Tuesday, July 10, 2012

To Baxter State Park

One of the places I didn’t get to visit the last time I was in Maine was Baxter State Park.  Baxter is the home of Mt. Katahdin which is the end (or the beginning) of the Appalachian Trail.   We are not planning climb Katahdin – it’s a 10 mile round trip hike with 4,000 feet of elevation change and it’s not just straight walking, there’s lots of rock scrambling and hand over hand climbing and then there’s the “knife edge”.  This time we are just exploring and hiking other trails. 

I was up early this morning and took a walk around the campground before we headed out to drive north. 

We had some errands to do before we could depart – I needed fuel and Mom and Dad had to get the mail and return something at L.L. Bean and then Mom needed a new computer mouse.  We all left the campground in separate vehicles to accomplish our tasks and met up again at the Staples.  I was quite excited when I got fuel because my app told me that I’d gotten 19.5 MPG!  Amazing!

We quickly finished our errands and started north on 95!  I-95 in Northern Maine is totally different from I-95 in Virginia!  There were many places where the only vehicle I could see was my parents RV!  The only other things I could see was sky and trees! I’m not sure what caused them, but there were about 5 brush fires burning on the sides of the road.  Only one of the fires had a fire truck – the others appeared to be being fought by folks who pulled over and got their own fire extinguishers. I think northern Maine is the only spot on  a I-95 where you can park your car on one side of the road and walk across without getting killed!

We arrived at our campground a little before 4.  We were excited about this campground, Big Moose Inn, because Mom and Dad had been here 6 years ago and thought they couldn’t fit in the campground, but when I called to make a reservation I was told that they would fit.  As a bonus we had electricity and it was only $15 per person per night! We were worried that it was too good to be true, and it almost is.  It seemed like quite a stroke of luck that we got a preferred site so close to Baxter for so cheap!

The campground is very tight and we weren’t sure that Dad could get his RV in.  Also it’s not level – not only downhill but also full of pot holes – making it hard to even begin to level the RV!  We spent about 20 minutes planning how Dad would bring the RV in and it turned out to be easier he thought it would be!  He had to put down his boards and use his air levelers to get level, but the leveling was easy.  I on the other hand, pulled my RV right in with no pre-planning before I started, but it took 20 minutes, my high tech boards that dad made me, both Mom and Dad working on it, and moving the fire circle to get my RV level.  But, it is spot on level with the bubble in my level exactly in the circle!  Not sure it’s ever been that level before!

After we parked up we decided to go hunting for moose!  We packed a picnic dinner and headed out!  We realized that we were out too early for moose so explored a bit first.  We discovered the Abol Bridge Campground, which is a commercial campground just outside the park and it has AMAZING views of Mt. Katahdin!  WOW!  The best sites in the campground were empty too! AND, it’s cheaper than the place where we are staying (they don’t have electricity, but as we learned later, we don’t really have it either, we just paid for it!)  Next time I’m staying there!  We headed back down the road to the moose watching spot, which also had some great views of Katahadin, and found a cow moose heading to find dinner in the the pond!  We watched her for awhile until it got dark.   As we headed back to the campground we realized we should have eaten our picnic dinner when we made it!  It was all good though, now we had lunch all ready for tomorrow!

We got back around 9:00 and made a quick pasta dinner and in the process discovered that the electricity here is crap – when you put a load on it it cuts out! Dad mad a few trips to the management to complain.   It’s late and it’s time for bed, but we are still planning our day tomorrow!

Katahdin Sunset 7.10.12

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