Friday, October 23, 2020

A week at South Branch Campground in Baxter State Park

 Have you ever been to Baxter State Park?  If so, more than likely, it's been just for a day hike.  If you ever get a chance, well, you really should make it happen actually, just not wait for a chance....if you want to stay in August, you need to reserve a spot 4 months in advance.  You cannot do it earlier than that, it's just the way Baxter does their reservations, don't ask me why!  We wanted to stay a week at South Branch Campground which is in the northern part of the park so we wait til the first week of April to book the week; we wanted it from Saturday to Saturday, and we wanted a site right on the lake.  Although we booked it as early as we could, and we did get one of the 8 sites on the lake, it was not with a lake view :(.....but that's okay, it was just a very short skip down and voila!  (I've attached a photo of the lake).....We had a great week up there although it is rugged as there's no electricity, no running water and you have to take out whatever garbage you produce.  And mind you, you need to store food properly so that you don't get a bear or any other wild creature poking around at nighttime!  As you can see, we stayed in a lean-to which I'd advise much easier in a way than staying in a camp, although, yes, we did sleep in sleeping bags on air mattresses!  We only got heavy rain during the night one night which was good, and the rest of the week, the weather was perfect!  We went hiking, and swimming and spent lots of good time with our daughter, her husband and our two grandsons!  

If we were to do it again, I'd make sure we got a lean-to with the view of the lake on the lake, and we also wouldn't bring as much meat as we brought.  It's just a pain making sure to keep it all fresh and edible!  There's a store 12 miles away and it takes about 30 minutes to get there on the dirt road, but it's good as you can take a shower there and get whatever provisions you may need.  Plus, they make the absolute best egg sandwich in the morning which we discovered on our way out!

have fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I keep going back to Mid-Coast Maine

It was such a nice, sunny afternoon that we decided to stop at the trailhead to Spruce Mountain on our way to Rockport.  We were on Route 17, two miles north of the intersection of Routes 17 and 90 in West Rockport, the sign indicated that Spruce Mountain is one of the trails maintained by the Georges River Land Trust.  Since it was only .6 miles to the peak, we decided to go for it! 

What a great little hike which not only offers fantastic, unobstructed views, but if you luck out as we did, you'll be rewarded with sweet wonderful Maine blueberries!  It'd be a great trail to do with little kids as it's short and sweet!    

You can access other trails from Route 17.
One of the views heading up....

that's Mike picking some blueberries.....

Back in the car, we headed to our destination, The Oakland Seashore Motel which is off of Route 1 in Rockport.  Not only was it ideally located, but what a picture perfect spot!  This place is a real gem, I won't even tell you now little it cost, check it out for yourself.  Apparently it was once a park and people from all over Camden and Rockland would take the trolley to get there.  Someone bought it once trolleys stopped running and converted it into a motel, later adding the cabins.  You couldn't ask for a more beautiful setting.  I also found out that they do weddings there as well and that you can get the whole place, the 12 or so motel units and the 11 or so cabins, 8 which are on the ocean as well as a three bedroom apartment, etc.  for $3,000 for two nights (including Friday and Saturdays in the summertime!...)...seriously?!

I like that there are plenty of picnic tables, adirondack chairs, grills etc. spread over the property for guests to use.

This building houses the motel units...each room has a table and two chairs set outside on the porch which is kind of a a communal porch, it's a nice way to meet people.

The property includes this small beach.
I took this photo from the communal was quite a distance away...
Our neighbor was an elderly woman from New York City who rents her room for all of July and August!  She'd set up 6-8 hummingbird feeders in her corner of the porch and we got to watch several birds come and feed throughout the day!

On Saturday we went out on a 3 hour cruise from Rockport.  It was nice and sunny but there was little wind, oh well...we did see a few seals and lots of activity on the water.


Earlier that morning, we'd done a very pleasant bike loop from Camden to Rockport, It's one of my favorites bike excursions as you ride along quiet country roads bordered by old stone walls, passing pastures as well as Aldermere Farm, one of the world's premier breeders of Belted Galloway cattle, the "Oreo" cow!

Once pass the Farm and the There's another little gem, the Vesper Hill Children's Chapel which is an outdoor chapel with a formal garden.  Start looking for it once you've passed the farm and the Rockport Golf Club, you'll be happy you did.   It's a small non-denominational outdoor chapel the perfect location for a wedding or baptism or memorial.  In the absence of this, it's just a special place to relax, to think, to meditate or pray, paint or draw, and it's open to the public for this.

I'm not really meditating, although it would be good for me!

Time to go!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Get up to the Schoodic Peninsula soon! or you'll be sorry!

We had one of the best July 4th weekends ever!  How can you not when you're in a beautiful setting and the weather is about as perfect as it can get!!  I'd yet to make up to the "quiet" side of Acadia, The Schoodic Peninsula.  Although it is very similar in scenery to Mount Desert Island, its coast is far more secluded and quiet.  If you get a chance, go soon as the area is bound to explode once a national campground is opened next year.  

The only campground in the area seems to be Mountain View Campground which is located in Sullivan, Maine....just a few miles down the road from the National Park entrance.  Although most of the sites at the campground are small and too close to others, if you plan in advance, you can get one of the few beautiful sites right along the coast.  This was one of the views from our camp site:

And in the morning, this was the view that we woke up to!  Isn't it just beautiful!  That's Cadillac Mountain in the center.  Cadillac is located on Mount Desert Island, within Acadia National Park.  It's the highest point in Hancock County.  At night, we could see the bright headlights of cars descending the mountain.

Mike preparing breakfast....

At dusk.....

and quite a spectacular sunset!

Dare you to climb up and sit there!

We were in search of the trailhead to Schoodic Mountain which we never found, but we found this, the Schoodic Bog!  
An Osprey perched way up high, was keeping a watchful eye on us!

That's Schoodic Mountain to Mike's left, but where is the trailhead?!  We've heard that the views from the top are amazing, good luck getting there!  We walked further down
the Down East Sunrise Trail which is pictured here.  It's an 85-mile multi-use corridor which connects Ellsworth to Ayers Junction in eastern Maine.  We walked over to the base of the mountain and continued for a about another mile or so, but the trail to the top continued to elude us!  Very frustrating!!!!

We brought our bikes along on this trip and rode the popular loop road on the Peninsula.  It is a six-mile one way road that offers views of lighthouses, sea birds and forest-draped islands.  Along the way, we locked our bikes and hiked one of the four trails in the area, the trail that led up to Schoodic Head.  It was pretty amazing.

lots of photo opps!

The picture above and the one below were taken from the top of Schoodic Head....the one below was pretty far away, I like it, wonder who lives there!?

The roses were fragrant and in full bloom!

You can't beat this, can you?  The best part was that there were very few people around, and it was July 4th weekend!!!

Meanwhile, down in Winter Harbor...

and in Corea. it's as picturesque....what you expect to see along Maine's rocky coast...lots of boats and lobster traps

I just can't get enough of this picture, it's the same as above, cept in b&w....very serene, isn't it?

and this one is pretty as well....

 so, make sure to get up to this part of Acadia before too long....there are several b&bs up there if you're not up to camping!