My Fake Camping Day

This was the week when my backpacking pal Bad Influence and I were to set up a hot tent base camp for three nights in Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park and enjoy day trips out of that heated tent, either fat tire biking, snowshoeing or skiing. A weird weather shift from 14 degrees below zero to 51 degrees over a 24 hour period last weekend set up a stretch of rain, high winds and warm days that forced us to cancel our trip.

So, I found myself  in the rather unusual position of having time at home cleared of any particular schedule.

I decided to head out.

There wasn’t much I could do on Tuesday, the first day we were supposed to hike in.  The rain was driving into the south side of the house in sheets, at the same time that the outdoor thermometer read 50, and the foot of snow cover was rapidly turning into heavy slush.

But Wednesday looked better, and even though it barely dropped to the freezing mark overnight, the snow was too loose to pedal on with my Ice Cream Truck. I decided to spend the morning  connecting up the ends of two of my  hikes.

I should have put the map, compass, and traction devices into my day pack. I fared OK, with my GPS and iPhone, but could have done better.

After walking east on High Street from the house, I veered left and headed north.  Someone had been into the Tarantino ‘s land after the ground thawed and chewed it up pretty bad.

Landowner might be pissed

Landowner might be pissed

After mucking my way up that lane, I sloshed along the edge of this long hay field.

Big hay field looking toward sunrise

Big hay field looking toward sunrise

At the far corner of the field, the trail goes over this old stone wall onto one of the oldest roads in town. Now abandoned, this road heads directly into Searsmont on its way to Augusta. It dates back to the early 1700’s.

Trucks churn mud. Period.

Trucks wore down the wall

Here is a picture of lives gone by. In the forefront are old bricks that were likely were once a part of the chimney of the house where just a crumbling stone foundation remain behind.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Old bricks front from foundation in back

Less than two hundred feet later, the old road breaks open into this panoramic wild blueberry field.  I once had the good fortune of seeing this glorious  stretch of landscape from Ben’s helicopter.

Looking back, trail on left

Looking back, trail on left

Soon, I descended onto the Muzzy Ridge Road, and then veered off to  the French Road North, where studded soles on the bottom of my boots would have helped on this section of icy road.

Traction needed here

Traction needed here

The hobbit world might be be right through these openings in these old corrals.

Ancient walled corrals

Ancient walled corrals

This very old cemetery is at the end of a series of small walled areas.

Buzzell Cemetary

Buzzell Cemetery

An the last passable point on French Road North this rehab project is headed for wet times due to the open door.

Rough winter ahead yet

Rough winter ahead yet

From here, I have to figure out the connector to the other end of French Road.

Slogging along

Slogging along

Here’s a strong-running melt stream that I jumped across.  It reminded me of hiking in the high Sierras.

Ready to jump

Ready to jump

Eventually I came upon signage.

Finally, signs

Finally, signs

Things were headed in the right direction as I moved uphill to the ridge.

Cut over beech growth

Cut over beech growth

Eventually I made it out again to Moody Mountain Road, somewhere other than French Road North.

Downhill from here

Downhill from here

Strava records from this hike follow, walking counterclockwise from my house on High Street.  (Note:  I went out again for along hike the next day, where I did even better in completing the linkage between French Roads North and South)

Moody Mountain ramble

Moody Mountain ramble

screenshot 9

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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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5 Responses to My Fake Camping Day

  1. Pat Hurley says:

    Tom flying out of San Francisco heading east I had a window seat . I’m looking down at what might have been the Sierras that looked somewhat inhospitable at 30,000 ft. I thought of you hiking in those mountains.Great story of hiking these old roads. Years ago living up north there were old roads with abandoned farms that made the walk a living history lesson of a time gone by.

  2. mame08 says:

    Best local activity entry yet! Love the photo documentation. xo

  3. Rockdawg69 says:

    Nice fake Tom.
    Do you remember the old stone walls in northern NJ just before Unionville, NY? Much like what you have shown here – corrals, pasture walls, etc. Also, there were large piles of stone all along the old railbed that headed north toward Unionville. Personally I think this was the quarry area for much of the stone used in building in that area of New York, more commonly referred to as “brownstone”. Maybe not, but there was certainly a lot of stone piled and left from some activity – not fence building for sure.
    Porter

    • tjamrog says:

      Great to hear from you again, Rockdawg. Maybe now I understand your trail name better. I really enjoy encountering old structures out in the woods and then thinking about the previous uses and inhabitants that made a life there.

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