Hello again! Can’t believe it’s been a year since the last post! Unforgivable, really, but I can explain…….the thing is, after the Vespa croaked outside of Moncton, New Brunswick last summer (see previous posts) I got really nervous about riding it, expecting it to croak again and at the worst possible moment (which it did, but that’s the topic of the next post). So I really stuck pretty close to home for the end of the riding season, except for riding the Vespa to work (35 miles away, one-way).
Which worked out OK, except that the big trip I had been planning to take with Francis began to look really risky to me. There is a famous motorbike ride called “The Four Corners Tour”, which requires one to ride within 21 days to Blaine, Washington; Key West, Florida; San Ysidro, California; and (awesomely enough!) Madawaska, Maine — the four corners of the USA (Www.ironbutt.org/higdon/4corners.html). I expect never to complete the entire Four Corners tour, but it seemed like a great idea to at least ride up to Madawaska and see one corner, since it’s so close. I had asked Francis about this and he was all for it, but then there was the PEI trip, and the Vespa died, and there was nobody willing to service it; well, you can read the whole sad story in a previous post. And so I decided I just didn’t want to risk riding the Vespa into the trackless Maine woods with no dealer for three hundred miles. And therefore, I suggested to Francis that we check out Mt. Blue State Park instead.
This is an outstanding, family-friendly park with a nice swimming area and a number of interesting displays, centered in one of the prime hiking regions of Maine. Here are some views of the lake:
The park rents canoes and kayaks as well for a reasonable price, and Webb Lake is small enough that there will always be safe paddling, even on windy days.
The views above were taken from the dock shown above, looking first to one side of the dock, and then the other; the beach, as can be seen, is not particularly large but it presents a very gradual gradient well out into the water, making it excellent for young children. Below is a photo of the beach area from back in the park, showing the boat rental area to the left and the beach in the center and right:
Here is Francis enjoying the park:
Anyone staying in the park for any length of time may well encounter a rainy day; if so, there are some excellent educational displays inside the ranger station.
The ranger told us that she has to keep an eye on the “poop” display as children are prone to rearranging the poop and rendering the labeling incorrect thereby.
This excellent display will give you an idea of the many hiking possibilities in the park:
I hiked Tumbledown Mountain with a friend forty years ago, climbing up the Chimney (which I believe has since been closed to climbing as it is a vertical climb up a narrow cleft in the mountain, only slightly improved with rusted-out iron rungs driven into the face of the cliff) and then getting lost on the descent, eventually following a stream down to the road and barely making it out before dark. It is, however, a beautiful mountain and well worth the climb — but be sure to take a map and compass!
Mt. Blue State Park is on ME-142 in Weld, best approached from the south via ME-4 to Wilton, then west on ME-156 to ME-142. All in all, Mt. Blue State Park would be a great place to camp for a week, enjoying the beach, the lake, the educational displays and some great hiking. Although it is not an RV campground, anyone bringing a tent and the kids will undoubtedly have a great time.