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Teacher & Snacktime

The Maine Event & Season Finale – Part 3 – In Search of …Sleep

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I have an impeccable sense of direction, and pride myself on being able to find my way to and from anywhere, working on a system of interpretation, logic and intuition. Unless I’m overtired; then I can’t find my way across the street (never mind back again). Thus, our trip to Caratunk took a bit longer than expected, as we drove for over an hour in the wrong direction. (Who knew that the Rt 16 East wouldn’t take us west? Jeez…some mapmakers are SO literal!) However, after a wonderful dinner of ice cream and soda in the town of Dover-Foxcroft we threw it in reverse and headed back toward Monson and the correct turnoff for Rt16 WEST toward Rt201N.

Heading north on Rt 201 about 60 miles from the Canadian line in Who-Knows-Where, Maine, my very groggy and nearly delirious self got all excited at the sight of a hiker up ahead. I pulled right over and called out to him that we had cookies and sodas and even treats for his dog. Imagine the surprise on this young man’s face to being thusly greeted by a gregarious stranger-woman while on his way home from the corner store and walking his dog…….oops. (I have no idea what I said after that, but I think a generous donation of said cookies helped calm the awkwardness of the moment). Ed was asleep again, or I’m sure he would have noticed right off the bat the difference between this guy and an actual hiker and thus saved me much embarrassment. Ah well, the gent went on his way confused, but happy.


Eventually we found the town (?) of Caratunk and the sign for the AT parking lot. We pulled in and saw absolutely no indication of a trail anywhere, so pulled out and headed into the nearby neighborhood for some sign of hiker passage. We found none, nothing, nada. If we were in downtown Caratunk, then truly we had found the mythical middle-of-nowhere. If there was something more up ahead, other than Canada, it would have to wait until the next day. Dinner and Dreamland was next on our agenda, as evening was fast approaching.


We headed south again on Rt 201 looking for Rt 16 W….which we completely missed. I couldn’t read the map at this point (another fatigue thing) so just kept going in hopes of stumbling into something interesting. We did. At a place called Robbins Hill in Solon. It was a scenic overlook that was just incredible. And it didn’t hurt any that the sun was setting behind all the western mountains on display. I woke up the grumpy, reluctant adolescent and made him enjoy the view.


We had to find a place to crash for the night…preferably before we crashed in the night. While I nodded, nearly napping….I saw a bear across the road. He was 12 ft tall and seemed to be urging me to come closer. I obliged. No, I wasn’t hallucinating and I wasn’t crazy (at least, no more than before). This bear was of the fiberglass Yogi variety, and I happily pulled into Jellystone Park to get a decent night’s sleep, in the car, under a tree by the bathrooms.


We’d search for hikers tomorrow.


to be continued…..

Updated 09-08-2013 at 05:43 by Teacher & Snacktime

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