Nov 14, 2012
maine day 11: baxter state park
Our last day in Moosehead Lake, and in Maine. Breakfast began with an early start for coffee.
Creature! What ails you?
The coffee nook was quite adorable.
As was the breakfast room.
We sat outside on the porch with coffee and The Bangor Daily News until breakfast was ready.
Is that you, juice? Why yes it is. Grapefruit.
And seriously some of the most scrumptious pancakes with peaches and sausage that I have ever had.
After breakfast, we stopped in town to pick up a lunch to go for our hike...sandwiches at Jamieson's Market.
Which was right next to the Rod-N-Reel Cafe, which is where we we would be eating dinner later that evening. But first, we set off on our drive to Baxter State Park.
We took the route we were not supposed to take. Going through Millinocket would have been easier, mainly because it's a paved road all the way until you get to the park. But no. We went the complete opposite direction on Kokadjo Road then ended up on Golden Road, a dirt road that is a working logging road. Did I tell you that I have no desire to be on a working logging road? I didn't even know if we were allowed on there for all I saw were signs that kept saying private, and our GPS kept telling us to "turn around when possible." But we forged ahead on this desolate and creepy Siberian-like road at about 3 miles per hour. For the next half hour! We saw two hunters on our way and we waved to them like idiots on a working logging road.
Finally, two hours later and much too late to really be doing any hiking, we reached the Togue Pond Gatehouse at the park.
The park area in general was not a welcoming place. No signs, no people, nothing but raw wilderness. And we got the feeling that they didn't really want anyone there to disturb it either. The informational pamphlet we were given screamed about everything it did not have: No running water, no facilities, no paved roads, no bringing in of firewood, no postcards, no trailers. What it did have plenty of? Bears. We talked to some rangers who told us that all the hikes we wanted to do would take us 7 to 8 hours. Great. But they recommended another one, Doubletop Mountain, that would only take us 6 hours. For some reason, illogically, we decided okay. Then it was another half hour just to get to the trailhead because of the dirt roads in the park.
Mortified of the predicament we were in, we began our hike, agreeing to turn around if it was getting too late. We started out at Slaughter Pond Trail. Lovely.
This is precisely how I felt.
We were in mixed forest, mostly dark and covered, on a small and rugged trail that was sloppy wet. We certainly felt spoiled by the gorgeous trails and views at Acadia. We cursed the trees, cursed them! They were never ending.
Yes, please. Let's get there. We were practically running on the trail to make up some time while fearing bears at every turn.
Adding to my delight were these brown frogs everywhere, jumping out of Matt's way ahead of me. Yuck.
And there were wild fancy chickens. Hopefully the bears would eat them.
This hike was not pleasant. It was hot. We were sweating buckets. It was steep and rough and extremely muddy, and crossing creeks was perilous and slippery. I wanted it to end! The trees just did not stop, so we couldn't even see where we were going and all of a sudden our map calculations seemed incorrect and our mileage trackers seemed off. I think they stopped working because the forest deemed it. Deemed it! Wicked. We kept going. Just a little more, we're almost there, I feel it! We must be near!
But we were far. Very far. Finally, a clearing after about three miles of hiking, and we saw where we were. And where we were supposed to head. We hadn't even reached the first peak, nowhere near the first peak. Nowhere. Near. And it was almost 3pm. Which meant, sadly, we had to turn around. And take the exact same way back. Misery!
The mountain defeated us. Defeat! On our last day of vacation. We made it out of there, back to our car, and back on the dirt road in the park.
Driving away, we caught a nice view of what we were attempting to do. Doubletop Mountain. It won.
We left Baxter State Park and began our two our drive back to Moosehead Lake and Greenville. This time, on the right road through Millinocket.
Need some logs? I know a guy.
Defeat is exhausting. At the Rod-N-Reel Cafe, the chili soothed all. I love places that serve chili like this. With sides that consist of rice pilaf, mixed veggies or mashed potatoes.
And salad like this with dressing like that. It somehow is perfect when you are perfectly famished.
Matt, unfortunately, was not too happy with his baked haddock and mashed potatoes that had a sheen of gravy that existed in another gelatinous dimension.
But I loved my fried haddock. And loved that U.F.O. mashed potato.
The next morning, I was feeling a severe case of the blues. It was the day we had to head back to New York City. I felt just like this heavy fog that was slowly rising from the lake.
Breakfast began with grapefruit juice and apple cider.
I will hide here forever. I will live with the moose!
Matt is very dubious of that prospect.
Frittata! And a sweet orange and cranberry muffin, fruit, bacon and potatoes. Love.
And just like that, our adventures in Maine were over.