Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hiking Mt Abram ..... Ski Area #16, Mountain #71.... I'm turning into a mountain goat! Bailey, too!

View of the western mountains of Maine
Remember... click on photos to enlarge. 
Barbara Burt Kent c. 1940s

On a pristine late-August day, we trucked over to Mt Abram in Greenwood to hike the ski area's trails. My best memory of this mountain is when my mother took Robert and me out of school to go skiing with her. Holy flying cows... skipping school? That never happened.

At the time, my mother battled a blood disease that eventually morphed into Leukemia and took her life. I'm guessing--perhaps hoping--that this ski escape was her way of creating special memories of her for my brother and me. But then again, maybe she just wanted to go skiing with her youngest boys on a sunny winter's day.

As I hiked the wide-open trails on Mt Abram, I thought of my mother and her adventurous spirit... she learned to ski in her late 40s after having 5 kids. Way to go, Ma.

Look close... Bailey's swimming in this pond

Old guy, Mountain #71

"We need a vacation."

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Quoddy Head

Driving from BIGROCK to Quoddy Head showcased Maine's DownEast region. Poverty and beauty abound. Quoddy Head is the eastern most point in the USA. Remember, click on photos to enlarge.

Quoddy Headlight

Wooded trails along Quoddy Head. 


Sign at Quoddy Head

On the drive down Route 1 past Grand Lake, Forest City,
Indian Township, and Calais... beautiful...  

BIGROCK Ski Area, Mars Hill #15

We drove up from Lee to Mars Hill stopping in Houlton for dinner at a Subway. I gave Bailey a walk in downtown Houlton, a clean, well organized town. People tend to take pride in their homes up in Houlton and in the County in general. Well-manicured lawns tell the story of people who care about their homes and their town.

BIGROCK is a big mountain smack dab in the middle of the International Appalachian Trail. On our way from the summit we met a 71-year-old former thru-hiker (NoBo 1997) and retired educator from Massachusetts along with this 13 and 15 year old grandsons.  We had a fun chat and Bailey enjoyed their company.

Wind mills near summit of BIGROCK

Mt Kahtadin, I think


Parked in Houlton
Summit marker

Mt Jefferson ski area, Lee, Maine #14

On Tuesday, we loaded up The Rig and headed north toward a small-town ski area. Mt. Jefferson is in the Village of Lee not too far away from the town of Lincoln that's about 90+- minutes north of Bangor.    

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hiking Pleasant (a.k.a., Shawnee Peak #13)

View from the Summit of Pleasant Mountain
Click on Photos to Enlarge
Over the weekend one of my former athletes posted pictures on Facebook of his hike on Shawnee Peak, a southern-Maine ski area we'd raced at a lot over the years. On Sunday morning, I packed up The Rig and took off. After a squirrely ride on back roads––through Bethel, Stoneham, Lovell, North Lovell, Bridgton, Fryeburg––we pulled into the parking lot. The Fire Warden's Trail is a steady climb that took us 56 minutes of nonstop hiking––it reminds me of the Bald Mountain climb in the Rangeley area. Bailey hiked well and greeted people appropriately at the top and on the way down.

On the way back, we stopped at the famous Maine foreign countries' sign and traded pictures with a family. I also noticed the sign for Evergreen Valley, an abandoned ski area in Stoneham. I'm going back there to check out the old lodge. I remember racing at Evergreen Valley during my first year as a high school coach in 1979. I'm pretty sure we skied against Oxford Hills HS. I'm interested in returning because I saw a news clip of the abandoned ski area and a long-time friend says there's an access road to the mountaintop.  It's kind of eerie but kind of fun, too. I'm also interested in an abandoned ski area in Michigan called Sugar Loaf, a place I'd visited in 1978 at Christmas with a family from Indiana.