Bethel, ME to Groton State Forest, VT and on to Home

See photos from the entire trip here or from just his last post, through Maine, here

We stopped at the Bethel Adventure CG just outside Belfast, Maine (about ½ mile outside) late in the afternoon, they had Passport America rates and looked interesting. There were a lot of outdoors activities offered which included kayak shuttles where they take you in a van 10 miles upstream and you paddle and drift down the Androscoggin River back to the campground which sits right on the bank of the river. This sounded good to us until we awoke to 55 degrees and winds 10 to 15 mph. We asked for a moderately strenuous hike and the owner of the campground suggested Table Top which includes about a mile on the Appalachian Trail in it’s circuit. Since the trail would be mostly out of the wind it seemed like a good alternative. The climb started out with a steep ascent that essentially continued for the duration of the climb. It did sometimes get even steeper. We climbed and scrambled over rocks for over an hour to achieve the top which provided an incredible view of the valley (notch) and we met several interesting people during the ascent. We came down the easy (!) way which led back out on to the Appalachian Trail where we ran into a “through hiker” who had been on the trail for 5 ½ months and was in sight of Katahdin, the final summit on the trail. Having had enough fun for one day we went into Bethel for a look around and returned to Gee 2 for rest and clean up.

Wednesday we moved on to Vermont and set up camp in Groton State Forest, actually just outside the forest in a private campground with the very imaginative name of Groton Forest Road Campground. It is not special, but it is Passport America and thus half off and the scenery is wonderful. After setting up we retraced to St Johnsbury, VT for a bit of a tour. We were through here in our tenting days and have no memory of the town. It is the home of Fairbanks Morse Scales and was a major rail center for this part of the country. After our tour we returned to Gee 2 and relaxed. Thursday was to be our hiking day but it dawned cold and wet. Carol and I worked at our computers and got familiar with a photo management package called JAlbum which is open source and quite powerful for preparing photo albums for upload to the web. Some results should be available for viewing soon (now available see the link at the top of the page). Enough sitting around so we headed off to the Cabot Creamery, less than 20 miles from our campsite. There we enjoyed the tour of the manufacturing plant for cheddar cheese and cultured products. We also bought some cheese.

We returned to the coach for lunch and found the sun shining and the temperatures rising so we set off to find a trail to hike. After a bit of hemming and hawing we set out on the Peacham Bog Loop Trail. This turned out to be a bit more than we bargained for. From the description we thought about leaving our hiking sticks behind and taking a bottle of water. At the last minute wisdom prevailed and we loaded up our hydration backpacks and put on our hiking boots and grabbed our sticks. We returned to the car 3 hours and 45 minutes later having traversed a broad variety of terrain including steep rocky climbs, the bog and even a dirt road. We were hiking from one yellow over blue blaze to the next and we were so far in from the main road it got a bit tense a couple of times. But the blazes were faithful and made it back exhilarated and exhausted.

I got the bikes back on the car and the car hooked up for towing while Carol cleaned up the interior and began the preparation of dinner. We are both at our computers with little energy to do any other work. I suspect it will be an early night tonight so we can get up and find parking for Gee 2 near Montpelier so we can meet David (my sister Sandy’s husband) for lunch when there is a break in the Fairpoint-Verizon hearings of the Vermont Public Service Board.

All of the above worked out. We stopped at Mekkelsen RV on Route 2 on the way into Montpelier and they were gracious enough to permit us to disconnect and leave the coach on their sales lot for several hours as a courtesy. When we returned I found a stick on map of Canada in their parts department that was on our shopping list so I bought it there. They appear to be good people.

We had a wonderful, if too brief, visit with my sister and her husband and I now am sitting in my den in Rochester with Gee 2 in the back drive waiting to go into storage. I cannot wash it as it is raining all day.

One thought on “Bethel, ME to Groton State Forest, VT and on to Home”

  1. Hi Paul & Ann Carol. Read your last blog just now and glad your trip was wonderful. I’ve had a great summer too. Just dropped Jay at the airport in ROC & am home alone. Would love to see you soon. Cindy

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