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.
After mucking my way up that lane, I sloshed along the edge of this long hay field.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The hobbit world might be be right through these openings in these old corrals.
This very old cemetery is at the end of a series of small walled areas.
An the last passable point on French Road North this rehab project is headed for wet times due to the open door.
From here, I have to figure out the connector to the other end of French Road.
Here’s a strong-running melt stream that I jumped across. It reminded me of hiking in the high Sierras.
Eventually I came upon signage.
Things were headed in the right direction as I moved uphill to the ridge.
Eventually I made it out again to Moody Mountain Road, somewhere other than French Road North.
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)