On July 2nd, the first full day of our stay in Rangeley it was cool and misty, but we weren’t going to let a little rain stop us. Earlier in the week this looked like it was going to be the worst weather day, so we had decided we would seek out an exploration that was somewhat level and save the serious hiking for another day. My husband and I decided to head over to some of the trails near the Mount Blue campground before meeting up with my hiking buddy later in the day. With rain gear in hand we set out for a new adventure.
Not far from the actual campground was a Nature Center. Unfortunately, the Center was closed on this particular day but we did peek through the window to discover a small natural history display. Next to this building was a short arboretum trail with postings identifying various flowers, ferns and trees. We spent some time studying the ferns before completing the loop back to the Nature Center.
It was still early, so we ventured on to explore the Hopping Frog Trail nearby. The beginning section of the path was covered with more Club Moss than I had ever seen in one place. If I closed my eyes and imagined this moss being much taller, I could almost visualize how the world looked during prehistoric times. Almost completely hidden by the moss, we found some Pipsissewa. Although not quite in bloom, they did look beautiful with water droplets hanging from the buds.
Continuing our journey through areas covered in ferns and over wet slippery bog boards, we stopped briefly to admire a small brook with a rustic bench nearby. The wet weather had encouraged the mosquitos to emerge so we did not stay long here. Eventually, we reached a lookout over the lake. We could see some mountains through the haze but I could not tell if any of them were actually Mount Blue. It was enough, that despite the drizzle, we got a nice view.
Having finished our morning at the Mount Blue Campground, we headed towards one of the lookouts over Rangeley Lake to enjoy our lunch. While we looked out over the water, we touched base with our friend and agreed to check out Cascade Gorge. She recommended that we park on the road, rather than attempt the steep driveway up to the parking lot. She was not kidding when she said it was steep! I had not anticipated needing my inhaler just to walk up a driveway! Whew!
We continued our steady climb up the hill before we found the gorge. We climbed a bit until we reached a place where we could get a better view. My husband and friend wanted to continue further up the trail but for some reason, maneuvering over the wet rocks made me nervous. I encouraged them to continue exploring, as I perched myself on a perfect sitting rock.
While I waited, I played with various shutter speeds on my camera. I took lots of pictures of the falls, from one continuous stream of water to ones separating the individual streams of water. As I was playing, I heard some “hellos” from the top of the falls I was studying. There were my comrades waving from the top of the gorge. My husband took the opportunity to take a photo of me which also showed the area from a difference vantage point.
In a few more minutes they rejoined me and we made our way back down to the road. We agreed to meet later that evening for dinner and made our way back to town.
The falls are stunning! And what a lovely description of the moss and your imagining of prehistoric times.
Beautiful photos and great description! I felt as though I was walking with you. I’d have also chosen not to try to navigate slippery rocks. Thanks for sharing your walk/hike!
It does appear that we are not as sure footed as we get older, so I proceed with caution and enjoy what I can. Thanks for your comments.