Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, September 1, 2014

Now in New Hampshire

We left Aroostook NWR, way up near Caribou, Maine on August 22, spending our first night on the road only 23 miles down the road at Presque Isle.  The next morning we woke up to a hot air balloon festival ....  11 balloons were in the sky over Wal-Mart.... all so colorful and a delight to see.

On down the road..  through Houlton, through Bangor and on to Farmington, 241 miles later...  still in Maine, but not far from our final destination, only 69 miles away.

Lake Umbagog NWR is in New Hampshire... actually it's in both Maine and NH, but the Visitor Center and Maintenance shop are both located in NH.

Bill is on a "special duty" detail...  working on a road that needs culverts replaced and other serious maintenance.  The refuge has made arrangements for us to stay at Umbagog State Park, which is just a few miles down the road from the maintenance shop.

 We quickly find out we have neither phone nor internet service here, which is pretty much as we expected.  Bill works long days and I have plenty of time to get caught up burning photos to CDs, knitting, reading and just wandering around.

The road is 3 miles long from the main road to the gravel pit.  It's narrow so the guys use radios to communicate where they're at...  it's a long way for a huge piece of road equipment to back up and pull-overs are far apart.

We love getting tours of the refuges we visit or work at...  Paul Casey, the manager at Umbagog didn't disappoint us...

He brought around his boat to the campground one evening and took us on a 2 hour tour of the lake.  He showed us the Potter House, where the office and visitor center will be located once renovations are done.  He told us some of the history of the refuge and about future plans.  It's easy to see we're with a man who loves his job and loves where he lives.

There was a huge event celebrating the completion of the 7 year Androscoggin Headwaters Project with all kinds of dignitaries and presentations of plagues to honor their part in the project.
That's Governor Hassan in the middle...  she was the keynote speaker.  Other folks spoke for the senators and Representatives offices, as well as a spokesperson for the Plum Creek Timber Company, the State Fish and Wildlife, and the US Forest Legacy Program.  The lady at the lower right is the Assistant Director of the Region 5 Fish & Wildlife office.  The event was open to the public and even though the weather turned windy and cold, about 100 people attended.  Since the refuge had put us up here for the week, I got lucky and happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Our reservation at the State Park was up on Friday and due to prior reservations for Labor Day Weekend,  the park was filled to capacity.  We had the option to move to the headquarters office or to the maintenance shop.  Since Bill works out of maintenance that was where we headed....
We'll have to go back to the State Park to dump, but this is just a perfect spot for us.  Not only is it quiet with a good view of the surrounding forests, there are trails leading to the lake.  There's a washer and dryer in the shop, as well as a restroom with a shower...  also room in their fridge for extra supplies.  The road equipment is housed here, so Bill has only a few yards to walk to "work". 

Phase I of the road project just finished and Bruce, the other equipment operator "on loan" returned to his home refuge last evening.  We'll stay another week and Bill will work on the Potter House with the rest of the crew.

Today we'll drive to a town that's big enough to have phone service and use our MiFi to catch up on internet messages.  Living in the boonies does have its downside, but it's only for a short time.  We'll leave here next week and head to NY to visit family... then on to PA, OH...  then on to Texas.

We do have plans for October through December, but that will be in a later blog.

That's All For Today!


  1. Well you are on the move and enjoying the places you are going.

  2. How neat to spend some time at another refuge. Don't keep us in suspense about your plans too long. ;)

  3. I rather envy all the refuges you get to see!

  4. Working your way on through. Did you post about your class reunion and I missed it? Well, I'll just go back and look.

  5. Nice time to be in Maine! Jerry's pioneer ancestors left Chesterville (just outside Farmington) in the mid-1800s. We used to love to go up and explore.

  6. That looks like a very nice place to spend a few weeks before heading to Texas. I'm looking forward to hearing about your Oct-Dec plans!