Tag Archives: Mount Katahdin

Mount Katahdin in the sky

Mount Katahdin can be seen in the distance. The photo was taken from Maine Route 163 near Haystack Mountain on the road between Ashland and Presque Isle, Maine. (According to Google Maps, the road is also known as the Presque Isle Road, Haystack Road, Main Street as it goes though Mapleton, Maine, and then the Mapleton Road as it nears Presque Isle.) Kelly McInnis, a classmate of mine from Ashland Community High School Class of (mumble, mumble), took the photo. It must have been an incredibly beautiful day when this photo was taken since Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine and the official end of the Appalachian Trail, is more than 100 miles away as the crow flies. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Mount Katahdin can be seen in the distance. The photo was taken from Maine Route 163 near Haystack Mountain on the road between Ashland and Presque Isle, Maine. (According to Google Maps, the road is also known as the Presque Isle Road, Haystack Road, Main Street as it goes though Mapleton, Maine, and then the Mapleton Road as it nears Presque Isle.) Kelly McInnis, a classmate of mine from Ashland Community High School Class of (mumble, mumble), took the photo. It must have been an incredibly beautiful day when this photo was taken since Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine and the official end of the Appalachian Trail, is more than 100 miles away as the crow flies. Photo by Kelly McInnis

[I found this story after I originally posted the photo.Frankly, I think these guys were nuts for going up Katahdin in those conditions. Crazy! There is video with the story, but the way. — KM]

Taking on Mount Katahdin in the winter | Bangor Daily News

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Quimby’s subdivision plans stun locals | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Quimby’s subdivision plans stun locals | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Appalachian Trail thru-hiker proposes on snowy Baxter Peak | Bangor Daily News

Appalachian Trail thru-hiker proposes on snowy Baxter Peak | Bangor Daily News.

Maine Forest Service airlifts injured hiker from Mount Katahdin | Bangor Daily News

Maine Forest Service airlifts injured hiker from Mount Katahdin | Bangor Daily News

Information on how to prepare for a Katahdin hike may be found at the park’s website: baxterstateparkauthority.com .

Rescue under way for injured hiker on Mount Katahdin | Bangor Daily News

Rescue under way for injured hiker on Mount Katahdin | Bangor Daily News.

Appalachian Trail hikers stop before Mount Katahdin ascent | Bangor Daily News

Appalachian Trail hikers stop before Mount Katahdin ascent | Bangor Daily News.

European nations approve Appalachian Trail extension | Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — The North American leg of the International Appalachian hiking trail got a major boost Thursday as chapters in several European countries endorsed the project, which promises to become the world’s largest trail network.

Trail clubs in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, England, Ireland and Wales formally joined the International Appalachian Trail during a meeting in Aviemore, Scotland, IAT officials said.

The IAT is an extension of the Appalachian Trail, which extends from northern Maine to northern Georgia along the Appalachian Mountains. The IAT begins near Maine’s Mount Katahdin and extends through eastern Canadian provinces. Hikers can continue on the IAT by crossing the Atlantic Ocean by boat or plane and picking it up in Greenland and Iceland, IAT officials said.

“By joining, they [the international chapters] will set up a trail in their territory,” IAT geologist Walter Anderson said. “Now we have jumped the pond.”

Click for the rest of the story by Glen Adams of The Associated Press in the Bangor Daily News.

 

Amazing Graze | Bangor Daily News

Amazing Graze – Bangor Daily News.

Maine tribes finish 100-mile Spiritual Run | Bangor Daily News

Maine tribes finish 100-mile Spiritual Run | Bangor Daily News.

Northernmost Maine? I-95 won’t get you there | NPR

Northernmost Maine? I-95 won’t get you there | NPR

I’m not sure how I missed this part of the NPR package on Interstate 95 the other day (Paying a local price for I-95’s global promise | NPR), especially since it includes information on where I grew up. I was born in Fort Kent, traveled to Caribou to eat and shop, and drove those roads in my late teens and early 20s.

Extending Interstate 95 to Fort Kent or Madawaska would be good for the region to get goods and services that far north and products back south, but the comments point out that there are other pressing needs as well.

Offering viewers a sneak peek of autumn: Dry summer gives some trees early start on foliage season | Portland Press Herald

Here’s a photo I posted a few days ago showing the early change in color of foliage. This photo was taken not long ago near Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s a photo I posted a few days ago showing the early change in color of foliage. This photo was taken not long ago near Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin. Photo by Kelly McInnis

The fall foliage season has started, at least for some trees.

Some species are turning yellow and shedding their foliage earlier than normal because of the dry summer. But forestry experts do not expect conditions to affect the prime leaf-peeping season.

“We have noticed it especially with paper and yellow birch,” said Bill Ostrofsky, a tree pathologist with the Maine Forest Service.

Touches of red and gold always appear on some trees in the Maine landscape in late August. But the dry conditions have led to more color this year. Until this week, no significant rain had fallen over much of the state since June.

The lack of water caused leaves to droop, then drop, on bushes and trees where the soil was especially dry.

Click for the rest of the story by Beth Quimby in the Portland Press Herald.

Paying a local price for I-95’s global promise | NPR

Paying a local price for I-95’s global promise | NPR

This NPR story caught my eye because Interstate 95 is the closest interstate highway to where I grew up in Aroostook County.

State Route 11 was the only paved road in and out of Portage, but as an adult I’ve lived in cities bisected by several interstate, U.S. and state highways.

Route 11 still is the only paved way in and out of Portage and I’m pretty sure no one living there is interested in adding any commuter lanes or interchanges or bypasses. My mother used to lament about the “traffic” on the road when we lived on Route 11 leading into Portage. There were too many logging trucks going too fast for her.

The northern terminus of I-95 is at Houlton, Aroostook County’s county seat and a border crossing into Canada. The oldest and longest of the interstates, I-95 runs from Houlton to southern Florida.

Whenever we wanted to visit points south we would drive south on frost-damaged state Route 11 – also known as the Aroostook Scenic Highway – through Ashland. Farther south we would turn east at Knowles Corner onto state Route 212 to Symrna Mills and onto southbound I-95. Or we would bypassed the Knowles Corner turnoff and continued on Route 11 through to Patten and then to I-95.

I’ve driven a lot of interstate highways in the past 30 or more years and I-95 through Maine’s North Woods must be among the most remote interstates in the continental United States. It was not uncommon to drive from Houlton, Symrna Mills or Patten and not see another vehicle for miles and miles of forest-lined concrete highway. It was difficult sometimes not to nod off just a bit and it is not unusual to come across a moose or black bear standing in the middle of the lanes.

Mount Katahdin

Mount Katahdin

From doorstep to Bangor was about a three-hour drive, with about two-thirds of that on I-95. There is a section that opens up just a bit and allows a scenic view of Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine and the official end of the Appalachian Trial. (Some believe the Appalachian Mountains actually continue to Mars Hill, Maine, and there was a report earlier this summer that a section of the mountain range was left behind in Europe when the tectonic plates shifted. Also, a few days ago I posted photos of Mount Katahdin taken by a high school classmate, Kelly McInnis. https://lettersfromaway.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/camping-in-maine-in-the-shadow-of-mount-katahdin/)

I-95 goes through or near such Maine communities as Old Town, Orono, Bangor, Waterville and Gardiner, where the road splits into I-95, which swung out to Lewiston, and I-295, which was a straighter shot to Portland, Kittery and the rest of New England and the World. It would take about six hours to drive from my home in Portage to Gorham, Maine, where the residential campus of the University of Southern Maine is located and where I attended college for a time.

The NPR story has a couple of nice features: a list of little known facts, an interactive map showing the construction of the highway over the decades, and a list of places along I-95 to visit.

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Camping in Maine in the shadow of Mount Katahdin

Every so often I am reminded that I know some pretty talented people and some of them I’ve known a very long time.

Kelly McInnis was a high school classmate of mine at Ashland Community High School, MSAD No. 32. It was a consolidated high school with students coming from several different area communities. Portage Lake, where I grew up, was one of those communities.

Kelly, who still lives and works in The County, has a practiced eye when it comes to shooting photos. I seem to recall a photo of her from our high school yearbook, her red hair tied back and her wearing a baseball undershirt, the kind with the black three-quarter sleeves. In the photo, if I recall this correctly, she’s holding a 35-mm camera with which many of the other photos in the yearbook were shot.

But that was … holy, cow, about 30 years ago, so my memory may have faded a bit.

Anyway, Kelly shares here photos on Facebook and he graciously allows me to post them on “Letters From Away.”

Here’s Kelly McInnis’ campsite at Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, the official end of the Appalachian Trail and the highest point in Maine. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s Kelly McInnis’ campsite at Jo-Mary Lake Campground in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, the official end of the Appalachian Trail and the highest point in Maine. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Kelly was camping recently at Jo-Mary Lake Campground. The North Maine Woods Inc. at www.northmainewoods.org describes the amenities of the campground like this:

70 campsites along the shore of Jo-Mary Lake accommodate tents or camper trailers and most have a view of Mt. Katahdin. Boat launch, showers, flush toilets, dumping station, Laundromat, ice, fire wood and propane available. Sand beach provides excellent swimming. Five mile long Jo-Mary Lake provides fishing for landlocked salmon, brook trout, white perch and lake trout.

Sounds pretty plush for camping, but Kelly swears she roughed it by sleeping in a tent.

And there is Mount Katahdin, about 50 miles north of the Jo-Mary Lake Campground, according to the North Maine Woods Inc. website. Photo by Kelly McInnis

And there is Mount Katahdin, about 50 miles north of the Jo-Mary Lake Campground, according to the North Maine Woods Inc. website. Photo by Kelly McInnis

The campground is within the KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest within 5 miles of the Appalachian Trial, with Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin, the highest point in Maine, just 50 miles to the north. I don’t recall ever going to this campground, but I would now if I had a chance. It appears to be a wonderful spot.

By the way, I believe Mount Katahdin is still considered the official northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, even though as a youth I heard Mars Hill was considered by some to be the end of the trail, as it were.

But earlier this summer I read a wire story about how a portion of the Appalachian Mountains actually may have been left behind on the European continent when the tectonic plates shifted.

Anyway, a couple of Kelly’s photos show Mount Katahdin in the background.

Here’s another shot of Mount Katahdin in the background and rock piles in the foreground. Kelly wasn’t sure who might have made the rock piles, perhaps bored children, she said. I think aliens from another planet may have had a hand – if they had hands, that is – in the creation of what I like to call Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s another shot of Mount Katahdin in the background and rock piles in the foreground. Kelly wasn’t sure who might have made the rock piles, perhaps bored children, she said. I think aliens from another planet may have had a hand – if they had hands, that is – in the creation of what I like to call Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Kelly didn’t know what the piled rocks were in some of the photos. Perhaps they are the product of a bored pack of children? Perhaps something more natural and mystical, such as the work of local native people? Perhaps something more mysterious still, such as the work of aliens from another planet? I think I’ll just call them the Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. I’m sure that will start showing up in search engines any day now.

Here’s another shot of the Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Here’s another shot of the Ancient Rock Towers of Maine’s North Woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Another photo appears to be shot at the edge of a stream or other water source and shows the beginning of foliage changing. It has been a rather dry summer in Maine and some of the leaves are changing sooner than they normally would, as documented by Kelly’s photos and, well, my Mom. She said the same thing when I called her Sunday.

Kelly took this shot to show the beginning of the changing foliage. Maine has gone through a very dry summer and some of the leaves are changing sooner than they might have otherwise. It also shows a pretty typical opening in Maine’s North Woods – slightly boggy and surrounded by thick woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Kelly took this shot to show the beginning of the changing foliage. Maine has gone through a very dry summer and some of the leaves are changing sooner than they might have otherwise. It also shows a pretty typical opening in Maine’s North Woods – slightly boggy and surrounded by thick woods. Photo by Kelly McInnis

And there is a whimsical shot of a dedicated Maine fisherman.

Hey, buddy, whatcha usin’ for bait. Kelly’s response to that he was using the worm from the tequila bottle. Actually, the creation of the fisherman and the shooting of it with the camera both show a bit of dry Maine whimsy. Photo by Kelly McInnis

Hey, buddy, whatcha usin’ for bait. Kelly’s response to that he was using the worm from the tequila bottle. Actually, the creation of the fisherman and the shooting of it with the camera both show a bit of dry Maine whimsy. Photo by Kelly McInnis

These photos were printed with Kelly’s permission.

On Mount Katahdin, sharing a family tradition| Bangor Daily News

On Mount Katahdin, sharing a family tradition| Bangor Daily News

Hiker rescued in Maine not liable for search costs | Bangor Daily News

Rescued hiker not liable for search costs – Bangor Daily News.

Maine to Morocco: Appalachian Trail to leap abroad? | Bangor Daily News

Maine to Morocco: Appalachian Trail to leap abroad? – Bangor Daily News.

Lost hiker was seeking shortcut when he became stranded | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Lost hiker was seeking shortcut when he became stranded | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

[I don’t get this sort of thing. This guy is supposed to be an experienced hiker and he broke a couple of very basic rules, the worst of which was leaving the trail. Never ever leave the trail, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terrain. And hike with a partner so if you are hurt there is someone to help or go for help. I certainly hope that the state of Maine attempts to recoup the cost of the search from this moron. — KM]

Lost hiker undergoing surgery at EMMC | Bangor Daily News

Lost hiker undergoing surgery at EMMC | Bangor Daily News

Update: Injured Ohio hiker sent to Bangor hospital | Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

Hiker rescued in Baxter after two-day search | Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

[Perfect example of why hikers should NOT venture out alone, especially in areas they don’t know well. Granted, as a child, I hiked around the mountain that was my backyard, but I knew that mountain pretty well and I knew as long as I went downhill I would find the lake, a paved road, mill siding, or logging road. – KM]

Update: Searchers for missing hiker spot tracks | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Update: Searchers for missing hiker spot tracks | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Maine mountain trails still snow-covered | Bangor Daily News

Maine mountain trails still snow-covered – Bangor Daily News.