Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The last blog to update from "Off the Grid"

Last Update for "Off the Grid"
On Saturday we decided to change campsites again and Trox went for an early morning ride on a scouting expedition. He found us a wonderful site near Little Austin Pond. He had to hike-a-kayak for about a tenth of mile once we got there but it was well worth it! The site was just a pull off from the logging road that we had driven down for what seemed like hours. Amazingly it was completely level! Others had camped there before as evidenced by the pile of rocks that could be arranged to form a fire ring. We arrived there mid-afternoon; set up camp; and headed for the water.
Our campsite near Little Austin Pond

The trail to the pond - 0.1 miles long

I got to go out first and the water was like glass it was so smooth. By far the best paddle trip I've had so far. The temperature was perfect; the water was perfect; the lighting was gorgeous; and the company couldn't be beat. Just me and a lone loon. I was surprised how close s/he let me get. S/he kept calling and I could hear another one answering.
A pond of glass

A Common Loon calling - eerie

The next morning I went out again and the water wasn't as nice but I got a real treat. There were TWO Loons and they had a baby with them! Once again I got pretty close but Mother Loon let me know under no uncertain terms when I got too close!
Daddy leads
Mommy next
Baby last

In the meantime Trox was off photographing fungi and butterflies. We submitted one of the butterfly pictures to Butterflies and Moths of North America and they verified the species as Speyeria Atlantis and accepted our sighting. Take a look at the sighting details page.
Such a pretty butterfly
Speyeria Atlantis

He also found a really cool moth that we are going to submit later but we are almost positive it is a Haploa Clymene.
A Clymene butterfly

As for his fungi and plants he found some really colorful ones and unusual ones (at least to us). One, the Indian Pipe is a non-photosynthesis plant that is a parasite. Its host is a fungus and the fungus is a parasite on a tree.
Indian Pipe also known as
Ghost Plant or Corpse Plant
the bees love them!

Other ones he found were also real interesting and provided entertainment while trying to identify.
Pretty "mushroom"

This is the Cinnabar-red Polypore
Pycnoporus Cinninbarius
Aren't you glad you asked?

We had to get back to Greenville to return the kayak so we broke camp after Trox hiked-the-kayak back from the pond.
My sherpa and his new hat

Once we got back to civilization we returned the rented kayak and ended up buying one! Ours is longer than the rental and I just came back from my first run in it. It is much faster than the rental and easier to keep on a straight line. In addition we watched some videos on how to paddle and with the new, lighter paddle it was lots of fun. Pictures to come in next post! Yesterday, Monday, was spent shopping, laundry, cooking, and restocking Merlin. Tomorrow we are going to head out of Greenville and head toward Millinocket and into more "Off the Grid" area. I will make one more post before we leave.

What we did "Off the Grid"

Catching up after "Off the Grid"
We have been off the grid for 6 or 7 days depending on when I get this posted. Rather than trying to post this in a chronological order I am just going to post the best pics we got.

When we finished our flight we headed towards Indian Pond Campground where we had reservations. We stayed there 3 nights and really enjoyed ourselves. We spent time on the water in our rented kayak and Trox made a number of bike rides. One day we were there it was rainy most of the day but other than that it was nice. We left Indian Pond on Thursday morning and headed south to Moxie Pond and kept going on a road that Trox wanted to explore. As usual his instincts were great and the road was passable but Bunyip would have liked the road better than Merlin did. Speaking of Bunyip, we received an email from Bunyip's new owner and Bunyip got a face lift! I have posted a few pictures of him at the end of this post. For those of you who didn't follow us in Australia, Bunyip was our WONDERFUL home while we toured down under a few years ago.

We found a really nice campsite on private land right next to the Appalachian Trail. Found a really level spot in a grassy area and set up our screen room. The first night we were there we were joined by a group of young boys from a camp in Augusta ME. They were hiking a portion of the Appalachian trail with two adults. They were enjoyable and well behaved. Second night we had to ourselves. We were just across the road from a nice launch site and both of us spent some time on the water. Trox also discovered the joys of blueberry picking - note to Jeanne & Martin - picking wild BBs is very different than the ones we picked in Washington with you! Lucky we had a supply of ice to chill them once he got back to the RV. They were (and are) yummy!

Trox was able to get quite a bit of birding in at both sites as well as on the water around the shore lines and on the islands.

A puddle full of Blue-Winged-Teal Ducks

Moxie Pond at Lake Moxie Twp

Kennebec River Gorge at Carry Brook

Kennebec River Gorge at Carry Brook

One very dirty bike before its bath

Islands on Indian Pond

White-Throated Sparrow

Another Cedar Wax Wing

Pretty wildflowers

Saw this guy (Garter Snake) next to dump station
at Indian Pond

Glenda's trip on Moxie Pond

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

First batch of blueberry pancakes made with
fresh picked wild Maine blueberries!

Near our campsite was the Appalachian Trail

Merlin at our campsite


We heard from Bunyip!
Doesn't he look wonderful???
I still have more to post from "Off the Grid" and will try to get that done later today but right now we are going to go out to Big Indian Pond and try out our new toy (more in next post!)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Back from "Off the Grid"

Happenings on Monday 22 July 2013
Sunday was a beautiful day and the air was as clear as possible. We were hoping Monday would be the same. It wasn't quite as clear but was actually calmer for our flight. We got up Monday morning, had breakfast, broke camp, and headed for our appointment with a float plane. The plane we flew was a 1948 Cessna 195 - N145V. I was really excited since I had never flown in a 195 before and had never taken off from water!

Once Roger got us loaded we got the safety spiel including the fact that while on the water we are actually a boat and so he made sure we knew where the life jackets were. Then he climbed in and we took off!
Here we go into the wild blue yonder!

We had one hour of flight time and we headed north towards Baxter State Park.
Moosehead Lake has lots of little islands.
They are mostly privately owned and many
have houses on them.

Our skid

From the air it is sure obvious
just how many lakes there are

Once we reached Baxter Roger pointed out some of the sites to us.
This is Double Top mountain!
If you look closely you can see both tops.

A large hydroelectric damn.

Even Trox seemed to enjoy the flight!

I had Trox sit up front so I would have the back seat to myself. Roger had rigged the seat belt so it went from one side to the other and I could slide from side to side. On our way back we flew over and toured part of Moosehead Lake.
This rock formation can be seen for
miles and is a well known landmark!

At its base the lake is at its deepest.
About 250 feet.

This little peninsula is a private resort.
Golf course and all.

I think the little lake in the distance is Indian Pond.
The place we headed right after our flight.

Not a bad little place for a private home.

And back to Greenville.

Flaps down in preparation for landing.

Our runway.

Unbelievably smooth landing.

And once again we are a boat.

Thank-you, Roger and November-one-four-five-Victor.