Saturday, May 27, 2017

CRASH LANDING AT KEBO VALLEY GOLF COURSE

Most visitors who come to Bar Harbor have heard of the Kebo golf Course, and for some they have even enjoyed a hole in one from time to time, but have you ever heard of a plane in one? 
What stranger sight could you expect to find on a golf course than that of a military aircraft, yet on the night of October 24, 1941 that is  what people in the town of Bar Harbor woke up to find. 
The plane in question was a Royal Canadian Air force Avro Anson coastal patrol plane, and people in town woke to its engines as it flew over and circled the town.  The plane was operating on fumes and the situation was critical.  Flying low to land the crew set off flares as the desperately searched for a safe place to land the plane.  As it turned out, with no time to spare, the young pilot chose to land the plane on the 535 year, par 5, 14th hole at Kebo Valley golf course.
The pilot made a belly landing and the plane skidded for about 600 feet before coming to a rest by a sand trap.  The only  damage to the plane seemed to be the propeller blades that bend on impact.



THE ELLSWORTH AMERICAN ARTICLE








Saturday, May 28, 2016

GREEN MOUNTAIN RAILROAD TRAIL REVISITED

Today we decided to retrace the Green Mountain Railroad Trail one last time and followed west Street Ext. up into Acadia National Park.  We got about to the area of the Great Hill trail along the Park Loop road when we came upon some roadwork being done.
park loop road - acadia national park
  We continued walking along the Park Loop Road, stopping to rest by the entrance to the Cadillac  Mountain Summit road - a lot of traffic seemed to be heading up the summit road.
second pullover

When we reached the second pull over we took another break before crossing the road and entering the woods.  Years ago it was hard to see where the trail began, but today enough people have used it so the ground was pretty worn down.  Up the banking from the road it turns left and quickly comes to a rock placed by the first railroad spike - very easy to locate.
From there the trail turns right and heads upward into the woods, with a number of railroad spikes in plain sight.  It was clear an attempt was made at one time by rangers or Ridgerunners, to bend some of the spikes so they didn't stick upward, as you will see in the photo - most likely a sledge hammer was used in an attempt to make it harder for people to find the old abandoned trail.

RAILROAD SPIKE ON CADILLAC MOUNTAIN - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Yeah, I know, this was never a hiking trail, but once the Railroad company went out of business it did become a hiking trail for many years after.
The trail is pretty much a shallow ditch, much like a dried up brook, keeping that in mind makes it easy to stay on course as you make your way through the woods. In the photos you can see what I mean. 
There was a few spots where a bush or small tree grew up in the trail but mostly it was pretty open.
GREEN MOUNTAIN RAILROAD TRAIL - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
We did have to step over a few downed tree's along the way and as we went along we came upon a number of rock piles, half were still up and half had been taken down - clearly a war of sorts if going on along the trail between Ridgerunners and trail phantoms. 
Next to some of the iron spikes sticking up out of the ground we saw a number of spikes that had been removed and are piled there rusting away, as you can see in the photo.
PHANTOM ROCK PILE - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

This was the only time I have ever hiked this trail when the granite was dry and not slippery so footing was not a problem.  Before long we came to my favorite area of the trail, a long section that had been built up so workers could lay down tracks.  Beyond that area the trail follows a wall of boulders for a ways before taking a slight right hand turn and moving up through the woods.
As you begin to pass through open granite areas and re-enter the woods, you encounter more and more brush growing up in the trail, but some railroad spikes are never far away to help guide you along, that or rock piles.
GREEN MOUNTAIN RR TRAIL UP CADILLAC MOUNTAIN - ACADIA

About three forths of the way up the trail we came to my second favorite place along the trail, the section where the one and only remaining piece of steel rail still rests.  It is a beautiful sight to come upon after battling blackflies for much of the way - yeah, once again we forgot to carry the insect repellent.
BUILT UP SECTION OF RAILROAD TRAIL - ACADIA
From there you will move across open granite, back into the woods, back across open granite, and so on, with the open granite having many railroad spikes.
RAILROAD SPIKES GUIDE THE WAY - ACADIA

  The final stretch of trail moves through brush and becomes much harder to follow, but it does follow a brook at times moving right through the center of it.  Today the brook was bone dry so we were able to follow the spikes all the way to where it comes out on the Cadillac Summit Road.
GREEN MOUNTAIN RAILROAD SPIKES - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Right there on one of the granite blocks found along the roadway was a stone, across the roadway was two more stones showing where the trail continued on the other side of the road.
LAST REMAINING SECTION OF RAIL - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

 I have never attempted to follow the trail on that side of the roadway, since where the trail crosses the road is pretty clost to the summit of Cadillac. 
Back when the train was running it would of gone pretty close to the summit, stopping close to a motel, and I have heard that the old foundation is still visible.  It would of been nice to go all the way to the summit, but we were hungry and so were the swarms of blackflies around us, so we walked back down Cadillac Mountain following the Summit road and headed back home.
RAIL AND SPIKES - CADILLAC MOUNTAIN - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
In summing up the trail today,
 I would say that years ago the first half of the trail was the hardest section to follow and the top half was the easiest to follow.
EAGLE LAKE AS SEEN FROM RAILROAD TRAIL - CADILLAC MOUNTAIN, ACADIA
  Today it is the bottom half that is easiest to follow and the top half has become more and more overgrown in sections. 
When I first began hiking this trail many years ago I always had an approach to doing it which works well today.
CADILLAC MOUNTAIN SUMMIT ROAD - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Hike with one or two others and when you reach a section that becomes hard to follow, have someone go ahead and zig-zag in search of the next railroad spikes or rock piles.  Of course, the top section is not far from the Cadillac Summit road and you can hear cars on the roadway not far off, so the risk of becoming lost is pretty slim.
CADILLAC SUMMIT ROAD - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

The one thing I would add is that when ever we have hiked this trail we hike up it and follow the Cadillac Summit road back down.  There are just too many spikes sticking up out of the granite and moving downward I think it would be a lot easier to trip over one of them spikes.
















EAGLE LAKE - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

CADILLAC MOUNTAIN SUMMIT ROAD - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
GREEN MOUNTAIN SPIKES & RAIL - CADILLAC MOUNTAIN, ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

BENT RAILROAD SPIKE - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

ROCK PILE AND WORN PATH - CADILLAC MOUNTAIN - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
TRAIL UP CADILLAC MOUNTAIN - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

WORN TRAIL - GREEN MOUNTAIN RAILROAD, ACADIA
RAILROAD SPIKES CROSS OPEN GRANITE - CADILLAC MOUNTAIN - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


Friday, May 20, 2016

THE WATERS OF BUBBLE POND

Spent the day un the area of Bubble Pond, mostly eyeing the mountain sides searching for caves - came up empty on caves but it was still a pretty good day.  We got there at just that time of day when the sunlight colored the water in places. 
bubble pond - acadia national park

Watched some ducks out on the pond, and came across one person fishing.  All the little brooks that run down the mountain side and into the pond were pretty dried up, but the brook that runs from Bubble Pond on over to Eagle Lake was flowing pretty good.

One of the usual treats a visit to Bubble Pond will usually give you is the Loons coming out in the evening and coloring the air with the music  only Loons can produce.  But as that time of evening approached the temps began to drop by the pond so we decided to head back up the road.  Of all the places in Acadia National Park, I have always found Bubble Pond to be the best place to go to watch and listen to Loons.
BUBBLE POND CARRIAGE ROAD - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Earlier we had followed the Bubble Pond carriage road nearly all the way to Jordan Pond area and didn't see a single horse and rider pass along that stretch of carriage road, though there were signs horses had passed at some point found along the roadway.
We did make an attempt at one point to follow a very rough trail at the head of the Pond.  It is either the East Face or West Face trail up Cadillac Mountain, and over the years I have tried to follow it up a number of times, but it is either an abandoned trail that the trail head sign was never removed from or a very poorly marked trail.  I believe I will begin calling this trail the trail that leads to nowhere.....We got so far up and decided to turn around.

All in all the poetry of the day ended up not being the language  of Loons but of the sun interacting with the calm waters of the pond, and there was just enou
 gh of a breeze to keep the insects at bay.









STONE BRIDGE AT BUBBLE POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK




BUBBLE POND BROOK - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK



BUBBLE POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK





Monday, May 16, 2016

WE MADE A NEW FRIEND

Who would of ever guessed that by the end of the exploring the woods we would of made a new friend, but more on that later.  The weather was perfect for staying inside and watching tv, the  wind was blowing, it was cold out, plus it spit rain now and than, but we gathered up the cameras and headed off into the park.  We walked along the Park Loop road headed for the new trail we found days ago, the Witch Hole Pond Trail.  We had hoped to see a deer or maybe a fox along the way no luck today.
abandoned witch hole pond trail - acadia national park

We entered the path and walked down it a short ways and decided to explore along one end of the marsh,   There was a hill of granite with a number of large boulders, and we were hoping to find a cave back there, again no luck, so we returned back to the trail.   About half way along the trail we decided to explore the woods on the hill to our right which overlooked the marsh.  On old maps it shows that there was once three or four houses up along that hill.  It took some searching but we finally did find a location where there appeared to be a sunken foundation.
The upside to the cold and the wind was that there was no blackflies at all, which was great.  At some point we made our way down the back side of that hill and discovered an old dirt road, and decided to follow it.  At first it was a nice clear road, but slowly more and more brush grew up in the road, but we pushed on.  The dirt road finally came out by a large marsh and continued on very close to the edge, close enough so water from the marsh was beginning to make the dirt road soggy and wet.  We turned back and followed the road in the other direction - it came out onto the carriage road just above where we had found the new trail.
We made our way toward Witch Hole Pond and as we were passing a sign post for the carriage roads we made another discovery, a third starting point for the abandoned Witch Hole Pond trail, right there next to the sign post.  This path was well worn and we wobdered how in the world we had missed it days ago.  Now I have to redo my mape I had made, oh well.
As it would turn out there was no ducks in either the marsh nor at Witch Hole Pond, so we began to make our way toward  the Duck Brook Bridge.  We didn't get far along when we came upon the new friend we made, sitting, or standing, on a granite block along one side of the carriage road.  We watched for some time as it hopped and flew from one stone to the next, clearly it enjoyed our company.

beaver lodge - acadia national park

The language of birds is still a bit of a mystery to me, so after a while we parted ways and soon reached Duck Brook Bridge.  I had one more thing I wanted to check out so we went down by the water behind that small building not far from the bridge and scanned the surface for beaver.  One had just gone under that water by the beaver lodge, so we waited for it  to show itself again - but it didn't, so I only got a photo of the beaver lodge.  Than out of no where two ducks made their way out of the tall grass and glided out onto the water, so I shot them, with my camera, of course.
It was a perfect way to end the day and we turned and headed for home.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

EXPLORING AROUND WITCH HOLE POND

Today went better than we could of hoped for.  We started out slowly working our way into the park and down the Duck Brook Bridge - I say slowly because my feet were still recovering from our last outting.  We shot some photos of the bridge and than made our way toward Witch Hole Pond in hopes of locating an old trail that once ran all around Witch Hole Pond.
DUCK BROOK BRIDGE - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Not too far down the carriage road to the right of the bridge you come to a nice area of wetlands.  A nice little unnamed stream flows out of this wetland area, and directly across from the wetlands is a well worn unmarked trail, on maps I have done I have always refered to this trail as a section of the abandoned Fern Trail, since it connected to it over by Great Hill.  Today we decided to follow the sounds of an inviting brook and followed it down into the woods.
WITCH HOLE POND CARRIAGE ROAD - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
This is the first time I  have followed this brook and was surprised at what it had to offer, we took photos along with a few videos.  Since this brook has no name on maps we decided to call it Witch Hole Brook 2, because you can follow it through the woods back to Witch Hole Pond.  This is not the Witch Hole Brook that is labeled on maps, that brook runs directly out of Witch Hole Pond and into a marsh across from Witch Hole Pond.
WITCH HOLE BROOK - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

 It is my intent to return again soon to this interesting little brook and follow it further downward.
So we returned back to the carriage road and headed for the area where some of that old abandoned trail should be.    Yeah, it was still there, but we could only follow it just so far before it became overgrown.  Years ago there was no carriage roads so when they were built much of the hiking trail around the pond was destroyed.
Ran into a local fisherman back there who was trying his luck at fly fishing and asked what type of fish he usually catches there.  "Trout and pickerel," he replied.  He didn't say anything about cat fish, some refer to them as horn pout, but my guess is at least in the areas of the pond with weeds there would be cat fish.


 VIDEO OF WITCH HOLE BROOK CASCADES

WITCH HOLE POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

He said he sometimes uses a tube to fish from the center of the pond and I told him I believe we have seen him out there fishing.
By the time we explored one side of Witch Hole Pond the black flies had become thicker than pea soup, and guess who forgot to bring the bug spray.....it got pretty bad.  I remembered seeing on an old map where a trail once ran along the left hand side of that large marsh across from the pond and we decided to entertain the black flies for a little while longer.  We headed up the carriage road from the pond just a short ways, and right where the carriage road turns away from the marsh, I looked down the steep embankment and saw a worn path running through the woods.
ABANDONED WITCH HOLE POND TRAIL - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


With my bad feet I decided against trying to get down that embankment, so we went along the carriage road up to the sign post just ahead.  We began to look for an easy way down to that path when we discovered yet a second more hidden trail.  We took photos of were it is, than followed it and sure enough, it connected to the other path that had the steep embankment, so when I make my map it will show both sections of trail.  Now from where the two sections meet, the trail continues to follow the left hand side of the marsh, and soon gets wide enough so it becomes an old road of sorts, very well worn and easy to follow.
ABANDONED WITCH HOLE POND TRAIL - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

So we are taking photos, documenting our find, when my son nearly steps onto this large snake, it was one of the largest snakes I have ever come across in the Maine woods.  We took photos and even shot some video of it.  The snake soon got tired of entertaining us and heading further off into the woods.
Like most of thses old abandoned trails this one began to fade and become overgrown just before coming out at the roadway, so if your looking for it from the Park Loop Road you will have to really look for it, it is right across from a dirt pull over and a tiny drain ditch is at its beginning - this will all be on the map.
SNAKE IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Once at the road, we made our way back towards the house with a horde of black flies making us pay for each and every step we took.  The overall lesson of the day - don't leave home without your bug spray.
When I put this up on Abandoned Trails, I will most likely name it the Witch Hole Brook Trail, even though Witch Hole Marsh Trail would be better fitting.


MAP OF WITCH HOLE POND TRAIL - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Monday, May 9, 2016

THE RAGING WATERS OF DUCK BROOK

Today was a rain day, one of those days when most people chose to stay inside and watch a movie or play a game.  Today We headed out the door with cameras in hand, heading for the waters of Duck Brook.  If you have ever gone to Duck Brook Bridge and walked down the stone stairway to the brook below the bridge, than you already know the waters of Duck Brook are pretty restless.
DUCK BROOK - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


  But if you have ever walked aimlessly through the forest surrounding the Brook, and came upon its high banks furthur down stream, than you know the brook takes on a different life, one where the waters foam white and long stretches of the brook are turned into rapids.
As we made our way down through the tree's, we could see flashes of white from the section of falls where the raging waters pour down into the brook below and we drew closer it was easy to see why at one time or another several dams were constructed along this brook.

DUCK BROOK - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Of course we had some fair amount of rain this past week and the waters before us bore this out well.  I have been here before when there was no recent rains and even than you could sense the power of the Brook, which in many other places these waters would be labeled a stream.  We took some video's and shot some photos,  and as we have done many times before, stared out across to the other side of the brook.  We were looking for any signs of where the old Fern Trail once ran, and could only find a nimber of perfectly cut square granite blocks here and there along the brook.



DUCK BROOK FALLS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Somewhere along these banks we know a footbridge of some type helped get people from one side of the brook to the other.  And I read with interest Matt's find the other day where he he was on the other side, higher up, and came across the remains of some stone steps.  Matt's website is Leave The World Below and over the past couple years he has made some pretty big finds while exploring in the park, the biggest being the Great Cave.  I had researched, wrote about and even searched for the Great Cave for years, but it was Matt who found it, and made it possible for all of us to go there and enjoy what once was one of the Parks biggest kept secrets.
So when I read his blog and saw that he had found the remains of those steps, I knew he had located a section of the old Fern trail.  From where we were today and from where Matt's find was, I believe there was some distance and we tried to see down stream as best as we could hoping to see where maybe a bridge once crossed, but with no luck.  I told my son that I thought the key might be to get over to the other side of the Brook and explore some on that side, but the waters of the brook were raging and that just wasn't going to happeN.


This type of exploring can be dangerous, especially  in these conditions.  You have a very steep banking, wet dead leaves  cover wet slippery granite, and we both managed to take a tumble on this trip, thankfully neither of us were  hurt.  It would of been much smarter to have done this trip after the rain stopped and the ground had a chance to dry out, but as a local photographer once said, some of the best photos are taken in bad weather.

DUCK BROOK FALLS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Once we returned back up to the Duck Brook Bridge road, the section blocked off, we came out by the sharp curve, and walked down the roadway a bit toward Duck Brook Bridge.  We looked down the extremely steep sides of the road at the brook below, and as far as you could see the entire brook seemed to be white as snow from the raging waters.  Yeah, I know, a photo would of been good, but by that time we were soaked clean through, my camera bags were soaked, and my cameras were packed in plastic bags in my back pack, so we walked back to the house with the rain falling.  Funny thing is, as soon as we approached the house, the rain stopped, ain't that just like Mother Nature.
So anyways, we did get some video of the brook and I will put up a couple links below in case  you want to check them out.


DUCK BROOK IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

 DUCK BROOK FALLS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK