Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mt. Kineo

On the road again... On the way to Mt. Kineo, where a boat shuttle and hike await.

Pretty scenery along the way...

A nice covered bridge (much prettier, in my opinion, than other, more famous covered bridges - like we saw later in Iowa!).

The famous, mythical moose of Maine!! When Bill and I explored Maine before, this was the ONLY moose we saw!!! Very disappointing!

Greenville, a town on the south end of Moosehead Lake, a humoungous and gorgeous body of water in northern Maine. We stayed at a weird little B&B near here that other time. And we ate at the Black Frog. Nice little town.
Farther up the western shore, in Rockwood, I found the dock where I would catch the Mt. Kineo shuttle to the trailhead.
Mt. Kineo! This was a small island/peninsula that had a couple fairly steep trails up to a lookout tower on top. The little yellowish area at the bottom is close to where the boat let us out and picked us up. The trail goes along the base to the left and then heads up through the forest and then over the rock.

And as you can see, it was another yucky day in Paradise!
Fellow hikers waiting for the shuttle - and wondering if we'd missed it or something, when finally, we spot it heading towards us - hurray!

I think the trail goes up just to the right of the yellowish area.

The trail along the bottom.

These folks were really sweet. Apparently, the two women had come to this place annually, as kids visiting family. The super cute little girl was deaf but had received a coclear implant and was learning to hear/speak.

A view on the way up.

Looking down on the trail at the base - you can see a couple people heading back for the boat.

You can see the lower trail from here also.

What a view, what a place!

oops, someone catches me in the scene!

The view (looking basically north) from the top of the tower.

Looking down the stairs/platforms of the tower.

More lake view, looking east +/-

Looking NE towards Katahdin (which I think is hiding behind those other peaks).

The trail at the top - the easy part!

Simply gorgeous. From the gals I hiked with, I learned that there used to be a grand palace, called the Kineo House or Kineo Hotel, down on this spit of land. I read that it went from a small tavern to a 300-room chateau with a dining room that could accommodate 400! Over the years, it appears that this place burned down, was rebuilt, and then torn down. Sadly, it is now no more. There is still a golf course though - thus the shuttle service.

After my hike, I drove back to Greenville and explored the southern end of the lake, hoping for moose sightings. The only moose I saw was dead. But then I saw a guy with a tripod and huge camera set-up on the side of the road, waiting... Hmm... Yep, time to pull over and invade this guy's turf - as politely as possible, of course! Fortunately, he was very nice and explained to me that someone else had told him there was a salt lick or something that attracted moose almost invariably and nightly. So I set up alongside him, and we waited. And, right on cue, enter Bullwinkle, stage left!

He looked like a young guy and a bit chewed on (all them mean ol' bugs!!!!), but he was a cutie!

Last view before sunset...and a long drive back to Hermon.

Day tripping with Bill and the dogs

One day we drove up to Lincoln, northeast of Bangor. Just to looky-loo. No specific goals or sights to see. Just whatever we found - or found us. Turns out we didn't find too much, except...

this absolutely gorgeous scene! I believe this was the Penobscot River, but I'm not 100% sure.

Even makes a full day of fishing look good! (OK, I know there are many out there who are as addicted to fishing as I am to photography!)

A little more Acadia

I so enjoyed my hike at Acadia, I persuaded Bill to go back with me on a subsequent day. This experience was a little different than my solo day, however. When I did the Beehive, I ended up on the road and beach parts towards the end of the day, and there were only a few people still out and about. It was cool and very peaceful and pretty. When Bill and I went it was bright sunshine, hot, and VERY crowded! Still pretty though.

If I remember correctly this is Otter Cove but looking inland instead of out to sea.

We did hike a little around Jordan Pond. But we did NOT attempt to wade through the tourist population to obtain the famous popovers at the Jordan Pond House!

Those two bumps in the background are the Bubble Mountains.

And then up Cadillac Mtn.

Looking down at Bar Harbor.

Bangor and the Beehive

So now, on August 7th, we moved to the Pumpkin Patch RV Park in Hermon, Maine (not too far from Bangor). As with so many of our stops, this served as a basecamp for some rather long-distance forays. (I chose this method instead of taking the RV on the smaller, more difficult roads and making Bill stay in Nowhere Land, next to Nothing)

One of the places I drove to was Acadia National Park. Bill and I had tried to visit this park once before (on that other trip) but were never sure if we'd actually been IN the park! I realized why on this outing - there are roads that weave in and around and out of the park, and it's amazingly easy to just miss the park (or much of it) but still drive right next to it! But this time, I'm sure I was in it! And the best part of my park visit - and some of the highlights of our whole RV trip for me - was the hiking I did there.

This hike was The Beehive. I found it on-line. I also got nervous about it from reading its description on-line! Quotes of seeing people crying on the trail because they were so scared by the heights and difficulty...! This is one of several trails in Acadia that utilizes "rungs" (metal foot and hand holds) to help with the steeper, more shear sections.

Looking up at the "hive." If you enlarge this photo (click on it), you should be able to see some of the other hikers tackling different sections of the trail.

Zooming in on some of them... You can see how rocky it is.

More folks just starting out.

Getting some height now. I tried to include folks in my photos so you can get a better feel for the trail.

It was a perfect day in a beautiful place.

What a view, eh?! If you were hiking this route, your next few steps would take you between that skinny tree and the rock... Depending on your comfort level, this would either be really cool or terrifying. Most people seemed to be doing okay with it all. Mostly you just needed to pay attention, be careful, and not be afraid of heights!! For me, anticipating the hike (after reading about it) was much more scary than doing it!

Looking down at a pretty little pond. Is that a bit of fall color I'm spying?? In early August?!

Here are some of the famous rungs.

Up and over! And now down to "The Bowl" lake (since the hike reviewers all recommended going down a different way, I decided that'd be a good idea!).

Boardwalks for the parts that could get more squishy.

This part didn't need a boardwalk!

Looking back at the Beehive. The ascent was on the right-most edge.

Colored dots going up the hive.

Gorham Mtn - I thought I'd take advantage of a link to this other trail to see more while I was out. Pretty impressive elevation, eh?! Ha-ha! Well maybe not so much...! But it was enough for me - by this time I was realizing I hadn't brought enough water with me (duh!) and starting to get a headache (darn!).

Some pretty early fall color (!) at the top.

Neato trail over rock, through an elfin pine forest. To identify the trail is an "inukshuk," an Inuit version of a cairn (stacked rocks as markers) that somewhat mimics the human form.

The sweeping view from Gorham.

After descending Gorham, I took the trail along the road (that overlooks the beach) back to the truck. Not bad for beach!