Back to the Basics - Outback in Maine, a/o 8/3/11

AlpineZone

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33
  1. #1

    Camera Back to the Basics - Outback in Maine, a/o 8/3/11

    I sorely needed to disconnect from this too-complex world. I needed total separation. No news, no shop talk,no politics, no daily tasks, no traffic, no noise, no artificial lights, no air conditioning, just the basics. I wanted to live for the moment. Tent camping was not in the cards. I needed a bed to sleep on and a roof over my head. I searched for many months for just the right place. I have tried in the past and failed. Finally heaven was found.

    This sporting camp ins 30 miles outside of Greenville, Maine. Road maps are a joke. Towns are not towns, the unmapped roads are better than the mapped roads. Topos are useless for any man made object.. Logging has been king for many years, greatly changing the landscape.

    You get to the camp by taking the only road north for 20 miles. The road conditions deteriorated as I went on, finally ending in gravel. 10 more miles on logging roads. No signs, junctions with no destination. A good compass was in order.

    So here's the camp situation. It's a cluster of cabins, on a secluded lake with no other settlements for many, many miles. Cabins are simple - a space for the wood stove and a couple chairs, and another space for two beds. Very, very basic plumbing. Water is gravity fed and hot water is minimal. If you like Motel 6, this would be a serious step down. For me it was perfect. Lakefront. All the fly fishing you want to do.

    The world revolved around three meals a day, all called out by the large brass bell on the "dining hall". You can hear it from the lake or from the cabins. Heat the cabin with wood if you want.

    Generator electricity ran right after each meal, for about an hour, to run the dishwasher. No cell phone, radio, internet, TV. I successfully resisted the urge to bring my iPOD. I put the keys of my car away. No intention to move about with anything except human propulsion.

    The people the camp attracts are very quiet. No parties, no late nights. Essentially sunrise to sunset living.

    First day, I plotted to hike a bit of the AT. The region I selected is a part of the 100-mile wilderness. But with the AT six miles away on a very sketchy dirt road, I elected to bike to the trail head. A great move. Up to the top of White Cap. The views from this mountain were just incredible. Katahdin to the north, others all around. I met only one soul when biking there - a guide.

    On the AT "you are never alone" I met a dozen northbound through hikers from all over the world - New Zealand, Germany, Tennessee, Georgia, Maine, D.C. And a couple of section hikers. This wilderness is nothing like I've ever experienced before. I thought I had been in wilderness in other New England mountain ranges, but this was incomparable. One AT hiker said, "you can take pictures, but it's impossible to describe". That is simply the honest truth. Rather than feeling alone or lost, you begin to feel as if you are one with the earth, one with nature. Living for the here and now has great benefits and clears the mind.


    The next day I tried tracing an old carriage road, long since abandoned. I was trying to make it to the Little Lyford AMC camp. I only got half way before the beavers had me beat. After that, I managed to walk around the lake, mostly on old logging roads. With no markers or hiking maps, I was left to "bushwhacking" on the myriad of old roads. The GPS was necessary at that point. The next day was a bike ride to AMC Medawisla. 9 miles each way through gravel and small rocks, over a couple mountains along the way. Pretty cool.

    But other than the AT, these were only small parts of each day. The wildlife, oh the wildlife. People spend $80 to go on a "moose safari". We just sit on a chair and wait a while. The number of moose was incredible. Cows and calfves, Bull moose with big racks. Young bulls. Loons up close and personal. Oh the list goes on. Sit on the dock and the grazing moose come to you, no need to pursue them yourself.

    On the day of my departure, one of the college kids who works there came into the lodge with quite a shocked look on her face. She had come out of her cottage to walk about 30 feet to the lodge. Out of nowhere, this moose rounded the corner in a full gallop. It saw her; she had no time to react. The mood skidded and stumbled, stopping about one foot from her head. It then ran off the other direction. The huge skid marks on the grass left testimony.

    Another guy was in the bathroom one morning, feeling someone was watching him. He looked out the window and there was moose staring at him. At night you'd hear splashing outside and sure enough it was a moose just outside my cottage. I could go on.

    Speaking of wildlife, when I would come out of the woods, people from town on day trips had a funny reaction. It was like I was the wildlife they were looking at.

    I didn't fish but a lot of people did. Only fly fishing for brookies. I did a lot of other hikes unmentioned here.

    I wasn't on a paved road for six days. It became very easy to get used to this. In fact, no motor car driving at all. When it was time to leave, it was like leaving an old friend.

    That is all I can write for now. I might add more later, but for now, here are a few pictures.

    The camp never advertises. Relies entirely on references. If this sounds like you style, contact me by PM.




































    Guess Who?

    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  2. #2
    Great post and report. I'm getting that "gotta get away" feeling a bit too.

    I love the wood on this railing:



    Looks like an awesome trip. I went on a cruise in February and while nothing like this in any way imaginable the one nice thing about a cruise is the inability to use a phone or the Internet (unless you go to the cafe on the ship) - and it is really nice to just really unplug for a bit. It's really hard for me to do, especially nowadays.

    Great moose shots also! I'm actually starting to get very anxious for some outdoors time right about now. I might be taking a long weekend trip soon up to NH with my wife for a low-key couple days, but it probably won't be in a cabin

  3. #3
    Very nice. What lake is it on. I gather it's not Moosehead.

    I'm headed up to Maine next week. Going to spend a few days at my old summer camp. Not quite as remote, but on an island in the middle of a lake. No electricity or running water for 4 days.
    Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wa-loaf View Post
    Very nice. What lake is it on.
    West Branch Pond. What they call a "pond" would be a lake down in the flat lands.
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by billski View Post
    West Branch Pond. What they call a "pond" would be a lake down in the flat lands.
    I'm from Maine so familiar with what a pond is. I think Moosehead and Sebago are the only ones that count as Lakes ...
    Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly.

  6. #6
    thetrailboss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
    Posts
    26,271
    Items for Sale
    That's my kind of vacation. Hope that you got up to Baxter. That place is amazing.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss View Post
    That's my kind of vacation. Hope that you got up to Baxter. That place is amazing.
    Thanks for the thoughts.

    Been to Baxter previously. Hate to say this out loud, but it was just as good. I don't need peaks any more, though they are fun. Besides, my accident made it not a good idea to climb boulders any more.
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  8. #8
    Warp Daddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    NNY St Lawrence River
    Posts
    7,936
    Nicely done Bill , back in the day when we XC'ed------------------- Little Lyford was a storied place
    Surround yourself with Positivity , Live Life , Collect Friends not Stuff and Avoid Negative Nuts

  9. #9
    bigbog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bangor and the state's woodlands
    Posts
    4,776
    Items for Sale
    So Bill...you devil,
    You snuck in and out of a small part of my neck of the woods! Well not mine, but my indoctrination to the Maine woods was my grandparents owning a camp at the very NE tip lot of LilyBay(NE bay of Moosehead) from late 1940s to 1972. Spent every summer from Jr.HS on up there.. One of those pics is definitely taken on 2nd W.Branch...looking up at WhiteCap Mtn. There are three of the West Branch ponds, not of any importance.. Pics on top of White Cap Mtn? Kealihers(sp?)? on 1st Branch (Pond)...y/n?
    Hope the trip went without a flat-tire or two...or punctured exhaust...
    Yes...X-C, tele, or just skin up and descend many of those smaller mountains.... Tons of woods & water up there.
    Nice pics....camp/lodge in on Big Lyford as well....also in on a few little more remote Yoke Ponds(amongst dozens of other waters)..fwiw.
    Last edited by bigbog; Aug 4, 2011 at 2:07 PM.
    SteveD

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbog View Post
    So Bill...you devil,
    You snuck in and out of a small part of my neck of the woods! Well not mine, but my indoctrination to the Maine woods was my grandparents owning a camp at the very NE tip lot of LilyBay(NE bay of Moosehead) from late 1940s to 1972. Spent every summer from Jr.HS on up there.. One of those pics is definitely taken on 2nd W.Branch...looking up at WhiteCap Mtn. There are three of the West Branch ponds, not of any importance.. Pics on top of White Cap Mtn? Kealihers(sp?)? on 1st Branch (Pond)...y/n?
    Hope the trip went without a flat-tire or two...or punctured exhaust...
    Yes...X-C, tele, or just skin up and descend many of those smaller mountains....
    That's great! You lucky dog. Vacation in paradise! Definitely taken on 1st. I left off the number because I didn't think anyone would care. Apologies to the moose! Pics on top are all at White Cap.
    The Kealihers continued to pass it down the family, Next to Betsy who married a Stirling. Her son runs it now.

    I'm smart enough to drive slow and not do any sharp turns which rip the sidewalls. I parked it after I got there. No holes in my bike tires either! Just dumb luck.

    I can't imagine how tough winters are. I'm already planning next year's return.
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 5:34 AM.