Yesterday was the first day of the great New England moose hunt. We left Waterville, ME in the morning and headed up to Moosehead Lake. Where else would you look for moose?
It was a long drive, but very scenic. We drove through areas where the evergreen trees lined the road on both sides. We drove through boggy areas and did see evidence of beaver activity (beaver lodges and the telltale pointed tree stumps). We drove through lightly wooded areas of birch and other deciduous trees.
We saw no wildlife, save for a stray crow. They did have warning signs for moose, some complete with flashing yellow lights. We seen signs before – but never seen a moose to go along with them.
We took a short walk into Lily Bay State Park (the park was closed to vehicles, but “walk-ins” were welcome) on Moosehead Lake. No moose, or any other wildlife. Not even birds. On the trip back, we did finally see something. 2 quail crossed the road in front of us! That’s it. We tried driving down the road to a public boat access ramp. Nope. We even followed a 6.5 mile dirt road through public preservation land, to no avail. The road did rise enough that we found snow on the roadway for a short distance. No animals, no birds.
We were really tired by the time we got back to the hotel. I think perhaps it was partly that we felt let down. We had set out with such high hopes and driven over 200 miles with nothing but a stiff neck to show for it. (The stiff neck was mine, of course; fibromyalgia doesn’t care if you are trying to enjoy yourself.)
This morning we decided to head in the opposite direction – to the coast instead of inland. We headed to Camden, ME first. Some of the shops in Camden are still open, so we walked the main street looking in shops. We stopped for lunch at the Mariner’s Grill – “family owned, family priced.” I hadn’t eaten breakfast and they serve breakfast all day. The blueberry pancakes were calling my name, so I went with them and coffee. My husband had a burger. The food was great. There was a great view of the bay from their rear windows.
When we left, we decided to head north on US Route 1. We saw seagulls and a great blue heron. There were numerous views of the rocky Maine coast. There were some incredible homes along the way. The average person can no longer afford a home on the coast unless they get one that has no view of the ocean. But we can all dream!
We decided to head up to Acadia National Park. We have stayed in Southwest Harbor, the quiet side of Bar Harbor, before and really enjoyed Acadia. This national park has a network of “carriage roads” in its boundaries. These roads were originally meant for horse and carriage. Today, they are restricted to non-motorized traffic – pedestrians, bicycles, horses and riders. They are leveled and “paved” with gravel to make a surface that would be accessible even to the handicapped person.
We walked one of the carriage roads that circles Eagle Lake. The sun was low in the west and it created beautiful reflections of trees and sky in the nearly still lake. The water was totally clear. As we walked away from the parking area and into the park, the sounds of traffic and other “civilization” faded away. Today even the birds were fairly quiet. We did pass a few other sojourners headed in the opposite direction – a couple of bicycles and a few persons walking dogs. Everyone acknowledged you in a quiet way – a nod or a smile. No one interrupted your thoughts.
This is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the peace and tranquility. I love the beauty. Although I probably would not like to live there in the winter, I do feel drawn to this place. It’s very much like the feeling I have when we visit the Yellowstone area in Montana/Wyoming. As though it’s home somehow. Here I would be able to walk outdoors more, instead of on the treadmill. I love walking in the woods and would probably be more inclined to do it. But both our sets of parents have health issues and I don’t see a move possible in the near future.
After our invigorating break, we set off via the highway to return to Waterville. The sunset was lovely as we drove west and there was even a small rainbow showing in the low clouds on the horizon. We did see some wildlife in the waning light – deer grazing alongside Interstate 95.
So, I can no longer say there is no wildlife in Maine. But I’m still not convinced that there are really moose. After all, we checked all the “moose hot spots” along our route yesterday. We’re going to give it one more try tomorrow. We’ll head up toward the Rangeley Lake area. There are some other “moose hot spots” there, we’re told.
If we don’t see a moose tomorrow, I’ll be forced to conclude that moose, like unicorns, may have existed at one time, but no longer. They are now just a commercialized memory.
Wish us luck!