Friday, August 21, 2009

Great Rangeley Lake Area getaway

Last week my family and I (husband and two kids) spent the week on Mooselookmugentic Lake in Maine. Most people just call it Mooselook, since it's pretty much a mouth full (especially for my 4 year old!). The name Mooselookmeguntic is said to have originated from an ancient Abanaki word which means portage to the moose feeding place, or moose feeding among the trees. The lake is HUGE - 16,300 acres, the second largest in Maine. We already live in Maine, and thought it would be fun to explore our own beautiful 'vacation' land. Since we moved here several years ago, I haven't had the chance to travel any further north than Augusta.

We rented a house through Morton & Furbish rental agency and were very happy with our small rustic camp. It was in a super quiet, cool and shady forest of pines, with tons of low-bush blueberries ripe for the picking. The kids thought that was great. Plus we were right on the water and could just sit out on the deck and listen to the gentle waves and the loons calling at night.

There was no cell phone or internet service for miles, which was a little hard to get used to. We took our kids on a tricky to locate, but well worth it, hike up Angel Falls (just north of Byron Maine) which has a huge waterfall at the top. We had to cross the stream several times on the way up by jumping over giant boulders. It was a fun hike and we were impressed that our kids did so much climbing without being afraid or complaining.

In fact, they were so good, we decided to make them hike up to the top of Bald Mountain 2 days later! That was a 1000' elevation gain over 1 mile, and through one of the muckiest, muddiest trails I've seen in a long time (and I've done a fair amount of hiking). Luckily the kids feet were comfortable wearing the brand new sneakers we just got them! Oh well. I had intended to save those new shoes for the start of school, but realized we had to break them out since they had been wearing sandals all summer and had outgrown their sneakers since the beginning of summer. So with mud and muck all over, we hiked on. The very top was a scramble over giant rocks and boulders and we were rewarded with amazing mountain and lake views. We could see Rangely Lake, Mooselook Lake as well as Cupsuptic Lake.

After our hikes, we were ready for some low key fun - a half day with a rented pontoon boat from Oquossoc Cove Marina, hanging out at the Rangeley town beach, and relaxing at the lake house. We also watched a ton of movies on DVD, roasted marshmallows on the hot coals after dinner and generally kicked back.

Hopefully next year we can convince some friends (which shouldn't be too hard to do) to come up and join us for the week.