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Camden Hills and Moose Point

October 8, 2012

Maine – Thursday, Oct. 4

(For some reason, the 12 pictures I put in here are duplicated – sorry!)

Since I was already in Camden Hills State Park, I decided to head out on one of the longer hikes. I started off on one trail, but ended up taking the Ocean Lookout hike on Mt Megunticook. It was rated a moderate hike, but it was a pretty slow go with some steep sections, and even though the temperature was right around 60, I was working so hard even my bangs were dripping sweat by the time we got to the top! I went around some of the bigger boulders instead of climbing up them, because they were still a little wet from yesterday’s rain, and I am trying to be extra careful and cautious! Tula’s like a little mountain goat on some of those trails. It took a while to get to the top, but what a glorious view! I could look back down at Camden, where I was yesterday, and the boats all looked so little in the harbor. I could see a long, sweeping view of the coastline, and could literally see for miles. I felt like the queen of the world! I was the only one up there, and we just sat and rested and enjoyed the view. It was beautiful. The trip down was almost a little harder than the trip up, but I just took my time. We began to meet other people who were on their way up (I had the advantage of being the first one since I had camped right there), and several of them asked how much farther they had to go. By then I was halfway down, and they still had a ways! I’m really glad I ended up on that particular hike. We only got 3 miles in altogether, but it was some of the toughest 3 miles I’ve done so far.

Then we got in the car for a short while, and continued the drive north. I stopped in the town of Belfast, which was a fun, hilly town to walk in – kind of an artsy sort of town with galleries, and music and crafts, and a variety of benches made of different sorts of Maine-like things. We got in another 2.2 miles of walking there. Then we hit the road again and came to Moose Point State Park – a very quiet, peaceful park right on the coast with some easy trails, and we walked another mile and a half, and then Tula took a quick dip in the water, and started to take a drink before she realized it was salty! At the beginning of the day, I had been thinking my goal for the evening would be Acadia National Park for a visit and another night of camping, but I still had miles to go and a donation to make. Perhaps I had been poking along a little too much up the coast, but there’s just so much to see! I began to wonder if I would make it that far.

By this time I was pretty hungry, and in the middle of nowhere I noticed a little restaurant by the side of the road with a big sign out front saying something about the being voted for the best fried clams. I had promised my sister I would try fried clams, and figured this would be as good a place as any – and she had told me to get the whole clams, not just the clam strips. I ordered a half-pint, which is the smallest size they came in, and also got fries and cole slaw. I got it to go since I didn’t want to “waste” daylight hours, and they were actually better than I thought they would be. I think my last experience with clams was clam strips at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant when I was a kid, and they didn’t make a good impression then! I don’t know how anyone could eat more than a half-pint though. Then we came to a really cool bridge – unlike any I’ve seen yet. It was a suspension bridge but instead of 2 spans, there was only a single span holding up a lane of traffic on each side. Too bad there wasn’t a sidewalk – I would have liked to walk across that one!

The next town we came to was Ellsworth, and while finishing up my walking for the day, I passed the Emmaus Homeless Shelter right in town – a tidy brick building with a sign about their upcoming 20th anniversary. I wanted to make a donation to them, so when I finished my walking and got back to the car, I called and the lady told me they had a wish list on their website, so I made a list from that. They needed personal care items like shampoo and conditioner, combs, deoderant and razors, and general stuff like napkins, paper towels, disposable silverware, garbage bags, tin foil and plastic wrap. And I was able to add in a case of ramen noodles which was on the food list. I took it to the shelter, and to protect the residents the door is always locked and I needed someone to buzz me in. A cute little boy came and opened the door, and the lady in the office was very happy to get the stuff. This shelter is set up to house families, or single men, or single women. And one never knows when someone might fall on hard times. It was kind of sad to see and hear kids there, but it was also good to know there’s a safe place for them.

While I was in Wal-Mart shopping for the homeless shelter, it began to rain again, and after I had dropped the things off, I knew I would have to by-pass Acadia National Park on this trip. If I went down there, I would not be able to make it up to northern Maine, and I still really wanted to do that too. I figured it was time to pull myself off the coast, so we headed inland in the rain to Bangor, where I got a motel room at the first place I tried, and I was very happy to be warm and dry as it rained all night.

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