Day 3: Bushwhacking

# The Morning

Once again, sleeping so soundly we are awakened by the morning breakfast bell. What’s becoming a delicious pattern is awaiting us; homemade blueberry pancakes. We make a plan with Eric and he agrees to drive us out to Second Roach Pond. I have no vehicle as it’s still in town awaiting parts. And even if I did have it, it wouldn’t make it very far towards Second Roach Pond. It’s a gray day, but we’re happy to be brought back to where I did my research 21 years ago. Eric drops us off at the eastern end of the pond, by the little island I used as a campsite for a few weeks. A loon appears, curious as to who is here now.

curious loon on second roach

The area surrounding the pond looks far more overgrown than I remember. It takes me a bit to get my bearings, but slowly they all come back to me. The island is separated by a shallow which seems to have gotten smaller and more shallow. We ponder wading across it, but figure getting soaked at the start of the day isn’t worth it.

We arranged to be picked up in a few hours at a spot a few km west of here, so we need to get hiking. It’s a good two hours hike at least. We hear the old access road is overgrown, so it’s not going to be quick walking.

Right away, we find the old truck wreckage, still there. The wreckage was old when I was doing research 21 years ago. It looks like someone has tried to pull the engine and haul the metal in for scrap. However, they clearly gave up easily.

old truck wreckage

Some parts of the old access road are in pretty good shape, others completely overgrown. After the rains last night, everything is wet; including us.The old culverts and dams are gone, so streams run across the path, knee deep in some spots. Other parts are just returning to an open field.

the old access road

You can still make out the path of the road through the field and trees. Notice the water in the foreground between the tufts of grass. We come across what looks like moose bedding marks–where a moose lays down for the night to sleep, or maybe a deer.
After a bit more, we finally make it to the meeting spot, helpfully marked by the two signs.

wbpc and medawisla

Wearing jeans was a silly mistake, as they are soaked. My boots, socks, and shirt are wet as well. As the Norwegian say, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing” or something. It was a good hike. Muddy shoes are the sign of having a good time.

muddy shoes

John and Amber, our ride, come to pick us up. He used to run Medawisla Camp, before AMC took it over and leveled it. We head over to check it out. The boat ramp is still intact and we surprise a young bull moose eating away.

young bull

John has some errands to run in town, so we head along with him. We have a nice bag lunch to go from Auntie M’s restaurant and head back to WBPC for the afternoon.

# The Afternoon

We stick around the camps enjoying the view and spend some time out on the pond in a row boat.

the view

A front is trying to push over White Cap in the distance, making for some nice scenery between the puffy white clouds , blue skies, and green mountains. We decide to stay an extra day because the car parts are still not in, so we’re going to climb White Cap tomorrow. We move into a different cabin to accommodate a reservation in our current cabin. The new cabin sleeps ten, plus has two huge couches, and a full bath with an old clawfoot bathtub. The hot water is great. We have a hearty dinner and turn in for the night.

This is the fourth in a series of posts recounting the return to West Branch Pond Camps after 21 years. The full set of images are at my smugmug gallery.

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