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Thread: Ragged (Millinocket, ME)- recommended

  1. #1
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    Ragged (Millinocket, ME)- recommended

    " the night was clear and the moon was yellow, and the leaves came tumbling down..."

    Headed for my last hike of the year through familiar territory..up Rt 95, over Rt 16 past Lagrange to Milo, north on Rt 11 thru Brownville and Brownville Junction. I'm enjoying the drive as a full yellow moon sets in the west about 630 and the sun starts to peep out in the east....clear, 18 degrees and low wind. All of a sudden a bit north of the KI gate road, i encounter patches of thin, clear, skating rink ice across the entirety of Rt 11 and stretching a hundred yards at a clip. Had it been a half hour earlier, i doubt there'd be a TR ; as it is, have to creep along over the next 10 miles and wonder if i can get back in the dirt roads for my hike.

    About 10 miles south of Millinocket, i turn left onto the Lincoln Ridge Rd (area owned by Katahdin Forest management-a subsidiary of Brascan, a Canadian based company). I stop even few minutes and check the dirt road's condition as a slide back here means the Forester's in the ditch ($$) and long walk out. A thin coat of snow on the road, no ice and as long as i hear the click of the gravel, it's OK. After about four miles on several pretty decent dirt roads, i park for

    Ragged-1302'-The ascent is easy and fun, up a 0.6 mile stretch of log road that's better not driven-icy, with big rocks. Then NE on a series of old roads and through "fields" of 15-20' balsam fir clearly planted after the area was logged. After a few minor 'whacks which cross an old jeep road a few times, the summit looms. Jaded, doing too many nowhere peaks with no view, i prepare to touch the top and hustle down.

    --wow, wrong. (BillDC is laughing as this has happened before) --I (clueless) find a rusted fire tower skeleton, cab gone, with straight up ladder design common in ME (bottom section of ladder is cut off). I often climb these, at times using the tower skeleton to reach the ladder, but today there's no need. The view to the north is totally open and it's a picture postcard view of several large lakes with the Katahdin massif looming in the background, snow covered and shining. My prose is a bit purple today (last TR of 2010), but this is probably the best view i've had all year (save for trips in CO and OR). Like to just sit a half hour and soak it in, but temp is the teens with more wind up here. Before descending find a nice outlook to the west with equally good views of Jo-Mary, many of the peaks in the 100 Mile Wilderness (White Cap, Chairback, etc) and a large snow covered peak in the distance (Boundary Bald, maybe Coburn?)... as usual no large map, no camera

    On the way down, i follow the jeep trail even though it heads in the wrong direction off the top. As expected, it loops around and drops me back far down on my ascent route.

    I don't often "recommend" hikes, but this is easy, fun and provides great views. The top also has that nice isolated feel-hard to describe. With a little care, the dirt road to where i parked should be no problem for a 2 drive wheel car. The only problem is location, a very long way from most of you--happy to provide details if you like

    The drive home is by the long way, thru Millinocket as i want to avoid the ice near the Jo-Mary gate. It's always sad to see Brascan's closed Millinocket mill (the one you see still open on your way to Baxter is the E Millinocket mill)-like the last nail for an always struggling town.

    ..able to see my tracks, ice on the rocks, main road a skating rink..time to hibernate 'til Spring, but what a great hike to end my season


    jim
    Last edited by buckyball1; 11-21-2010 at 05:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Go, Stagger Lee!

    You certainly deserved a view, finally, after what you put yourself through. This is the first montain you've described, out of your last roughly 70 or 80, that I would like to climb - Katahdin (and many other peaks) without the crowds.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    There used to be a path up from the S, very circuitous approach on logging roads not shown in the DeLorme we had

  4. #4
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    R--i am guessing this is the "jeep" trail i took off the top; old/well established even if not used much anymore, little veg in trail----i was on it going up for a bit, but the woods were easy enough that i just went straight for the top--right now the jeep trail is under water/ice in a few stretches, but suspect it's all pretty dry in summer---- and don't be fooled by Ragged's ugly look from afar-well worth a hike if you're in area-- high reward/effort little jaunt

    jim

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