For the past week, a volunteer trail crew lived and worked in the north woods of Maine where moose and fables abound. The trip in Baxter State Park was leaded by Julie LePage, a volunteer crew leader, and myself. Julie came with experience on a number of volunteer trail crews, including Baxter State Park, as well as leading and participating in AMC hikes and backpacking trips out of Boston. She underwent a training provided by Alex and myself this past spring for outstanding volunteers, all of whom have shown extreme dedication to trail work and a desire to lead groups, to become volunteer crew leaders for Camp Dodge.
Baxter State Park staff, in particular Paul and Mike, as well as Rangers Chris and Bob and the lovely gatehouse staff provided us with support, water, and Baxter stories.
We had phenomenal weather for the week at our home of Abol Narrows, a 2-mile long shallow pond home to loons, moose and many vocal bullfrogs. We awoke each morning to a cacophony of wood sounds and the smell of coffee brewing. After a hot breakfast, we headed off to the work site, located 1.5 miles up the South Turner trail in order to repair gullied-out sections. The summit of South Turner provided spectacular views of Katahdin and the surrounding geography.
We put in a number of rock water bars and “sick” staircases (according to Julie) using rock bars, pick mattocks, a “come-along” (a ratchet and cable to pull rocks provided by Tom), and heaps of good old-fashioned brute strength. Thursday we had a day off in which many climbed Katahdin or spent time enjoying the serenity of Chimney Pond.
Also noteworthy were musical “jams” by firelight provided by Anthony, Paul and Mike, and many wonderful meals with the family.
All in all a great week! Thanks to you all!-Ali
(some photos provided by Julie LePage)