October 9

From ponds to lakes

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Well rested we started into the haze. That's right, haze. Not fog, not smog, haze. So much of it that visibility was far from perfect, thus making documenting the scenery quite difficult. My fascination with trains, or at least with rail tracks since no trains were anywhere in sight, joined the mandatory fascination with fall colors, which made up in number for the missing trains. Between trees, trees and more trees we snuck in a lunch in Dover-Foxcroft, a full featured town with a school and even a hospital - something that you don't see at every corner around here. Nowhere to be found however was a cell phone signal - for the second straight day. Damn you, GSM, or should I say, damn you, America, for adopting GSM so late that there's no coverage yet. But then again, who needs or even wants a cell phone in the midst of such splendor, if only for checking the radar images in hope for some rain to get rid of this haze.

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In the afternoon we made it to the Moosehead Lake (note: not Pond), where the colors reached yet a new, almost disgustingly cheesy level. And we were not alone to enjoy the beauty: all of the not very numerous motels and inns were full. We followed the road further north to Rockwood where we found a bed at the Moosehead Inn. Actually, more than just a bed: a two room, four bed thing. Not really a suite, too simple (and squeaky) for that, but still plenty of space and power outlets to recharge everything that ran out of steam.

With lodging secured we headed back south along the lake and enjoyed more of the scenery. I wonder how a color blind person would enjoy it? We headed on the private logging road towards Baxter state park, but didn't get even close to it (which wasn't our intention, anyway). Instead we went on a couple of walks along Moosehead lake and another pond that remained nameless, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset while we were heading back to the inn.

Since Essan dictated the food choices so far, I decreed that we shall have dinner at the Inn, to support the local economy so to speak. Plus, things can't get much worse than yesterday, anyway. The family run inn was definitely an experience to behold: the waitress (mom) came with the menus telling us quite assertively that we shan't be pushy as the kitchen is slow. Twenty minutes later our order was taken, and a bit later my onion soup arrived. At this point the question arose whether everything in Maine was expected to be served with way too much salt, or if I've had an unlucky hand over the duration of the trip. The two skewers that were presented to me minutes later confirmed this pattern. Essan seemed much happier with her food choice than yesterday, even though this was just on a relative scale. Add to this the bad news (so I am told by my wife, of all people) that the Yankees beat Minnesota (and not Minneapolis, as Essan promptly corrected me), and the evening was in dire need of a rescue - the re-run of The Apprentice, as all Saturday re-runs mainly focused at the rather entertaining board room. After that a quick bio of John Kerry, and we were ready for bed.

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