Oct 11, 2012

The northern point of coastal Maine

Cobscook State Park..primitive...understated, under estimated, and much appreciated for the two nights I was there!

 By the time I had left the park my batteries were low, my food supplies were limited and my mind was focused on what awaited me across the border in leaf land. I was debating driving right to St Stephen, crossing and getting it over with....then I slapped myself, steered the road chariot north to Cobscook State Park hoping to find a power hook up..failed..spent two nights even though they had a water boil order and showers that were accessible only till 10am...what they did have was heaping tablespoons of awesome that I just couldn't let go of just yet...not just yet....
Nature trail in Cobscook

Some cool moss..

It was a long walk down...I was happy to make the trip!

Really...who doesn't love a lighthouse! Turns out that this one is only open to the public once a year. It's haunted of course as testified to by the guy mowing the lawn and the lady working the counter.
So once my time was up in Cobscook I really had no juice in the coach...I was going to touch base with an epic spot The Most Eastern Point in the US to match my Most Western Point in the US (continental). Onward to West Quoddy State Park!!
There isn't much pomp in the claim...it is what it is

The shoreline keeps getting more rugged the further north I go...here it is simply an epic battle of rock and water...and time. The formations, the smoothness, the texture all make for spectacular viewing

High tide

I found a rock that was perfectly formed as a seat...and in it I sat for some time while reading the Slave Ship

After speaking with the lady behind the desk for awhile and finding out about ghosts, history, low wages, fun summer days and life in Lubec I took her recommendation and headed out for the Coastal Path hike. 9k of terrain that follows the coast for 1.2 way and then comes back inland meeting up with the Bog and then returning home.

 I could have taken 2 days....part of it was knowing this was my last night in the US and part of it was wanting time by ocean scene's like this to never end
Some of the cliffs along the 9km hike were breathtaking

a little snake on the trail...

It was great here there was all this mud because many people were turning back at the trail head leaving it totally silent for me as I took my time around the 9k loop.

spiny little urchin..they were everywhere!

cool cairn

the tidal pools are fascinating! They are teaming with life, fluorescent green algae, seaweed flowing to the current....

A whole collection...

the grossest thing about this part of the ocean is that it seems to be where all the debris collects. Lines from fishermen, bleach bottle (not sure why there are so many), all sorts of floats, coolers and general junk. It's too bad and it's also to bad West Quoddy doesn't host volunteer days to clean it up.

The garbage was quite disgusting. You don't really see it when you are looking out at the ocean from the upper cliffs but if you get a little closer to the edge and look down you find that this section of Maine is the garbage pail of the ocean.

 I collected a few things and returned the to above tide zones but there is so much...you really just need to get in there with some bags and make it happen. When i was done my hike I spoke with the attendant again about it and she didn't know of a time when they had an open public garbage pic. I was stunned...people would jump at the bit to come out for a free day at the park, garbage bags supplied, coast guard there for safety...two or three hours of garbage hauling a few times a year....it really does need to be done as the volume is stunning.  

Along the trail you pass an area called the bog. It's a peatmoss bog and is must be 10ft deep. This plant normally only grows in tundra like areas so it is rare down here. It's a bug eater..I'm sure there is a technical term but bug eater works for me at this point

A big group of them

Tide was out when I came back from my hike and I love that it's a whole new world twice a day by the ocean. I slipped here and took a big fall seconds after taking this photo. Landed on another super smooth rock that probably saved my hip from breaking...thank you to erosion!

1785...that's a long long time ago!

This could have been a message to the tax collector....
After my day at the park I headed towards a campground called Hilltop on the way to Calais. I am not a fan of private campsites but I really needed a shower, a charge and a sleep before crossing over.

 I grabbed a delicious pizza from a side road shack before reaching Hilltop and upon arrival I laughed and knew why it was I didn't frequent these parks. Yes it's nice, it's got a pool, video games, laundry, a trout pond, septic, electicity, wifi...it's got it all...but it's got nothing else. No hiking, no attractions. You have to drive everywhere to get anywhere. Everything is over priced and $34 a night it too damn much! Ouch! However I soaked up the wifi making some calls and a post. I used the laundry for the first time in probably too long and I took the liberty of washing the van down quickly and using their shop vac for a clean. As I laid down I had visions of the potential conversations with the border about the duration of my time away, where I'd been etc...I was hoping for the best but suspected that it may be a hassle....only time will tell!
I had to get this picture of the parks septic pump...too awesome!

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