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Old 07-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #37
trob888's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,868
Re: On the Road Indefinitely: A Dirtbag Hiker in the USA

The Bold Coast

Not long after I made that last update I had a moment of synchronicity and I knew I was back on track. Everything started to seem flat and hot again. It was time to hit the coast. The coast I'm referring to is what's known as The Bold Coast, a section of coastline in northern Maine, roughly from Milbridge to Lubec I remembered seeing something about the Bold Coast Trail a while back and it piqued my interest

The trail starts at a small parking lot off Route 191, a few miles north of Cutler, ME. It's a short loop hike with an option to make it a figure eight if you want to spend a little more time on the trail. You walk through some mossy woods for 1.4 miles before reaching an area overlooking the Grand Manan Channel and turn to hike along the coast. Just before I got to the coast, a chilly fog had moved in. As I got to the edge, the fog was so thick I couldn't even see the water just below me. It felt like the Earth was flat and I was walking along the edge of it, looking into an abyss.

The fog cleared out a little for most of the rest of the shoreline, and I got to see some decent views. The trail basically hugs the shore, with some walks along cliffs and cobble beaches at Black Point and Long Point coves. Sometimes it ducks back inland for a bit but not for long. There’s a little up and down here and there but nothing to cause shortness of breath.

In about 3.4 miles you'll reach a few campsites spaced out down the trail. I had passed a couple hikers (the only other people I saw) earlier who seemed to be moving slow so I left the first site for them. It looked like a good one. The second one I saw was on a cliff right beside the ocean (technically the Gulf of Maine I think), near a point called Fairy Head. It would be windy and cold and I had my doubts, until I saw a buoy named Paul, the name of my favorite roommate ever, and I decided to stay.


I finished reading Kafka on the Shore. It's going to take me some time to process it. I have a lot of questions and will need the help of the internet to fully understand it. Part of me thinks there might not even be one ultimate answer to it all. Despite the bit of confusion, I definitely enjoyed it. Even if you only take it at face value the story alone is great.

I wanted to wake up and see a sunrise on the water, but the morning was still foggy and rain had moved in. It rained for hours. I hate packing up camp in the rain so I tried to wait it out, but eventually I had to give up. Rolling up a wet, muddy tent and stuffing it into your pack is not an enjoyable experience.

Although packing in the rain is something I loathe, hiking in the rain has always been fun for me. It's funny, if I accidentally step in a puddle on a dry day I'll be cursing myself, but on a rainy day I go splashing through the puddles without a care in the world. Rainy days can bring a good kind of "f**k it" attitude that's almost therapeutic in a way.

The trail after the campsite follows the coast for just a little longer before you're off into the mossy and boggy woods again for 4.4 miles, all the way back to your car. If you really enjoy seeing the ocean you can opt to just go back the way you came along the coastal trail, an option I considered but the rain changed my plans.

All in all this is a short and sweet hike. On a clear day the views are excellent. On a clear night you can see every star in the sky.

I made my way up the rest of The Bold Coast, all the way to the Canadian border. The weather stayed pretty foggy and wet but it seemed to fit the area well. Somewhere along the way I decided I'm not leaving Maine without climbing Katahdin. There was a time I considering putting it off, but it would be crazy to come all this way, be so close to it, and not make the climb. Right now I’m just waiting out the weather, actively checking the National Weather Service website. The best looking day seems to be Friday, but it looks like there might be a chance tomorrow could turn out well. I’m going to keep checking throughout the day and either go to Millinocket tonight or tomorrow, depending on which day looks best.

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