It was a lazy morning with no plans to go into town until 1:30. The day was sunny, 69 degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. We've had 3 perfect weather days in Greenville since we've been here. The windows and doors were open and were enjoying the solitude of the near-empty campground. Auggie enjoys his time outside sniffing around or laying in the sun. Bob was taking some needed chill-time to do some reading. We were looking for some "down" time and now we were getting it. It was wonderful!
We left the campground at 1:30 as we planned with a couple of destinations in mind. Stop #1. Bob wanted to stop at the Indian Hill Trading Post to check it out. It was an amazing place with 3 floors that including everything you could think of. The attached grocery store was as well-stocked as any grocery store in a big city. As you can tell by the sign, it had everything from housewares to clothes, sporting goods to camping equipment. We spent about an hour looking around in the store.
Stop #2–I did some research on the Shaw mansion which is now the Greenville Inn and wanted to check it out. It sits on the top of the hill overlooking the lake. It was quite the home for its time and of course, it is located at the intersection of Norris and Shaw St.
Stop #3–Our plan was to enjoy some loaded nachos at the Stress Free Moose Cafe in lieu of eating dinner. Our moose tour leaves at 5:00 and returns around 8:30 PM so this would serve as our dinner tonight. We sat on the second story deck and enjoyed the view and the food. Bob had his PBR in this most interesting can along with the nachos.
A stop in the restroom produced these interesting signs which gave me a chuckle.
On the way out, Bob pointed out this animal mount hanging on this beautiful wall.
After leaving there, we walked back down Main St. to the shops. Bob thought he saw a shirt that he wanted to get.
We headed back to the campground around 3:30 to sit with Auggie before leaving for our moose tour. The moose tour company was just down the road a couple of miles so we didn't have far to go. We arrived at 4:45 to fill out some papers and wait for the tour to begin.
There were 10 of us going on the tour tonight. We took a group picture in front of this sign because our guide told us that they needed a record to see who went on the tour in case we lost someone. Then they would have a visual record of who was missing. Ha! We piled in the van (Bob and I got the front seats) and headed out. We took Highway 6/15 up the east side of the lake. The scenery was beautiful and the guide was very informative, answering our questions and giving us interesting information about the area and about the habits of moose and other wildlife. We passed some beautiful areas of moose habitat in the hopes of finding one and stopped to look every time. All 11 of us kept our eyes open for moose. This was Beaver Cove where an active family of beavers had built a dam.
We passed Lily Bay State Park near the town of Lily Bay and on up to Kokadjo. This town was just a blip on the map, but it had a general store which stocked everything from popsicles to bird houses according to our guide. We got a kick out of the sign. Population: Not many!
The town sat on First Roach Pond which was prime habitat for moose and according to our guide once the temp gets into the 70's the moose like to hang out in the marshy areas and stand in the water where it's cooler. We looked around the edges for moose, but nothing. Number 4 mountain stood in the distance. They ran out of names so they started using numbers. (There is a Shaw Mountain–elevation 1,647 ft. on the lake in the north across from the town of Rockwood.)
From there, the road turned from pavement to gravel and the ride was a little rougher. We were glad that we weren't driving our own truck over this rough terrain on Spencer Bay Road. The guide took us on some active logging roads where moose hang out eating the new growth after the trees have been cut.
We also traveled past many marshy areas and ponds where the moose would hang out. My eyes got tired from straining to see moose throughout the drive.
The area was remote, but the scenery was beautiful. We didn't see any moose, but we did see a few deer along the way and we stopped for every one of them. We had some good lookouts in the van with us.
We drove to a pond at the end of the road before turning around to head back. We had driven 90 minutes to get to our turn-around point and didn't see a moose. Before heading back, we took a short walk down to Spencer Pond where the moose have been known to frequent. Bob was the first one down the path and the guide and I followed. Bob spotted some moose tracks in the mud right away which were very promising. You can see how big they were compared to Bob's shoe.
We walked quietly down the marshy path to the pond, Down at the pond, we looked for moose, but didn't see any. Moose have a range of 25-50 miles so you never know where they will be. We were reminded that moose are wild creatures and therefore, unpredictable. They are where they are and go where they want. Amazingly, there were no mosquitoes or bugs to bother us on this path.
The sun was getting lower in the sky now and the guide said that this would be the time that the moose would be moving about. They are best seen in the early morning or early evening hours. The time was right, the places were right, but we didn't see a moose, yet we didn't give up hope for the ride back.
As the sun was setting, it created purple and pink hues in the sky that were amazing! We made one last stop for a picture at an overlook on the hillside. The sunset was breathtaking over Moosehead Lake.
We arrived back at the office around 8:45 and thanked the guide with a tip. Although we never saw any moose, he did his best to try and find them. Nothing is guaranteed. We had traveled 60 miles round trip at mostly 10 mph on a lot gravel roads to find those elusive moose. (He also brought brownies for a special treat for our drive back.) We did see some amazing scenery and learn a lot about moose and the state of Maine. It can be brutal in the winter in Greenville with over 200 inches of snowfall and temps averaging about 20 degrees. But in the summer, it is a land of adventure and as the sign says on the wall of the office:
We were disappointed about not seeing moose, but we have another opportunity at our next destination to try again. We got back to the campground around 9:00 and my eyes were SO tired. Auggie was happy to see us and got his walk. It was getting dark and the stars were starting to appear. It gets so dark here at night! I was ready for bed, but stayed up a little while to watch the end of the movie we started watching yesterday and read a little before falling asleep. Life is good!