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Topic: Maine Family Vacation, Non-backpacking but all outdoors< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 12:03 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In the past we have been to Maine several times to enjoy a lodge and camps just outside of Lincoln, ME.  But this year, I wanted something a little different so I looked around for another lodge and camps, slightly more remote and slightly more with hiking (day hikes) in mind.  It led me to a camp on Lake Nahmakanta, which is just outside of the boundary of Baxter State park and the 100 mile wilderness section of the Appalachian Trail.

Our trip started around 10pm when we got the kids in the family Truckster and headed north.  We arrived in Newport, ME at dawn, grabbed breakfast and stretched and we were off for Greenville, ME and from that point on its nothing more than dirt roads, trees and mountains.

It was a fine August day in Maine, beautiful blue skies and a nice breeze, no humidity and pleasant temperatures.  An hour and a half later, one kid getting car sick and seeing almost no one until a group of Canadian girls hiking the 100 Mile Wilderness taking up the whole road, we made it to camp.

The lake is surrounded by mountains, which channeled the wind down right at camp.  There were white caps on the lake, which is something I'm not used to seeing at other places I've been in Maine, the good news, bugs we not a problem while unpacking.  :laugh:

That beautiful first day was followed by the other kind of typical Maine weather, rain, damp, cool and just consistent enough to be annoying.  It rained for two days.  Thank goodness we had a nice, dry place to starve off cabin fever and catch up on some very enjoyable naps and relaxation.  Rain can be a PITA, but it also can be a blessing, it kept us together, forcing us to play games and spend time creating fun things to do.

One can only stand so much time in a cabin when there are so many hiking opportunities in the immediate area for so long.  Rain be dammed, we suited up and got out and headed off for our first family expedition to a remote pond.  The ‘drivable’ trail described on the map, was definitely drivable, but it was tight.  We got slightly bushwhacked the whole way down and prayed no one was coming the other direction and eventually we made it to our destination, Pollywog Pond. It was beautiful.  It was also raining slightly, but that made it for even more of an enjoyable time.  Quiet, no people, no bugs and the frogs seemed to be enjoying it.  We attempted to make it to the falls that were called out but as a father of two small kids and one almost teenager who didn’t have the right footwear, I made the decision with my wife to bail on it.  It was too slippery and white knuckle for me and little ones, another time maybe.  We ended up exploring the lake shore, looking at frogs and searching for moose and bald eagles to no avail.  After we enjoyed our time, we packed up and headed back through the tight road and to camp for lunch and naps for the little ones.  The day ended with paddling on the lake, seeing our first Maine Moose, a lady no doubt, more exploring in camp and enjoying a nice dinner under the flickering of gas lights in the cabin.

The next day we were up at the crack of dawn, ate breakfast, saw the sunshine and made our way to our first AT hike of the trip to a swimming hole.  I love the fact that the AT was no more than a few hundred yards from our camp, makes it so nice to not have to really ‘travel’ to get to the trailhead.  I also love hiking up there, the ground is soft, the woods quiet and everything super green.  My kids took to hiking this trail with gusto, my four year old son really got motivated when I gave him my trekking poles, it was his motivation to really get moving after being kinda groggy.  My youngest, almost two, was hell bent that she was going to hike, unassisted, so we let her and she did awesome.  We watched her very carefully since the roots were super slicky and there were some small areas with erosion, but she did it happily.  My almost 13 year old stepdaughter, who doesn’t see the point in walking, be-bopped down the trail, much to my surprise.  She later told my wife that she really liked, ‘that’, kind of hiking, sounds good to me.  We only did a few hundred yards before we made it to the swimming hole.  It was beautiful, rushing water, a small waterfall, a huge beaver dam nearby, a good rock to wade out to and little pools to explore for my little ones.  We played for a while, saw one other hiker, either 100 mile wilderness thru hiker or AT thru hiker, not sure, he didn’t stop.  I swam, my stepdaughter climbed out on the rock and the little ones splashed.  It was everything I ever wanted a family hike to a swimming hole to be.

On the ride back, my stepdaughter asked whether or not we were going to do this lookout hike she heard us talking about, not I had assumed that this comment was going to be followed by grumbling, but much to my happiness when we said yes, she was excited.  After lunch and the kids napping, we headed back to the AT, this time to go south, to the lookout overlooking our lake.  This time my four year old, 40 plus pounds, just crashed and was not up for anything when we got there.  So in the child carrier he went.  My almost two year old, hell bent again on hiking, hiked almost the whole way unassisted to the lookout, uphill and everything.  My stepdaughter did amazingly well, I’m super proud of her knowing that this isn’t her thing.  She was super energetic and excited about it, truly excited, which even though it took most of the week to get out of her, I was thrilled.  We got to the lookout and were rewarded with seeing the beloved Mt. Katahdin.  The view was breathtaking.  My kids were very excited; my stepdaughter asked me endless questions after my wife asked me when it was that I tried to climb the mountain.  It was a great time.  On the way down I got a little (a lot) skittish; there was bear scat EVERYWHERE as we made our way down the trail.  Made me nervous with the little ones around, but we never saw the fuzzy one.

The rest of the trip was filled with paddling and swimming.  It was a good time and it felt like I was away for longer than I was.  The only downside, besides coming home, was that my son did a header into the edge of a concrete step with the bridge of his nose at full run.  Nothing was broken and he’s fine, but it’s frightening to have happen and it made me realize that we were super far from help it had been a serious head wound.

Hopefully I can get some pics on here…

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“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McGraw
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starwalker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 1:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wonderful trip.

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"Straight paths made by man
Are unnatural and full of curses
But a trail is a song."

Louis Oliver (Creek Indian poet)
"Songs on Winding Trails"
in Chasers of the Sun
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RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 2:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fun!  Always love the shots of the little ones going down the trail on their own.

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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 2:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, you know he is a tricky one.  Every since he was a baby he was always happier outside.  Recently I think he's been attached a little too much to his step sister who isn't huge into time spent in the woods.  But once he got into the stride, and kept talking about his cool new (even though they aren't) hiking boots and hiking sticks, he was set.  I only hope I can get him to continue the enjoyment locally, on day hikes and hopefully soon a backpacking trip.  I went to a store yesterday that had kids headlamps and trekking poles on clearance... I told him about them and he was super excited.  They are my rewards for successful potty training.  ;)

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“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McGraw
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Chuck D Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 3:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks

I love pictures and tales of kids outside, brings back memories from my past as a father and as a kid.


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Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 4:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Glad you enjoy.  I enjoy it myself, especially when they are happy.  It took a little while to get them to realize what an amazing place they were in, a short time for some, longer for others... but they all got there.

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“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
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TDale Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looks like a great trip with your kids but, you must not fish.  A backcountry lake with a light rain is a formula for a pan full of fish.

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"Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again...They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave."
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 7:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love reading about trips like yours, particularly when one like your stepdaughter pops out and enjoys it!! Maybe you can get her backpacking. Thanks for the description and pics, looks like a beautiful place!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 7:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looks like a great time and good memories to cherish.  That first pic looks awful familiar, I think I've been there before.  Is that at/near Katadhin Stream?

The stream looks like a great place to float a dry fly too.....
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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 17 2013, 7:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TDale @ Aug. 16 2013, 4:32 pm)
QUOTE
Looks like a great trip with your kids but, you must not fish.  A backcountry lake with a light rain is a formula for a pan full of fish.

I do fish but have never done the trout thing before.  I brought poles, but wasn't up for the game.  If it was bass in them there waters, it'd be on.

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“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McGraw
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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 17 2013, 7:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(johnhens @ Aug. 16 2013, 7:06 pm)
QUOTE
I love reading about trips like yours, particularly when one like your stepdaughter pops out and enjoys it!! Maybe you can get her backpacking. Thanks for the description and pics, looks like a beautiful place!!

I'm trying.  My wife and I would love to take her on a trip but that doesn't seem to be happening as of yet.  Next summer, we're going to try to get to some remote swimming holes on a trail and I know she'd be thrilled.

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“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McGraw
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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 17 2013, 7:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GlenG @ Aug. 16 2013, 7:17 pm)
QUOTE
Looks like a great time and good memories to cherish.  That first pic looks awful familiar, I think I've been there before.  Is that at/near Katadhin Stream?

The stream looks like a great place to float a dry fly too.....

It could be.  I'll have to check.  There was a bridge there and the AT was a few yards away.

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“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McGraw
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 20 2013, 12:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What a fun report, and I agree with everyone else, it's so fun to see a dad outside with the kids.  Really enjoyed the pictures.  Great idea for rewards for potty training.

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”Every tree was dripping and the creeks had swollen. It occurred to me that I had achieved a rare thing: I was living at the center of my heart’s geography. And I knew it.”- Bryce Andrews, Badluck Way
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GEAUX TIGERS!
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 20 2013, 10:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great pictures!!  Reminds me of old times ...

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"Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once." - Chris Rose
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