Thursday, August 4, 2016

Crossover Blog in Maine - Day 2

Thursday, August 4, 2016
This is a crossover blog, harkening back to the time-tested comic book tradition of having comic hero B appear in comic hero A's issue, then A appears in B. One of the best examples is Spiderman/X-Force from 1990:

(Yes, the issues were printed sideways/landscape-orientation, and meant to be read sideways [don't be stupid and turn your head sideways]). The plots might be silly, but the art was EXCELLENT: Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man and Rob Liefeld’s X-Force!!

What makes this a crossover is dixonheadingwest concerns itself with Art Museums and National Parks, while dixonheadingnorth documents my hiking endeavors - 4000-footers in New Hampshire/Vermont/Maine. So yesterday was the Colby College Museum of Art (Waterville, Maine), and a Counting Crows concert in Bangor, while today covers hiking the Knife Edge Trail and Baxter Peak up on Mount Katahdin in Maine.

10.12 miles in 7 hours 12 minutes = 43 minutes per mile. That is the slowest rate ever, which means this was the hardest, most difficult climb!

Because I wanted to start the day with something "sticking to my ribs", I had googled "Best Breakfast in Millinocket" - up came The Appalachian Trail Café:

I had called them yesterday, and they open at 5 AM! So I got there at 7, had a western omelette (which they call a "Katahdin") with toast & home fries & water & coffee - I was ready to hit the trail at 7:30!!

My first view of Katahdin (Baxter Peak), with Knife Edge trailing down to the right:

Unfortunately it took and hour-and-20-minutes on dirt roads to get to the Roaring Brook Trailhead/Parking Lot. Another nice view on the way:

Roaring Brook, at the beginning of the hike:

This (first 0.1 mile of the hike) is the only up-close-and-personal water on the whole hike.

After the first 0.1 miles, you take a left onto Helon Taylor Trail (3.6 miles), which is boulder-strewn, with a lot of roots:

It is slow going; my splits for the first 3 miles were 28 minutes/35 minutes/53 minutes:

By 10:40 I had broken above the tree-line:

but it was raining and pretty windy, and if those conditions persisted on the top of the first peak (Pamola Peak), I would turn back:

Blessedly, when I got to Pamola Peak (11:33), the sun had come out and the wind had calmed down:

and the view was GREAT!!!
looking forward (south/southwest):

looking backward (east - Katahdin Lake in the distance):

looking down into the Great Basin from the beginning of Knife Edge Trail:

Up on Knife Edge Trail, with Baxter Peak in the far-background:

Looking forward/west on Knife Edge, with people coming toward me:

Looking backward/east on Knife Edge, with people going away from me:

The view down into the Great Basin, with Chimney Pond

12:48 at Baxter Peak!!

Looking west/southwest at the Appalachian Trail, as it comes up along the ridgeline and ends at Baxter Peak:

A cool rock formation on the trail back down:

Pretty cool LOOKING DOWN on a rainbow:

And one last GREAT VIEW before heading back below the tree-line:

Um, the hazards of driving on dirt roads include getting a muddy car:

5-and-1/2-hours home (um, plus I took a little nap in a parking lot in Millinocket):

WOW - What an ADVENTURE! Thank you God for a GREAT DAY!

Temperatures today:
64º when I left the Day's Inn in Bangor
59º 20 miles up the road on 95 North
71º after breakfast
69º at 8:50 at the trailhead/parking lot - then very nice "t-shirt" climbing temps up on the mountain.

Music today - early morning,windows rolled up:
Bill Evans - Alone, 1968
jazz piano, solo music - Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Bob Dylan & The Band - Planet Waves, 1974
great lyric from "Dirge":
I've paid the price of solitude but at least I'm out of debt.

Afternoon Music:
Sting - Brand New Day, 1999
The Lumineers - Cleopatra, 2016
Canned Heat - 4 songs: "Rollin' and Tumblin'", "Going Up The Country", "On The Road Again", and "Fired Hockey Boogie"
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes - I Don't Want to Go Home, 1976
Stephen Stills - Just Roll Tape, 1968 (album released 2007)
I ended the drive listening to Bruce Springsteen - "The Rising":

Can't see nothin' in front of me
Can't see nothin' coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Lost track of how far I've gone
How far I've gone, how high I've climbed

Shameless Plug: if you enjoy this blog, you may like my other one about Art Museums and National Parks (on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 I visited Colby College Museum of Art, and saw a Counting Crows concert in Bangor)
hyperlink: dixonheadingwest

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