Mount Starr King 3914' and Mount Waumbek 4006'
Starr King Trail
7.2 Miles 2650' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
Mother nature messed with our plans this weekend. There were a couple of hikes we would have liked to have attended with friends who were finishing various lists but when the forecast for Saturday dictated moving the hikes to Sunday we had to opt out because of other commitments. So, changing gears, we decided since we would be in the area that we would knock off one of the few remaining on our autumn list and pay a visit to old friend Mount Waumbek in the Pliny Range.
Cool Enough for Hot Dogs
We drove over from Gorham in a soaking rain which let up somewhat at the trailhead as we set out. We set out through wet leaves on trails that better resembled brooks. Before we were above the deciduous forest we met a young couple on their way down who warned of snow up above. They might have been a little surprised as a smile broke a mile wide across my face. I hadn't thought about there being any snow at these elevations. With the summits invisible behind heavy clouds we had no way of knowing beforehand.
We found the first traces of snow at about 2500' and by the time we entered the conifers at 2900' there was a good inch coating everything. We had gone from wet leaves and flowing water to standing water and mud to snow and mud as we rose a thousand feet in elevation. On the highpoint of Starr King I stopped to bundle up now that the bulk of the climb was done. I thought I heard a snort in the woods, but I put it off to imagination until on the return from Waumbek we could see from fresh tracks that a moose had followed us, though we never saw him.
Jack Frost's Work
This had been a good pick for a day like this where there would be no views anywhere for most of the day. Mother Nature made it up to us for changing our plans by providing lovely views of boreal forest frosted and beautiful on a viewless ridge. Despite boot-sucking mud along the trail our surroundings were enchanting enough to drive complaints about trail conditions out of our minds. As we returned to Starr King we met several groups on their way to Waumbek. Hope they enjoyed their surroundings as much as we did!
Complete set of pics HERE: