Kevin and Blaise visit Maine

This memory is written in first person from the perspective of Blaise Thompson.

2022-06-04 Saturday §

Kevin and I left Madison at 07:00, parked at the Milwaukee airport, and flew to Portland via Baltimore. We arrived in Portland around 16:30.

Our first night we stayed with Kate Webber and her husband Steve Burger in Sabattus. Kate was kind enough to prepare a picnic diner to enjoy together at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park. It was wonderful to meet the dog Clove for the first time and just to spend some time near the ocean. Kate and Steve were very gracious and their home was beautiful, we rested well.

2022-06-05 Sunday §

Kevin, Kate, Steve and I had a lazy morning watching the bird-feeders and having breakfast. The weather was perfect. We all visited Nezinscot Farm, a place I have very fond memories of. Kevin and I bought some meat, crackers, and bread rolls which we ate over the rest of the trip. All enjoyed seeing the sheep and goats.

We headed to Lewiston, picking up a lunch to go from Mother India, another favorite from Bates days. We ate on the quad at Bates before taking a short walk around campus. The chairs were still set up from the recent graduation, it had been 11 years since Kate and I graduated from Bates.

Kevin, Clove and Kate visit Mother India in downtown Lewiston.
Kevin and Blaise pose in front of "the puddle" at Bates.

Around 14:00 Kevin and I said our goodbyes and headed north to Baxter State Park. Along the way we bought camping groceries and tried to learn Maine counties. It was raining at Baxter, but the lean-to was dry and we enjoyed a fantastic meal of Nezinscot chorizo tacos.

Kevin stays dry under the lean-to at Baxter.

2022-06-06 Monday §

This was the day to Hike Katahdin. We took the Abol Trail, as I did with my parents more than a decade ago. Interestingly the Abol trail had been modified in the interviening years, adding a bit of length with some switch backs. There were some clouds, but they did not negatively impact visibility. It was a stunning hike and we could not have asked for a better day to do it.

The Abol trail goes straight up the south face of Katahdin, as shown in this topographical map.
Blaise and Kevin pose at the start of the Abol Trail.
We were warned that rescue may take some time in the event of an emergency.
The woods were verdant and lush.
We were able to observe a ruffed grouse booming in the woods. We would have never seen it at all except for the mating noise it made, and we were able to watch it beat it's wings quickly to make an amazing low drum-like noise.
It's hard to capture an image that describes just how steep Abol trail is. Compare these boulders to the horizon to get an idea. This kind of slope continued for most of the climb.
Kevin poses above the clouds.
Kevin and Blaise summit Katahdin. This sign marks the northernmost point of the Appalacian trail.
Kevin enjoys lunch at the summit of Katahdin.
The view looking North from the summit of Katahdin.
Kevin is dwarfed by the majesty of the mountain.
We were both very tired and happy to see the end of Abol after our descent.

2022-06-07 Tuesday §

Slowly waking up, we explored one of the lakes around Katahdin before setting off to Acadia.

Goodbye to Katahdin.

We set up camp in Bass Harbor, the less popular southern part of the island about 30 minutes drive from Bar Harbor.

Amazingly, Kevin's parents just happened to also be camping in Acadia---we did not plan this in advance. We met with Kevin's parents and enjoyed a wonderful first walk through the woods and dinner. I was pleased to spot a flock of Surf Scoter on the ocean.

We learned that our seabird cruise was canceled due to bad weather. We resolved to find another option tomorrow.

2022-06-08 Wednesday §

Bird carving museum.

Scheduled cruise for Friday.



Sleep Bass Harbor.

2022-06-09 Thursday §

Thursday morning we excitedly drove to Bar Harbor only to have the cruise canceled again. Instead, we hiked the famous beehive trail. Despite the fog it was a wonderful day to hike Acadia.

Blaise hikes the beehive trail.
Kevin hikes the beehive trail.

The rain got really bad. We stopped for seafood pizza and regrouped, deciding to cancel our final night in Bass Harbor and try our luck with a seabird cruise in Boothbay Harbor.

Kevin poses with a slice of seafood pizza.

We took one last walk around Jordan's Pond in central Acadia where we saw a Common Merganser with chicks. Then we set out south.

Kevin poses on the boardwalk around Jordan's pond.
A common merganser sheltering her chicks from the rain.

We found a very cheap ($85) cabin to rent for the night.

Kevin poses in front of our Cabin at Moody's Motel.

2022-06-10 Friday §

After stopping by a meadow (more bird habitat), we finally got on our cruise! It was a really wonderful trip to one of the coolest islands I've ever seen.

The cruise to eastern egg island loads passengers.
Blaise and Kevin pose with eastern egg island in the background.
Eastern egg island.
Laughing gull.

Making the most of the wonderful day, we continued by exploring a salt marsh and beaches south of Portland. There we saw many new birds, including Glossy Ibis, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Least Tern, and Piping Plover.

Salt marsh.
Piping plover.

We finished the day with a wonderful dinner at the famous Portland restraunt Duck Fat, follwed by a walk around the old district of Portland.

Blaise and Kevin enjoy a meal at Duck Fat.

2022-06-11 Saturday §

We woke up at 4 AM for a sleepy but uneventful trip back to Madison. In total I saw 76 bird species, and Kevin saw more. Despite the weather it was a really fantastic trip and I can't wait to go back to Maine.

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