Our trip from Boothbay Thursday was mostly in the rain for the little over three hours it took us to drive the 130 miles - our longest trip in quite a while. The roads for the last 25 miles were the worst we have had on this trip. For the most part we have been impressed with how nice the roads have been so far but interior Maine has proved to be the exception. We are in Greenville, ME which is on the southern shore of Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in Maine. Moose are supposed to outnumber humans in the area three to one. We are staying at Moosehead Family Campground which is about a mile and a half from Greenville and we have 30 amps and water. The site is very nice and we have good Verizon reception and I was able to get the satellite without any trouble.
Friday was a very long and full day. We arose at 4:00 a.m. to try to get on the road not long after morning twilight which started at 4:18, sunrise at 4:48, in order to try and catch some moose at dawn. We were driving through Greenville on our way north to a little village called Kokadjo, on which drive we were supposed to be overwhelmed by moose, especially at dawn. Zilch, nadda, not a one did we see on the 18 mile drive so we decided to drive a loop in the forest just north of Kokadjo where more moose should be found. Little did we know we had gotten on an ATV trail!!! The road started out OK for about a half a mile but then got worse and worse and by the time we had been on it for a couple of miles I had been forced to engage the four wheel drive Low in order to get over obstacles and through the mud - did I mention it had rained most of Thursday? We got our first inclination it was an ATV trail when we reached the fallen tree and found they had cleared it but it was almost too narrow for Libby to get through. Doris got out and guided me through it. Thank goodness we fit since there was absolutely no way to turn around and I can't imagine backing up through the four miles we had just traversed!! Only about a half mile further we reached the end of the road but found it blocked by strategically placed boulders that also barely let us through. I just can't believe this road didn't have a warning at the beginning saying it wasn't for passenger vehicles and believe it or not, Sheila, our GPS, has this road in its map!! What a trip. It was only 7:00 a.m. and I was wore out!!! AND WE DIDN'T SEE ANY WILDLIFE MUCH LESS A MOOSE!!!
We went back to camp and fixed a big breakfast in preparation for a trip to hike to Moxie Falls which is in an area about 20 miles south of Greenville. We were following written instructions to get to the trail-head and wound up on a gravel road that we were supposed to drive 16 miles then make a left for about a half mile on another gravel road before getting on pavement for the last three miles to the trail-head. Everything started off fine but the 16 mile stretch kept getting worse and worse. It appeared there hadn't been any maintenance on this road since last year. Lots of mud and the road was washed out leaving these huge rocks that they include with gravel. You should try to drive on a road of head sized rocks, just loads of fun. It took us over an hour to drive that 16 miles stretch and the rest of it seemed a super highway by then.
The trail to the Moxie Falls
was nice but like the roads, it started out great and degenerated the further we went but at least it was always fairly easy to get around any obstructions. I guess we are just too early in the season and they haven't done their spring maintenance yet. The falls were beautiful, probably the prettiest we have seen this trip. There was an upper falls that covered an area about 200 yards long where the stream fell over several small falls. Then about a hundred yards later the whole stream fell over a falls about 90 feet high - absolutely beautiful.
We decided to avoid taking that same road back so we let Sheila find us another way to Greenville. This one started out great and about three miles into the 12 mile length it too started getting worse and worse. We figured we would tough it out as there was only nine miles left. We continued on slowly but three miles later we came to a water-filled hole in the road we couldn't drive around or at least keep one side out of the water. I couldn't tell how deep it was so I picked up one of those familiar head-sized rocks and threw it into the middle - KERPLUNK - big splash and it disappeared. We probably would have been OK but we decided not to risk it and turned around to slowly make the six miles back to the beginning. We searched and searched and finally found a way back with nothing but paved roads - 72 miles. It's hard for me to believe that the only way to get to this area of the state from Greenville is over these two gravel roads, but that is really the way it is. We took the 72 mile trip back and it was a leisurely drive with a good bit of it along the beautiful Kennebek River. Libby was thankful for the chance to give the shocks a rest!
We made it back to camp about 2:00 p.m. and rested up until going into Greenville to do a little window shopping and get dinner. We then came back and planned our evening moose hunt. We left for it about 7:30 and only had to drive about 10 minutes to a small bog along the highway. Glory be, there were already cars parked on the side of the road and there was a young female moose about 60 yards away in the bog. We watched her for a little while then drove a short loop (all paved) off of the highway and just before we got back to the highway we saw a cow and here calf in a small clearing. The calf was very skittish and I wasn't able to get a good shot of it. I was able to get a couple of good ones of the cow though. We came back to camp and relaxed about an hour and crashed. It had been a long day!!!
Saturday we got up about a half hour later to try another "supposed" moose hot spot that was close to where we had been Friday morning. The roads were back in the boonies again but much better than yesterday though they were not without their own trials. With a little searching we finally found our way back to this big area but found we were going to have to hike back in to the bog as the road ran out about a quarter-mile from the bog. We started out on this very narrow trail over boulders and through the trees. We saw lots of moose droppings but found after we were about half way there the ground was getting very muddy and we had to decide whether we wanted to see more moose bad enough to get very, very muddy or to abandon the effort. Since we didn't know how much worse it would be before we actually got to a clearing and the bog, we decided to call it quits and made it back to Libby. Another morning search without results. We had managed to see a couple of deer by the road on the way and then on the way back saw a red fox carrying his breakfast in his mouth. It looked like a chipmunk but it all happened so fast, we're not sure.
Also on the way back, we took another series of gravel roads (good, maintained ones this time) to a trail-head for a memorial located where a B-52 crashed
on a training mission in January 1963. The site is reached via an easy quarter-mile trail. It's unbelievable how much debris is still scattered about this site. Noticeably absent was the engines and the cockpit. I would imagine the Air Force removed those items shortly after the crash.
We then came back to camp and I did a preflight of the Mothership for tomorrow's trip to Trenton, ME just above Acadia National Park. Then it was time for the College World Series. FSU sure didn't play well. The Gators are playing now and hopefully they will have a better showing.