View Full Version : Moosse Hill & BM Wait (Beaudry,ME)

08-07-2011, 07:59 PM
Moose of course (crazy tired right now), but i don't know how to edit titles??

Friday 8/5

Started a long weekend by driving to Stratton , up 27 and across the border at Coburn Gore and then to Megantic, an area i've never explored. The peaks i was interested in were on the boundary swath NW of the Kibby Wind farm area. The approach to them (not that more than a thin handful of hikers do them) is usually a long walk from as far as you can drive on the Lowelltown Rd (aka Merrill Strip) off the Beaudry (Delorme pg 390-middle right).

After looking at some maps, i decided to try a series of "interesting" dirt roads east of Megantic and see if i could get close on the Cand side of the swath. Some printings of Delorme showed problematic gates and some not. I tried what i called the "south" driving approach ( Road#4 and Trudel Rd)and tried to reach Keene Siding (on the RR) or closer and made it to with less than 3 miles of the border with pretty decent walkable roads to the swath. I next tried the north approach (#4 and Mont something Rds) and found an open gate onto Domtar property. I could not read the signs, but they didn't looking like "keep out" and the gate appeared permanently open near a deserted looking utility building. I drove in on excellent roads (current lumbering, but none in progress Friday) to within 50 feet of the border right at the Lowelltown Rd-felt very fortunate.No sign of human activity or recent visits-an old border crossing shack and a closed gate to the US.

While my "beta" person , who did this many years ago found the swath an moosepath, i didn't find it quite so easy. The swath rises fairly steeply in booth directions and i headed west toward

Moose Hill-2923' -The swath is waist high + in weeds, there's a bog just west of Lowelletown road and the whole place is filled with "invisible" slash making for some pretty rocky walking for the first mile. Dante probably has a special circle for the contractors who leave all the slash lie when they periodically cut the border. I was soaked to my chest within less than a minute because heavy dew. Shortly thereafter, i felt water squishing in my boots and began obsessing about the fate of toes/feet by hike's end. Of course my good high, rain gaiters were in Orrington. I began walking in the somewhat drier woods and after about a mile, the going on the swath was easier.

I passed the usual salt licks and deer stands on the Cand side and started seeing ATV "trampling" on the swath and soon thereafter reached the peak (maybe 2+ miles form the car). I poured a ton of water from my boots, changed socks and immediately saw the glass jar (for a ME 200 highest peak). Only signers, all in recent years were MMark, Glen, Herb (from Beaudry side) and Pierre (this spring , from the north side). Lost my second cheapo WMart watch in a week on the way back (no more velcro bands for me) and sat in the sun at the car to eat, eat and change clothes. The it was off to the east for

BM Wait-2710'-It was very steep starting up the swath (not as bad as East Saddle, but..) and i used the woods to ascend (good choice). From there the going was fairly mellow with moderate ascent on swath containing much less slash than the Moose Hill side. The 'whack to BM wait from a HOL was short and routine ending at a small, white JP pill bottle from 7/00-at 2710', i knew wait was too low for those few ME200 seekers and would have almost no visitors. After a 1/2 day of seeing nobody and plowing thru crap finding a bottle placed by a friend i've never met always makes me feel better. Other than a stray hunter, JP and I are the only signatures in the bottle, 11 years apart. I think that's happened (only signatures and 8-11 years time lapse) on 10-15 jars on my little list-pretty neat.

Back to the car in the now blazing sun and back to the gate and ...closed...locked...yikes. One of my worst nightmares-nobody around, 6 serious looking old locks in place and...I immediately asses whether i can cut the old flimsy wire of the fence, take out one post and get the Subaru out-probably. Just then i see a young guy driving out of the nearby house (for whatever reason, there are some pretty decent houses close to the Cand side of the border-i had to cut through back yard to start my approach to Lousie last year). Of course neither of us speaks the other's language, but he nods when i explain my problem and shakes his head no when he make a "key-in-lock" gesture-i assume he knows nothing re the locks or keys. We walk to the gate, he smiles, shows me it's "dummy locked" with the only "important" lock not snapped shut. I feel a bit foolish as i check for and use periodically use dummy locked after being informed of same by locals--never thought to check this one. Why this gate was open at 645AM and then "locked" with no activity in the area is beyond me. I felt very, very lucky.

Feeling good, I stopped in Parc Gosford on the way back to check out approaches to an unnamed boundary peak for a possible Sunday hike-got very useful info from PG gate person. Then back to Stratton, stayed at the roadhouse, had a great 1/2 pound burger and skin on fries at Loony Moose, chatted with thru hikers and a woman doing canoe journey from Old Forge, NY to Fort Kent ...than a good nights sleep...to be continued