Mount Katahdin

Three Mountains in Three Days!

State: Maine

Date: 05/05/16

We woke up when the sunlight hit us in the car. I didn’t sleep well (during the night it got down to 34 degrees and the weather app said it felt like 25). I agree with the weather app despite being in a car with three layers on. Harley was smart and grabbed his sleeping bag and slept great.

Sunrise was at 5:15am, which was a lot earlier than either of us were used to. Yet we got up and walked into the Camden state park from the parking lot we slept in.

We headed up the road and found a trail map. The Mt. Megunticook trail looked like the highest and had the best view of the ocean and lakes. So we decided to head up the trail.

For some reason, I brought my pack even though I could have left it in the car. Harley just took a camelback. It was still cold, but the hike quickly warmed us up and we shed a few layers.

The climb was a moderate hike with plenty of well-traveled trails, streams, and rocks.

We got to the top and the view was breathtaking. Of course we took of ton of pictures.

Seth Stivala at Mount Megunticook
Near the top of Mt. Megunticook

After our insane amount of pictures, we headed back to the main trail which connects to a few other trails.

We decided to check out the Ocean View trail and climbed up a more strenuous rocky trail and realized that it led to the exact same spot we were just at…

On the way back down, we ran into a native Mainelander. Her name was Toni and she was very well-traveled. She’s been all over South Africa and loves to travel. Her and Harley talked a good bit about different places they’ve been and still wanted to check out. I told her what I was doing and gave her my business card. Later on Toni e-mailed me wishing us well and safe travels.

After we returned to the car, we decided to drive to the top of Mt Battie to see the Battie tower. Once again the view was incredible, especially from the top of the tower. Yes, you can go up to the top of the tower!

Seth Stivala at Mount Battie
On top of the Mt. Battie Tower.

A few hundred pictures later, we got back on the road. Our destination: Acadia National Park!

Before we got there we decided to do some grocery shopping, because the previous day we both spent a decent bit celebrating the start of the trip. I picked up the usual road food…ok more than the usual.

“That’s one thing I’m realizing about you bud. You like to eat,” Harley said and laughed.

We arrived in Acadia and were surprised that we weren’t charged an entrance fee. However, we found out that May 1st the spring season opens and then the park charges the entrance fee and the camping prices go up.

Harley was disappointed to learn that the trail he wanted to do “The Precipice Trail” wasn’t open due to hawk and falcon breeding season. However, the ranger suggested doing the Bee Hive trail and we took his suggestion.

As we drove to see about a campsite, we passed the Precipice trail. It was straight up a rocky cliff and I immediately wished we could do it. We learned that it opens up around August. So maybe one day.

We got a campsite and then headed to the Bee Hive trail. It was a lot of fun. On the trip through Maine, it’s probably been my favorite so far. It goes up the side of a mountain (Mt. Champlain I think), but there is plenty of rock climbing along the way. It’s well-traveled so there are steel stair holds embedded in the rocks, so everyone can enjoy it. I know I did!

The view was beautiful as we ascended and each time I looked back, it only got better.

Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park as seen from the Beehive Trail.

We checked out some more trails when we got to the top, but I’ll save that for the book.

When we got back to our rental car, we headed to the Thunderhole. A natural wonder where the erosion over countless years by the waves caused a small cave below to form into a bit of a sideways U shape. This part is underwater and you can’t see it. What makes it cool is the awesome sound it makes when the waves crash into it. Me and Harley got there when it was inactive, but found out the best time to see it at its peak is two hours before high tide.

Then we went to check out the Otter Cliff walk. We got a bit off the path and did some rock climbing and had a lot of fun.

After our free climbing fun, we headed back to our campsite, but not before filling the rental car with firewood from the side of the road.

We ate some ramen, veggies, and fruit. I was happy to finally have a fire and be able to test out my titanium mess kit. Because in Florida I really couldn’t have a fire (not enough woods). I don’t think I’ll have that problem here in Maine. Literally, I can walk anywhere and I’m not far from woods I can get lost in. I love it!

The next day we headed out, but not before driving up Cadillac Mountain. The view was beyond words and I can see why so many people choose to watch the sunrise here. We didn’t get up early enough to make it to the top for sunrise, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

Then we headed over to Campobello International Park. It’s in Canada so we crossed the border. When we got to the visitors center we found it closed, but we found a pamphlet with a map on it. So we decided to explore. Originally, we were going to do a trail that lead to Liberty Point where you can see the Quoddy Head Lighthouse, however, we got lost because there were no signs anywhere marking the trails. There were plenty of blank signs and signposts though.

We eventually made it to Liberty Point and it was worth it.

Seth Stivala at Liberty Point
Near Liberty Point

Many pictures later we decided to go see the Friar’s head (a giant rock structure on the beach). However, we stopped on the rocky beach and saw something unusual, another car. This place was deserted, so we decided to go say hi.

Jim and Sue were originally from New York and moved to Maine because they fell in love with the place. Sue is a nurse and Jim is a Lab tech. We talked about what we were doing and they gave us some good suggestions of places to check out while we were in Maine.

We then said our goodbyes and headed to the Friar’s Head. Another trail with no signs and unmaintained. However, we did reach it.

After that, we took Jim and Sue’s advice and went to check out the Head Harbor Lighthouse. It’s only accessible during low tide and you can get stranded out there because the water rises 5 feet an hour when the tide comes in…so it was right up our alley.

It was beautiful. The one picture I took of it looked like a painting to me.

Head Harbor Lighthouse
Head Harbor Lighthouse

After exploring around the lighthouse we headed out in search of food.

We stopped at this place we saw on the drive to the lighthouse called Family Fisheries Restaurant.

We decided to split a lobster roll because it was one of the things I really wanted to try while I’m up Northeast.

It was delicious and the staff was very friendly. I got to meet the owner (Kristy) and when she heard what I was doing gave me a free T-shirt for my trip.

I told her I’d wear it when I get work on a lobster boat and mention her restaurant in my book. So check out Family Fisheries Restaurant if you are ever in New Brunswick Canada!

After returning to America, we began the drive to the literally the biggest thing on both our lists:

Mt. Katahdin – Maine’s highest mountain.

We camped at a rest stop and cooked more ramen, ate more fruit, and tuna to reduce the food weight I’d have to carry. Again, I like to eat. I’m a fat guy trapped in an skinny guy’s body.

In the morning, we headed out with the sunrise and into Baxter State Park.

When we arrived and saw Mt. Katahdin in the distance, we couldn’t wait to get to the top. However, everything seemed to be closed and we couldn’t find a map anywhere.

“Reminds me of Canada,” I said and laughed referring to the lack of signs in Campobello.

We eventually found a map and Harley took a picture of it and then we made our way to the Abol trail.

It is an extremely tough trail that follows the stream runoff from the melting snow. Some areas had loose dirt and sand with boulders. So I don’t recommend this trail for beginners or even intermediate hikers.

Yet we made it to the top! 5267 feet, my new personal best!

Seth Stivala at the summit of Mount Katahdin
Me at the summit of Mt. Katahdin

We had lunch and after hundreds of pictures decided to head down the Hunt trail, which follows the mountain ridge down. Harley and I figured it would be safer than the Abol trail because of all the loose rocks. We were only slightly right. When we got done the ridge and made it back to the woods on the Hunt trail, it was pretty much an ice path nearly the whole way down.

We carefully made our way down and eventually made it back to the road, where we had to walk another 5 miles to get back to the car.

Both of us were gassed and didn’t talk much on the way back. Because if you would have asked us what we wanted most in the world, it would have been to sit down.

Our wish was granted when we finally made it back to the car. I literally couldn’t move when I did. So happiness is sitting down after climbing three mountains in three days.

Forever your friend,

The Outsider

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