Self-Propelled Journal: August 12-13 Biking The Forks to Monson

View from Lower Enchanted Road

August 12

Woke very early with thoughts of the day’s transition ahead.  Switching from one mode of travel to another is always stressful.  But also very much anticipated.  Not sure I could take another day of portaging.

I walked from the “hut” back upstream to the falls – to make up for the truck ride with Matt Powers yesterday when he ferried my gear and canoe to Spencer Stream.

The weather remained humid with spotty showers.  I was back at the hut in time for breakfast at 7:30.

After checking out around 10 am I went back up to the Spencer Stream landing and carried the canoe a final time acorss the bridge to the parking lot at the confluence of Spencer Stream and the Dead.  Shoulders are extremely sore and tired.

Claire arrived around 1:00 after getting lost few times on Lower Enchanted Road.

My attempt at helping Claire find me on Lower Enchanted Road.

Ben was with her to join me on the next leg of the trip.  But I rode alone the 15 miles out of Route 201 – where we had a late lunch in West Forks.

The gear change was a drastic overhaul since we will be traveling light the next few days on the mountain bikes.



Tonight we are camped at Moxie Outfitters on Moxie Pond. It seems to be a very laid back place.  Partly full of rafters and kayakers who have been on the water all day.

I found the bike ride today very tiring.  I’m still feeling the effects of yesterday’s exertions.


August 13

Rained most of last night and we were glad to be in the platform tent at Moxie and not on the ground.  The rafting crew at Moxie and the gentle folks at the Maine Huts and Trails lodge appear on the surface to be almost different species.

Their world view is completely different in every way until you start talking about the Maine Woods.

The rafters, like downhill skiers, will rave on and on about the beauty of the landcape surrounding their down hill ride.  The hikers, like Nordic skiiers, will talk about their mileage, and the trail conditions and the semi-religious juxtaposition of physical effort and long-distance travel.

Together they make a constituency for remote places that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.

This morning Ben and I biked east along a discontinued logging road that took us to Shirley Mills.  We met at dozen or so ATVs on the way.  Every rider waved and smiled as they passed us by.

Shirley Pond

We had lunch at Shirley Pond in the center of the village, and then rode out to Route 15 and south to Monson.

Tonight we are at Shaw’s Boarding House in Monson. A hiker’s haven that seems to defy the economic disarray around it.  It’s a full house tonight.  Shaw's Lodging

This is a much less genteel crowd than the group at Grand Falls Hut.  But they talk the same language.  All part of the same constituency.


This entry was posted in Kittery to Fort Kent, Maine Roads, Maine Trails by jimandrews. Bookmark the permalink.

About jimandrews

Jim Andrews is an attorney, Registered Maine Guide, writer, husband, dad and sixth-generation Mainer who grew up in the hills of Oxford County and now lives in Farmington. He is a monthly columnist for the The Maine Sportsman magazine where he focuses on muscle-powered travel in the outdoors and specific applications to fishing and hunting in Maine. Late in the fall of 2010 Jim suffered a mid-life crisis and decided that the cure would be a self-propelled trip from Kittery to Fort Kent in the summer of 2012. The preparation, planning and execution of that trip will be covered here -- as well as his own ongoing attempts to reintroduce physical effort back into the increasingly-motorized world of fishing and hunting in Maine. Find Self-propelled on Facebook: