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Teacher & Snacktime

The Maine Event & Season Finale – Part 5 – Rangeley

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Rt 16 out of Stratton toward Rangeley is a really delightful ride. It was level, nicely shouldered and well-paved enough to allow one to enjoy its scenic bounty at a brisk 55+mph. We made exceptional time on this leg of our adventure. We did experience one brief delay, however, brought about by the presence of that ubiquitous yet elusive, monumental Maine mammal and the holy grail of New England wildlife enthusiasts…..a moose…or more precisely, a pair of moose. I’d never experienced a roadside sighting before, though many locals for many years have assured me that the moose are there: “just up the road; you can’t miss ‘em”. “Miss ‘em” I always did. So now, with their silhouettes getting closer and a shout of “NO WAY!!!”, I stopped the car no more than 30 feet from this majestic pair grazing peacefully and oblivious in the roadside meadow.

Now throughout northern New England, warning signs will alert you to the dangers of moose crossing roadways, and of the numerous collisions involving these enormous yet benign creatures. I feel that perhaps these warnings of collision are inaccurate, and should instead advise the driver as to the real threat when these animals are around. The signs should read something like…

Don’t be an idiot and stop in the middle of the road to gawk at these creatures and nearly
jack-up the logging truck behind you , forcing it to swerve around you while honking, gesturing, and shouting about what an...

…well, you get the idea.

So, once the echoing blare of the 18 wheeler’s horn faded, I safely pulled over into the open barn door, parked on the shoulder and got out the camera. This accommodating mother/older child pair (a conclusion drawn on their remarkable family resemblance) posed for me for the next minute or so before my paparazzi presence in their world became tedious and they retreated into the forest for privacy. But our status as successful moose-viewers had been made, leaving us a notch above all those other still-hopeful tourists.

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Shortly after we found our way into Rangeley, located the local outfitter and was directed to the Grey Beast Hostel across the street. Staying there was none other than Peaches, from our Upper Goose Pond trip, but no ChinMusic. We were told he’d recovered well from his mishaps and was on his way toward Stratton. We’d missed him by a day. Oh well. We did get to meet thruhiker Jumper, to whom we gave the last trail magic bag. Then Jumper and Peaches carried all the leftover sodas, chips and cookies over to the hostel for whatever hikers passed through.

Thus ended our first trail magic summer. Snacktime and I got to meet dozens of hikers from all over the world, each with his or her own story and reasons for hiking the AT. We got to be a part of some of those adventures by offering what help we could to ease their way. We got to share in some of the fun.

We can’t wait until next year, when our magic trips will resume. We've decided that this is something


Updated 09-16-2013 at 10:49 by Teacher & Snacktime

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