I heard a moose, ..I think


Baxter State Park, ME - Summer 2004



Trip report for the summer 2004 trip to Maine's Baxter State Park.  One week in moose-filled northern Maine.  After much thought and a few coin flips, the group (Bruce, Paul, & Ted) decided to go to Baxter St Park for a week and see if we could get lost in the wilderness for a few of those days.  We settled on a loop through the northern part of the park, mainly because it was said to be less crowded with people and more crowded with wildlife.  In a test to see how miserable we could make ourselves, we chose to drive to Maine.  Then we chose to drive straight-thru to Maine.  Then someone, uh me, came up with the brilliant idea to leave at midnight on Saturday.  To say the drive to northern Maine sucked would throw off the curve for things that are far less painful, ie stabbing yourself in the eye with scissors.  But, all of our crap was loaded into Bruce's car and we were ready for the trek.  The drive went ok until the DC loop, then the traffic control gods decided to shut down one side of the loop and not warn anyone until they arrived at a forced detour into the business district.  Of course we get lost for 20 minutes trying to get back to west side of the loop.  The sun hasn't shown up yet and we're already getting beat up by the man.  But we still make pretty good time getting to NJ.  I should just say that nothing is prettier than Newark in the morning... Except maybe Newark in the rearview mirror in the morning.  But we did decide to stop and take a few photos in the area.

On the way up we decided to stop by and take a quick look at Lady Liberty.

Then after the longest stretch of driving ever, including a trip through what seemed the backwoods of Deliverance, we arrived in Baxter State Park at around 6:30pm.  I know I was thinking "what a glorious day for an 18-hour drive"

After finding the ranger the first portion of the conversation went something like:

ranger: Where ya from?

delirious tourist:  North Carolina

ranger: ooh, that's how far away?

tourist:  we just drove over 1100 miles, over 18 hours

amused ranger: not all at once?

tourist: oh yeah - left North Carolina at midnight

The ranger just smiles, because laughing at us would have been rude, probably.  We went and found our campsite and cracked a much-deserved cold beer.

gotta love the lamps

Everyone is a little punchy.  I have been awake for over 1.5 days now.  After setting up camp, we grill some burgers and down a few more beers, then discuss the plan for the following day.

I think this is a squirrel, they were all over the place

lovely campsite #29, after we removed all of our crap in the morning

geese, and in the background is the shitter

trailhead for us - Freeze-Out Trail - let the journey begin

wow, not even 50ft into the walk we come up on this

cool, already started with the warnings

the first of many bridges

obviously a very wet summer in Maine this year

playing with the camera modes

a cool frog

a foot could easily fit between some of the planks on these bridges

crossing some natural dams. the 2nd one was not more than a few inches wide

a frog in the water.  I must have been really bored

what can I say

  our campsite for the evening - on Grand Lake Matagamon

we made it to the campsite before 2pm, so we decided to double back and walk up another trail, Frost Pond Trail, that we had passed.  there was a lean-to there, allegedly.  we never saw it, but we did see a picturesque lake and some good heavy rain.  but that was the only rain of the trip, except for one sprinkle the next day, I think

not sure what this is...

well, I know what it is, just not what it came out of

our campsite squirrel, he was pissed that we were there

having a snack


so we eat and drink the couple of beers that we brought and that pretty much ends the first day.  5.3 miles from Trout Brook Farm campsite plus a little over 5 miles going to Frost Pond.  Totals a little over 10 miles, but pretty flat land, so not too bad on the body.

picture sucks, but that is a grouse I think

Webster Stream. this is where all the moose are

for the next 2 days a lot of the trail consists of these logs or areas where there was a lot of water and you wished for logs such as these

here's Bruce trying to stay dry on a couple different sections of trail

Webster Stream again, if you look really hard there is a moose in the first pic

but look really hard

Webster Stream lean-to, including the facilities

we're not staying there, we're sleeping at the Hudson Pond lean-to

the shitter

Hudson Pond mid afternoon. It was full of leaches, full

Hudson Pond sunrise (this is when all the moose are there)

get a campfire going and get a little drinking going

on the trail - the trail had a lot of water hazards and a lot of greenery for several miles.  pretty area, but not much in the way of vistas or incredible views

a little snake on the trail

so we walked a little over 8 miles and now we had about 2 miles of walking on the Nesowadnehunk Road to get to South Branch Pond Campground campground, for a little rest

the walk to get to the trailhead was pretty easy, but walking 2 miles on that gravel road sucked!

South Branch Pond CG - this was a pretty big campground that you could drive into. so a lot of people day hiked from here.  plus you could rent canoes and there was a small sand beach.  it would be a really nice place to spend a weekend probably

a gorgeous pond, saw a little snake here too

and even a little firewood

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