Mission Accomplished: Occupy Mountaintops

When I sent out the call for local hikers to convene at the top of Bald Rock Mountain to view the 4:10 PM full moon rise last Saturday night, I concluded with the statement, “Many are called, but few are chosen”.  I didn’t expect many to show.  Man, was I wrong.  I saw, or heard from 28 people who got to the top of some mountain that night.  Here is a guest entry from my hiking partner Tenzing:
“Inspired by Uncle Tom AKA Jah-Opie Jamrog’s call to occupy mountaintops for Saturday’s full moon, I traveled up to Lincolnville Center, Maine to help him occupy Bald Rock Mountain in Camden Hills State Park Saturday night.   While we were the only two to spend the night up there, UT enticed another 10 people to join us for the moonrise and then yet another 10-12 after dark who hiked up “up” to visit!

Suzanne and Ian

Night time temps dropped into the low teens, but the old shelter kept us out of the wind and lots of layers inside my sleeping bag kept me pretty comfortable.

Tenzing at the Lean-To

Special thanks to Uncle Tom who cooked breakfasts for us while I photographed the sunrise.

Uncle Tom cooking breakfast

We started out with the traditional “drop the packs at Dave’s”, drop my vehicle at Steven’s Corner before slack packing from Tom’s home to Dave’s with lunch at the Drake’s Corner store.   At Dave’s we carefully shouldered our heavy packs and headed up Thurlow Road including the abandoned section before entering the Park.
The Cameron Mountain Trail was a short climb from the road and was recently regraded and basically a small road which we followed 1.4 miles to the Bald Rock Mountain Trail.   another 0.8 miles and we reached Saturday’s destination- the upper lean-to at the top of Bald Rock Mountain.

Tenzing and Tom

We arrived at 3:00 PM and took 45 minutes to gather firewood and set up camp before heading to the outlook over the beautiful islands of Maine for the moonrise.   In bed about 9:30 PM and up at 6:00. We hiked out back to Steven’s Corner at about 8:00 AM when we drove over to Tanglewood 4-H Camp for another quick 2 miles of walking in the woods and where we visited Turner Falls along the Ducktrap River.   A great weekend and thanks to our wives for supporting our expedition(s).  Here’s  My Facebook album for this trip. ”

Additional tidbits follow:
There were two classic quotes that I’d like to share from the hike:

Tenzing notes, “If you only go up for a day, you gotta beat yourself up a bit.”  Tenzing estimated that his pack weighed 60 pounds, and he might have been correct.  Between us, we probably humped up 100 pounds after each of us filled 3 quarts of water from the stream up at the end of the Cameron Mountain Trail. I humped up a saw, a chair, a knife, down booties, multiple packs of hand and foot warmers, and lots of warm clothing, things I don’t normally carry in my backpack.  Clarkie had a heavier chair, enough kielbasa to feed a basketball team, plus containers of condiments, beer, and a mini tripod.

Another Tenzing jem- “Man, these women in Maine are something else, you are not going to find any woman in New Hampshire that would be hiking up here in the dark and cold after a dinner date.”  This one had to do with our last visitors, a group of two couples that were skittering their way down the big ledge above the lean-to sometime around 9 PM.  I’m talking about Pat Hurley and his girlfriend Martha.

Karen and Bill hiked up the wrong mountain. They hiked up Bald Mountain off the Barnestown Road.  Chip and Cindy ran out of time, and hiked up Beech Hill instead.  John and Ann decided to walk up a less treacherous footpath and walked up Mt. Battie, where they witnessed the lighting of the giant Christmas star on top of the tower.

Next full moon will be on Monday Jan. 9, 2012.  ??????

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