DAY 26 – 10/10/2012 Baxter State park, ME (Trout Run Camping Area)
My first foray out in the dawn was frosty and special. Each and every blade of grass, leaf, blossom, pine needle, and every acre of Fall-tinged wildflowers were delicately iced with sparkling frost in the severe blue morning light. Even the now-trusty 4Runner was frosted. I wandered around quietly taking macro pictures to share until I had to retreat and make our first coffee.
We did move at our relaxed morning pace, had the truck unhitched and driving to a trailhead to start just before 10.
We selected a tough climb, circuit hike with a suggested turn-back spot to help us decide how much to bite off. Nearly the entire climb was talus, loose boulders, small cliffs and crags requiring at least three limbs climbing.
The valley was at 1000′ above sea level, while the top of what we ended up scaling was at 3254. The climb was perhaps the steepest at this end of the park and provided ample bouldering, scampering and ultimately whimpering until the summit of the main ridge gave us a view of the whole park South and the weather on its way in. “40 percent chance of showers” never stops us from starting what we hope to do each day. (Can’t tell you how many great rides, hikes, and overall trips we’ve had despite nay-saying weather forecasts.)
We chose to turn back for the bottom where we started (had hiked 4 point-some miles of the 10.4 we had intended), because the next 2 miles forward were the most exposed, above tree line portion where there has been snow and ice already this week. And so, settled for a SAFE and successful 8 mile, out-and-back instead of a questionable circuit into weather and late afternoon. We have youthful desires and energy, but no bull-headed “egos” to push us beyond the bounds of safety. We knew going downhill on WET or snowy rocks, particularly in the dark would not be smart. Arriving back at the car at 3:30 spent plenty of our energy as our rubber legs begged for rest and dinner.
What an oasis is the Tramper. Radiant heat is immediate, we were never cold as OJ, peanut butter and jelly gave the energy to make our actual dinner.