190 forum posts
Just returned from a great week long trip to the Baxter State Park area in northern Maine. I had a great time, and plan on returning for some unfinished business, but I'll get to that later. I found out, while on a peak bagging trip to the Carrabassett Valley that friends from High School were heading up to Baxter to climb Katadhin and relax for a few days. I quickly made plans to get up there for what would become a memorable trip.
My buddy and I (the other half of the "Sic Team") headed up to the area to primarily hike the 4,000+ footers and take in the scenery, knowing that our friends already up there were not backcountry LNT friendly. Heck, I think their style of hiking would more resemble Sherman's March than LNT, but who's to judge. We didn't have time to make advanced reservations, but that's fine because I didn't plan on camping inside the borders of Baxter anyhow. Inside information from my father who has traveled around the state for over 75 years provided us with invaluable information about where to go. We stayed the first night in a cabin on Sunday Pond with the hooligans (I can say that knowing I am as much of a hooligan as they) and boy did we live it up. I had a blast, and these guys were more than happy to see us. Thank goodness I went to a very small high school, because it was like 15 years had never passed. The guys had already hiked the mountain, and said that 12 hours spent would never be forgotten. We celebrated through the night, and told old war stories around the fire.
The next morning we cleaned up our mess and broke camp about 10 AM. My buddy and I made our way up to the Golden Road in search of a place to make base camp for the week. After we made camp, we fished for a tad and ended up setting the hook twice on a couple of nice looking fish. Freshwater Salmon and some wild mushrooms picked behind our campsite made a great dinner, and a little Knob Creek helped wash it down nicely. A great start to the week.
At daybreak we hiked from camp to a secluded pond where my father hunted back in the 70's. The pond didn't yield any fish, but it was a nice morning spending the day exploring the old logging roads and trails. That afternoon, we made plans to hike the Biggun in the morning.
Woke up around 4 am due to a little chill in the air and made the trek to the front gate of the park to register and get up on the hill. We arrived at 6:45 AM, and the parking lot was full already. Whatever... we'll look at something else. So we headed over to Doubletop for a nice warm up. The next morning, we were at the gate by 5:30, along with the entire population of Eastern Massachusetts, only they were ahead of us. Both Abol and Roaring Brook were full by the time we got into the park, and we didn't even think of Katadhin Stream until we were halfway up Mt Oji. By the time we returned, it was too late to get up and down, so we headed back to camp for some exploring on the Telos Rd.
The following day we woke up late, but that was probably due to the Bourbon consumed the evening before. We fished, but didn't catch a damn thing. I think it has something to do with the full moon, but who knows. Not much else happened except for me falling out of my hammock at about midnight en route to the facilities (tree).
If you ever get the chance to hike into Horserace pond, do it! We spent an afternoon at the pond and exploring the shoreline and small Mtn. just beyond. Good stuff, and it comes easy with just a 2 mile hike in. There isn't much room for more than a tent close to the fire ring established there, but lots of places for a hammock!
All in all, it was a fun trip, but I am a little disappointed about not getting to the top of Maine. I have another week left in my vacation, and just might try to get back up there.