Scenic Drive #2 continues

Scenic Drive #2 continues

After the ducklings and a moose I almost decided to call it a day. What more could I want and it was only 9 AM! But no, lets finish what I stated so back on the road to Stratton I went. The scenic drive continues. Route 16 connected with Rt 27 and I entered Carrabassett Valley. I passed Sugarloaf Mountain, a well known Ski Area, finally reaching the picnic/rest area in Kingfield.

Take a break, Stay awake, have a picnic

gray squirrelI have to say that rest areas in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are pretty top notch. This was a lovely picnic area that even had rest rooms. It’s  located right on the river and it was very clean. Some of the picnic tables had roofs over them to keep you dry if it should rain.  There were charcoal fire places for grilling.  This is where I added another varmint to my animal list, a grey squirrel. He didn’t stick around when I parked but I spotted him anyway.

Scenic Picnic area at the Kingfeild rest area

On the road again

Back on the road again I was looking for a sign  to a scenic overlook called Ira Mountain. According to my directions the road would be narrow but the view worth it. I never saw the sign for the overlook but I saw a sign that read, “Iron Bridge”. I bet it was near there.

The Wire Bridge  The Wire Bridge in New Portland Maine on my Scenic Drive

Having concluded that I’d missed that turn off, I was determined not to miss any more. The next item on the scenic drive list was Wire Bridge. I wasn’t sure what that was but I was not going to miss it. Entering New Portland I kept a close eye out for signs and there they were. I followed each turn exactly and then the bridge was in front of me. What a fascinating bridge! While I took pictures a car crossed it. I watched as the wire supports bounced and the bed of the bridge swayed. I had to walk across it. Then, of course, I had to drive across it. Once across the bridge I could park and walk down to the river. That gave me another perspective.

The Scenic Wire Bridge in New Portland

Now Where?

One problem with my scenic road directions is that they got me to the Wire Bridge but then they got kind of vague. Do I turn around and go back? Do I continue on this road? It turned into a dirt road on the far side of the bridge. The directions said to take Rt 234 back to Rt 4. But I haven’t seen any signs for RT 234 at all, what to do? What to do? This is Maine, not Massachusetts. I could drive for hours if I make the wrong choice!

Guess What Day it is

Guess What Day it is

hump day camel

Guess what day it is? Yup, it’s hump day, Wednesday, the middle of the week. My vacation is half over! I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to think about the number of miles I’d logged looking for a stupid moose. It was time to get up and try again but oh my, I didn’t want to. It’s my vacation, roll over and go back to sleep.

A Scenic Drive is just what I need

I managed to laze around until 7:30 am when I gave in and packed up for another drive. This time I was going on a Scenic Drive. I was not looking for moose or any other kind of wildlife. This was going to be a relaxing 2 hour drive with maybe a stop to see a waterfall. The sun was shining and it was kind of cool so I tossed my hoodie in the car just in case.

Scenic Drive number 2Mama Duck and baby ducklings

On my handout from the resort I had 4 scenic drives. I did half of scenic drive #1 but ran into road construction before I could complete the 2nd half. Today I’d give #2 a try. The first step was to find Route 16 East. I had a good idea where Rt 16 was but I wasn’t sure if it was east or west. Remember , I am not looking for wildlife. With no expectation  I was pleasantly surprised that just as I saw the 16 east sign I also saw a duck. I pulled over and walked back with the camera. As I got closer the grass and weeds around the duck began to move and 4 baby ducklings emerged running to Mom. I stopped in my tracks. They were so cute but I didn’t want to scare them away so I took my pictures from where I stood and then backed away.

Route 16 East to Stratton

Maine Moose by the side of the roadBack on the road I headed down Route 16. I was the only car on the road this early so I poked along mentally ticking off what animals I’d seen most of so far…black flies, black flies, black flies. Ok so maybe a chipmunk or two, lots of crows (ravens?), 1 bat, that cute little fox kit and now the ducks. Just as I ticked them off I saw a moose. Yes, really! She was standing in a small field next to the road. I pulled over as carefully as I could. Mindful of the warning not to leave car doors open, I tried to slide out slowly so I could get the camera out of the car.

The Moose and IA Moose heading for the trees

The moose watched me carefully, ears twitching forward and back but she didn’t run away. I snapped a couple of pictures and tried to move a little closer. She took a couple of steps away then stopped. I stepped another couple of steps forward. She move a little too. We had quite the little dance going here. I’d move , she’d move. But like Cinderella at Midnight, the approach of an 18 wheeler sent Ms Moose heading for the trees. For such a big gangly creature she sure could move. I guess the universe rewarded me for my persistence even when I didn’t want to go driving around.

 

 

Another day another Song, Tuesday Afternoon

Another day another Song, Tuesday Afternoon

I like this theme of musical song titles each day but this one might not be too accurate. It’s Tuesday but  I actually had morning and afternoon. Mid-day was just lazing around waiting for the passing showers to end.

Tuesday morning

Pine Trees of Maine on a Tuesday MorningI can’t say Tuesday was the most successful day I’ve ever had but I certainly made every attempt to accomplish at least some goals.  At 7 am I left the cabin in hopes of spotting that elusive moose, or even a deer. It was pretty much me and the road and the morning shadows. I stopped to take some scenery photos like the long rows of pines. After all, this is the Pine Tree State and a field of Lupine. A hour later I turned for home without seeing so much as a rabbit much less a moose.

Sunshine go away todayField of Lupine

Yes another song title. My sunny Tuesday began to cloud over as I turned for home. I figured I’d clean out some emails and read a book until the storms passed. I also napped a little. That’s what vacations are for, right? It was after lunch before the sun broke out again in full glory. Time to get on the road again.

 

The Afternoon scenic drive Funny Duck Crossing sign

After checking out Ecopelagicon for a canoe rental (Not open) I tried to call a guide service. No phone service so I sent an email. I figured I needed some serious help. At this point other than lots of crows I’d seen 1 fox kit, 1 chipmunk, a blue jay, a bat and a possible bald eagle…or maybe just a really big crow. I’m sure I saw a flash of white??? So you see the wildlife, with the exception of crows and black flies, were making themselves scarce. I couldn’t even find the ducklings at the duckling crossing!

 

Scenic Drive or Hike – that is the question.

I started out on another scenic drive. The problem is they all start from the same place so you have a 1/2 drive just to get to a new starting point. After filling the gas tank I heading out for Scenic Drive #2 on the list but my directions slid off the car seat. When I retrieved them it had opened up to Angel Falls. I took that as a sign and began to look for the turn off.

angel Falls maine

News Update:

I was interviewed by an online travel site called TravelOopsies.com

If you’d like to see my interview you can find it here: https://www.traveloopsies.com/not-checking-the-destinations-weather-dates-resetting-on-booking-websites-expensive-foreign-road-signs-and-other-travel-mistakes-peeves/

Monday Monday so good to me

Monday Monday so good to me

From Here comes the Sun to Monday Monday, the song titles keep describing my days. Today was just a lazy day. The morning was overcast again so I did some computer work, cleaned out my emails and finished reading a book I brought with me. After lunch a thunderstorm came through. No rain just lots of thunder and wind. Then the sun came out.

Time to look for Wildlife

It was time to head out to look for animals again. So far the only wildlife I’d seen were those pesky black flies. blue jay in back yard on MondayA blue jay landed on the porch railing this morning so I’m going to take that as a sign. I picked another “scenic drive” and headed off.

Keep an attitude of anticipation

My mantra for the search was to believe I would see something. Wildlife don’t perform on cue. Just keep my eyes open. The scenery is nice . I stopped at each scenic overlook.Noyes overlook with storm clouds on Monday afternoon The first one, Noyes Overlook, had a nice panoramic shot but the black flies were nasty even with bug spray. Maybe because of the thunder storm earlier. I’m sure it rained somewhere.

Height of Land

This is the 2nd overlook. The lake viewed from this vantage point is Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Yes that’s a real name, I kid you not. This is also another point where the Appalachian trail crosses the road. The overlook here is well maintained. Being on the top of the mountain probably helped with the breeze so it kept the black flies to a minimum.Height of Land Overlook Mooselookmeguntic Lake

Finally a bit of Wildlife

And a little bit indeed! As I left the Height of Land overlook I was getting a bit frustrated. With cloudy skies again there’d be no sunsets to photograph and it would get dark early. Just as I was considering turning around  I spotted something on the side of the road.

Little fox on side of road on Monday

Luckily there was a shoulder to pull over. With the car stopped I could see it was a little fox kit. No mama or siblings, just the one youngster. I’d take a picture and then try to move a little closer. He’d get nervous but seemed fascinated by the camera clicking.Red fox baby on Monday

 

I don’t know how long our little dance would have gone on if another car had not come along. When he heard that one approach he took one last look over his shoulder and was gone. I hope his family is nearby.

Red fox kit Monday afternoon

Here Moosey, Moosey, Moose

Here Moosey, Moosey, Moose

Moose warning signMoose are active morning and late afternoon and according to the locals from noon to 2 pm as well. I set my camera ISO to 800, lowered my F stop and reduced my shutter speed to compensate for the low light. With a feeling of expectation I headed out to drive route 17, a so called Moose hot spot.

It should be so easy

The handout about the roads and moose warned that Moose like to use the highway to travel. Moose crossing the roadThey seem to think it’s their own private way. I was surprised that the speed limit most of the way was 50 miles per hour. No wonder this is a “High Hit Area”. Who can stop fast at that speed? I trundled along at about 35-40 miles per hour pulling over to let the locals pass when I saw them barreling down on me. If you come for a visit do not expect the locals to obey the speed limits. They pass on double lines, drive 75-80 in a 50 mph zone and tail gate. Scary stuff.

Trees, woods and overlooks

The drive is a two lane road for the most part. Occasionally it splits to 4 lanes but it also shrinks going over bridges. I saw two beautiful overlooks that I will need to return to for pictures. When I stopped the sun was right in my eyes. When I came back it was just past sunset so I missed that too.

Coos CanyonCoos Canyon waterfall

The trip from Rangeley to Rumford is 36 miles. I didn’t have that much daylight left but I was determined to make the full drive before I turned back. Along the way I spotted a rest area with a picnic table and a chain link fence. Curious I stopped to take a look. A lovely cascade spilled down between high rock walls. The fence was there to keep silly people from getting too close to the edge. Having left my hat in the car I had to beat back the black flies while trying to photograph the gorge.

 

Mexico Maine

sombrero with mustascheI didn’t get to Rumford. When I reached Mexico, Maine I was two miles away but it was too dark for moose then, at least for my purposes. I thought of my sister as she kept talking about Mexico, Maine while I was planning this visit. Well Sis, found it. Wish you were here.  In the end I made the drive and got nothing for it, not a moose, not a deer, not even a mouse. Tomorrow is another day.