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A Maine Foliage Trip

blog-0913304001382055520.jpgOn September 28th and 29th, Grandma and I took a weekend trip to some very scenic places not far from our home. After watching our grandson's Saturday morning soccer game, we headed up Route 17, which passes through our town, and continued to its end in Oquossoc. From there, we took Route 16, through Rangeley, to Stratton. From Stratton, we headed north up Route 27 to Eustis, where we stayed overnight at Cathedral Pines CG. On Sunday, we followed Route 27 south through Bigelow and Carabasset to Farmington. From Farmington, we followed Routes 2 & 27 east to New Sharon, then south on Route 27 to Belgrade Lakes, then Route 135 to our home in Readfield. The foliage was almost at its peak in most of the places we went. I am attaching an album of a few of the photos I took. I'll add a few words here about the places we stopped along the way.

We were pleasantly surprised to find gas advertised at $3.439 at a Cumberland Farms store in Livermore Falls. I have one of their SmartPay discount cards (10 cents off), so I topped off the tank.

Coos Canyon, on the Swift River in Byron, was a great stop. We pulled into a rest area and had a super view of the little canyon from our table in the MH while we had lunch. After some sightseeing, on a short and easy hike, we explored the store and rock shop across the street. They have all kinds of rocks, minerals, gems and jewelry there and the prices seem reasonable. There's a small amount of gold in the Swift River and this place caters to rock hounds and amateur prospectors. You can buy or rent your gold panning equipment here. By appointment, you can get lessons as well. They also sell books on the subject. They had several jewelry items made with actual Swift River gold nuggets in epoxy or tiny display cases. Some of these were priced under $100. One of my photos shows a guy panning in the river. There is also a campground here. One of these days, I may go back and try my hand at panning!

Route 17 climbs up a ridge called "Height of Land" We stopped at the Height of Land scenic turnout, which offers a fantastic view to the north and west. Mooselookmeguntic lake is the big one in the foreground. Some of the mountains you see from here are in New Hampshire.

A few more miles up the road, another scenic turnout looks north and east, over Rangeley Lake. This was a very nice view as well.

We didn't actually stop in Rangeley, though there are some interesting restaurants, shops and museums there.

Between Rangeley and Stratton, we went up Quill Hill. I wouldn't do that again with a Class A motorhome, even though the view was tremendous, I'll do another post with more detail on Quill Hill.

Cathedral Pines Campground is on the North Branch of the Dead River, which flows into Flagstaff Lake. This CG is in a large grove of tall red pine. All sites are shaded much of the time, which would be an advantage in hot weather. The campsites are very generous in size and spaced out well. Many of them would be big enough to take 2 or 3 RV's, if you were traveling in a group. They have very few sewered sites, but have 3 dump stations. Our site had water and 30 amp electric. The campground is very neat and well-maintained. I have heard from friends that they have a special area for larger groups, across Route 27 from the main CG. There is a general store within sight of the campground entrance. We went there first. This store is quite well stocked with food items and other necessities. There is no store in the campground itself.

We didn't stop much on our way home on Sunday, though we passed the entrance to Sugarloaf Ski Area and went through New Portland, where the historic Wire Bridge is located. Though we didn't stop at the Wire Bridge this time (been there before), it's definitely a stop I would recommend. It is one of the very earliest suspension bridges in the country, and it is in a very pretty setting on the Carrabassett River.

We stopped for lunch at an old truss bridge on the Sandy River, off Route 2 in New Sharon. This bridge is barricaded off, but the old section of road was a convenient place to park the MH while we had our meal.

We got home early enough on Sunday that I had time before dark to wash the Quill Hill dirt off the MH. We are fortunate to live in an area where such a nice trip is doable in less than a full weekend!


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