When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mountain Division Trail - Gorham end - 11-22-2009

The weather today - November 22nd, the weekend before Thanksgiving - was at least 60 degrees today in the direct sunshine.  I'm really hoping that the warm fall we've had doesn't flop on us and turn into the coldest, snowiest winter on earth! Monkey and I discussed last night and landed on hiking the Mountain Division Trail, but this time starting from the Gorham end. The parking area there is off Gambo Road, which can be found just off the River Road in South Windham/North Gorham. The parking area is shared with the Gorham Youth Soccer fields and the way to the trailhead is blatently marked.

We found the path, after moving out through the recreational field area, to be paved and in excellent condition. We found ourselves traversing along towards Windham with many others (it was early - around 10:00), somewhat overcrowded for my liking but we all spaced out with time - we let them go on ahead of us. We weren't in any hurry.

First thing I noticed was that there was a lot of wood clearing going on to the right of the trail, which allowed for deeper viewing along the trail's edge. Many titmouse and chickadees working the pines through the area, so I suppose it was good for birdwatching.

We stopped in the middle of the bridge crossing the Presumpscot to take in the views - it was much wider there than I had expected it to be. I spotted a few Common Megansers working the area, but no other waterfowl could be seen. That bridge is super-high up! Enough so to make me a nervous mom and I shooed the monkey off the other side. We explored some woodpecker-beaten trees, a place where a turtle had climbed the steep embankment to lay her eggs (the leftovers were there), an old granite culvert and an underground granite cattle crossing, a few chipmunks, some long-horned steer in an adjacent field and lots of people walking their dogs.

Actually, we met a new friend along that path - his name was Manny. Manny entered our lives by way of a woman jogging with a dog of her own who was trying to shake him off. He was a handsome yellow lab obviously just looking for a friend. We distracted him from her dog and I called him over to check his tags - the friendly little critter obliged and the tag provided his name, address and a contact phone number. He lived on the road we were close to crossing, so I figured if he followed us he wouldn't be that far away.... Well - once we hit 237 I realized he was about 1/2 a mile from home. Oh jeez - well, at this point if he followed us he would be lead further from home and if he went on his own I was afraid he would get hit by a car. His nails were long which meant he wasn't left outside alot, I was nervous that he belonged to some old lady and got away from her. He was so friendly and funny, I could have brought him home! Instead, I called Gorham's non-emergency to see if I could get him a ride home. When the officer pulled up he opened the back door, whistled, clapped his hands and that dog took off tearing and jumped right in the back. We all laughed and Manny was smiling as he got a ride in the car with the nice policeman. I just hope he didn't get into too much trouble with his mom and/or dad.

After Manny's departure, we managed to make it another 1/2 mile before the legs gave out from under the monkey. We parked it on a conviently located bench and ate the snacks I had brought for nurishment. While I was sitting there I realized that we were about 100 yards from where we had stopped last spring when we first tried to make the whole trip. Rather than try to drag the monkey those few precious feet, I've decided to just call it and say we've walked the entire trail from Gorham to Standish. We turned from the bench and started manuvering our way back towards Gambo Road. To round out the trip we spotted a pair of Brown Creepers with flocks of chickadees and nuthatches working the pines.

Total trip - about 4 miles. Total time - about 2 1/2 hours. Total worth - priceless. We had so much fun together, walking and learning and watching and enjoying each other's company. We both agree that the Standish end of the hike is more interesting, more to see and the ponds make the perfect stop-and-return place. The Gorham end, however, is paved and very nice on the feet. I would almost suggest biking the Gorham end and hiking the Standish end.

Photos from our trip are below.....click and pic to view all...

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