarder here). The home and the grounds were well thought out and gave you a glimpse into the mind of Jefferson. They recommend you give yourself 3 hours to tour the home and grounds, after more than 5 hours we were done for the day, but in many ways had more questions about Jefferson than when we arrived. His life was truly a contradiction.

From there we had a great campsite at Elizabeth Furnace campground in the George Washington National Forest just outside of Front Royal Va. The next day brought us to Gettysburg Pa. We have had this on our to do list forever so we were definitely in Geek mode for this. We found a great campsite at Michaux State Forest near Pine Grove Furnace, Pa.. We spent 3 days on the battlefield trying to understand the enormity of what transpired here. It was intriguing to try to understand the thoughts and decisions of the different Generals on the fields…but the immense toll of those 3 days is hard to comprehend. If you ever get the chance take the time.

After Gettysburg it was time for a beer… So off to Yuengling Brewery for a tour and a sample or two…

We continued wandering north into New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire just enjoying the countryside and the small towns that dot this region.

We had planned to do a fair amount of camping in inland Maine but there was still a little too much of that white stuff on the ground so we couldn’t get to the sites we had picked out. We will be revisiting those spots later in the summer. We truly had a blast on this road trip and look forward to the one in the fall!

Welcome to the Meandering Mules!!

Our hope for this blog is to document our travels, and keep family and friends up to date on the journey.

Our journey is twofold, first to see all this beautiful Country and it’s people have to offer. Second, because we haven’t won the lottery…yet, we will be doing seasonal work to fund this journey. Every four to six months we will be traveling to a new location to fill the piggybank, and explore other regions of our Country.

Our first job takes us to the coast of Maine, we left Tennessee with three weeks to arrive, and a hope to take all backroads. We arrived in Maine three days ago and thoroughly enjoyed the roads less traveled.