Thursday, October 25, 2007

Week 7/Maine/100 Mile Wilderness

Well, folks, we packed up, left the Mahoosucs, and went up to the beginning of the 100 Mile Wilderness near Monson, Maine.

Here's Stihl on the road trip up to Maine:

This week, we worked on a section of boundary where the survey is 20+ years old, the spruce and firs are extremely thick, the blazes are so faded that the boundary is almost unrecognizable, and some of the adjacent land is being logged. Sound familiar? We're pretty much encountering the same, and in some cases worse, conditions of the boundary here in the 100 Miles Wilderness as we did in the Mahoosucs.

Most of this boundary was extremely thick with spruce and firs. Once you stepped about 5 feet into the trees, you were pretty much hidden. Here's Sally, or at least the "X" on her vest. She's out in front finding and flagging the boundary line.

Sally managed to get a photo back at us through all of the brush.

Along with the faded paint and thick spruce/fir conditions, there were spots of about 300 feet long where there wasn't a line tree. Where there were line trees, they were in very faded condition. Where there were signs, which were fewer than line trees, they had either popped off of the trees or were about to. The boundary team was pretty much looking for specks of yellow paint in an dense forest.

And in some spots, we didn't even have those flecks. Here's a reference tree blaze:

Here's a freshly cleared section of boundary. What is now cut was as thick as the trees on either side and the trees in the next photos. It was a rough and demanding section of boundary to work in, but we had a good time!

Painted line - much easier to see!

Eventually, and thankfully, we did get into some hardwoods. The paint was still extremely faded and the signs were still in bad shape, but at least it was less dense.

Can you tell there's a boundary blaze on this next tree?

Painted Blaze - much easier to see:

And here's the team. Sally looking at maps. Ray checking the bearings. And Ellen with her saw, or course.

Being in the 100 Mile Wilderness, we got to hike past some beautiful ponds. And we found a really nice stream on the boundary. It was even a warm enough day that we dunked our heads in and cooled down.

And from here, we're headed back down to New Hampshire to work with the Dartmouth Outing Club for a week.

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