Monday, September 27, 2010

Northern Maine - Day 4

It was the best of mornings, it was the worst of mornings. The best was breakfast at Young's House B&B in Millinocket, where Fred Young made luscious blueberry pancakes, three of them each the size of a dinner plate, for Cindy, and bananas Foster French toast for me, without a doubt the best French toast I've ever had.

The worst was the continued rain. But we drove up into Baxter anyway, this time on the Park Tote Road on the west side of the park, hoping for the best to return.

And it did. At first, we sat in the car for a while, looking at Kidney Pond. It was tranquil, and beautiful in its cloudy, foggy, primal state.


The rain left up for a bit and we decided to go for it, sneakers and all, into the woods and the short, wet trail to Rocky Pond. By the time we got back, our faith in light jackets and no hiking boots was justified. The sun started to break through for minutes at a time, and Kidney Pond was transformed.

The day continued like that, alternating deep, dark clouds that fortunately held their rain, and brilliant patches of blue sky that provoked extravagant forecasts of perfect weather to come. Mt. Katahdin, however, remained unseen, and we drove to Daicey Pond to collect the prize.
The Appalachian Trail passes near Daicey Pond and others on its way to the last exhausting climb up Katahdin. For those nearing the end of a months-long trek, these gorgeous bits of water must be an inspiration and a blessing, a calm place to camp and refresh. We took a bit of the Trail along the Nesowadnehunk River to see Big and Little Niagara Falls, and some wildlife of the stationary variety.


I hope with all my heart that not the slightest atom of what happened to the "real" Niagara Falls happens in Baxter, and it won't. Percival Baxter, the former Governor of Maine who personally bought and protected almost all of the 200,000+ acres of the park in an innovative trust, saw to that.

Then, at last, the Greatest Mountain.

1 comment:

Jeff Boatright said...

"By the time we got back, our faith in light jackets and no hiking boots was justified."

That's always been my experience: Always get out of the vehicle, regardless of your gear. Even when we get wet, heck, the car is never that far away, and modern fuel management allow us to to idle for hours (days) with great efficiency. Why would we do that? Why, to run the heater to dry the jackets, sneakers, and hair, of course.

(I am lying a bit: I don't have enough hair to worry about any more - but my wife has enough for both of us.)