The sign in the unorganized township of Blanchard calls it the Taylor Road. Whatever its real name, it's smoother than it was the first year I drove it to find the access into the AT and corridor. I suspect the large amount of rain last spring damaged the rocky road, and Piscataquis County sent a guy -- or gal -- on a road grader over it. Because this year I didn't scrape the bottom of Ellie Echo at all, just her front bumper a little when she climbed out of a bit of a gully where a logger's bridge carried us across a brook.
Well, helping anyway. Actually in a very small way. Truthfully, last week's efforts didn't really help at all except to note that a logging operation abutting the Appalachian Trail corridor has moved east a bit and has not crossed into the AT corridor.
Last week we missed the mark. We were looking for an aluminum permanent boundary marker at a bend in the corridor line and supposedly right at the edge of Breakneck Ridge Road.
Oh yeah, it's not really Breakneck Ridge Road. It's just that some people call it that because it traverses the north border -- and briefly the edge -- of Breakneck Ridge immediately south of Horseshoe Canyon, where the AT is located alongside the Piscataquis River.
The sign in the unorganized township of Blanchard calls it the Taylor Road.
Whatever its real name, it's smoother than it was the first year I drove it to find the access into the AT and corridor. I suspect the large amount of rain last spring damaged the rocky road, and Piscataquis County sent a guy -- or gal -- on a road grader over it. Because this year I didn't scrape the bottom of Ellie Echo at all, just her front bumper a little when she climbed out of a bit of a gully where a logger's bridge carried us across a brook.
That first year I met a couple of ladies -- not sure what ladies were doing on Breakneck Ridge (showing my ingrown sexism) -- coming out in a van while Ellie and I were headed in. They pulled off the road onto a wider gravel place so I could pass. I stopped to greet them and thank them.
Everyone waves to you -- usually a half-dozen -- as they pass you in their pickups. If you're stopped, they stop too. They want to make sure you're alive and well. It's not like that in many places in Maine, where life is supposed to be the way it should be.
That first year the two ladies assured me I couldn't drive in the road.
"Why?" I asked. "Is it illegal?"
"No," one of them said, "it's just too rough for your little Toyota."
I thanked them. They drove out, heading east. I drove on in, heading west. Never tell a Toyota where it can't go.
This trip no one warned us not to go in.
In fact, a couple of Acadia National Park rangers had gotten out their maps and calculated the GPS settings of the permanent marker.
On my bus recently, one of those rangers asked if we'd gone in yet to find the marker.
"No," I replied, "that's next weekend's plan. But I should warn you, if I don't show up Monday to drive you to work, you'll understand that your setting wasn't quite right and I backed up too far and fell into Horseshoe Canyon."
I'm not sure he believed me.
I had practiced in our yard using the GPS someone had given me two years earlier. Geez, it worked! It even told me the setting the rangers had given me was 74 miles northwest of our house, not counting the curves and wrinkles in the roads heading that way.
I turned the GPS on as I drove in the road. I couldn't get it to work right. I handed it to Dolores.
"It doesn't work like it did at home," I said. "Maybe you can figure out how to work it."
"I don't know anything about it," she said.
Left Frame: A bit of the Appalachian Trail heading north about a mile past where our "missing" permanent corridor marker should be located. Approximately 85 miles farther east brings the hiker to the northern end of the AT, mile-high Katahdin in Baxter State Park. Milt Gross photo. Right Frame: This old woods road is what I two years ago thought was the access to my section of Appalachian Trail corridor. I had followed it north, waded through a bog while doing so, and then found I had turned south. Nope this wasn't the road. I found the right access road last year. Milt Gross photo.
We came to the access road I had walked down to find the permanent marker I had GPSed (new verb) the year before. I got out and told Dolores I was going to walk down it a brief distance, which I did.
I came back in a few minutes, and she handed me the GPS.
"Is this right?" she asked.
The page showed the original marker, and stated that it was 800 feet into the woods.
"Exactly," I said. "How'd you do that?"
"I have no idea," she said.
"Maybe you can find the waypoint of the marker we're looking for," I said.
"I have no idea how," she said.
In a few seconds, she said, "Would this be it?"
It was! Wow! And neither one of us knew how to really work the little plastic monster.
I wondered how Davie Crockett and Daniel Boone had found their way West without one.
In Ellie Echo, I drive east, watching the numbers on the GPS in Dolores' hand grow smaller. They began at 3.5 miles and reduced as we drove.
Then it showed 1,000 feet, and we got excited as we went forward.
Suddenly, it became 500 feet, then a blank, and the number was growing again. I looked at the number growing and the indicator arrow that points to the direction of the numbers was pointing south, away from the road, on the wrong side of the road. Above us in that direction was Breakneck Ridge, not the AT nor Horseshoe Canyon nor the corridor line.
Wow! The GPS worked. The numbers were wrong.
On the way out, I tell Dolores the only way to find it is next summer for me to walk down the original access road to the known marker and follow the yellow blazes of the AT corridor boundary east, up the heavily wooded canyon wall, and find the marker we're seeking when I come out of the woods onto the road.
At that point, I'll hang a plastic "U.S. Boundary" sign on a tree and place orange tape around a tree so it is plainly visible from the road. I'll also GPS that marker, so it will forever be in the plastic gadget and whoever needs to find the marker can actually follow the GPS settings to it.
That's next year. This year we didn't find it.
According to statistics Dave Field, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club overseer of lands emailed me, there are 31,646 acres of AT land in Maine. The number of AT corridor miles is 301.24. There are 2,042 permanent boundary monuments along those borders that are on both sides of an approximate 1,000-foot wide corridor.
The AT in Maine is divided into 70 corridor-monitoring sections with about 65 of them assigned to volunteer MATC members. By the end of 2009, the year of the report Field emailed, 297 permanent monuments had been identified.
The idea is to identify, digitally photograph and record descriptions of the monuments and their immediate locations, just in case. In case, maybe, a moose decides to build a moose condo within the AT corridor. Understand moose are certainly allowed in, and they are there whether we like it or not -- I like it in principal, but they do scare me when I meet them in those dark, lonely woods. Or in case a logging company wants to log within the AT corridor.
The corridor is part of the longest national park in the world, over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Katahdin.
A GPS isn't necessary. A MATC member can also find these markers by finding the three "witness trees" that locate them and are described in written material provided by Field. Now finding those witness trees, many of which were marked and described nearly 40 years ago, can be fun too. Many of them are buried in forest duff or hidden under a blowdown. The one I found last year was actually protruding from the leafy ground a couple of inches.
By the way, this marker search is going on along the entire AT from Georgia to Maine.
Which I why I'm using the GPS. If I can record the GPS settings of the handful I locate, another volunteer or whoever needs to can easily find them.
These three trees may -- or may not -- be the three "witness trees" to help us locate the permanent Appalachian Trail boundary marker we're trying to find. The space beyond the trees is Horseshoe Canyon through which the AT runs alongside the Piscataquis River. Dolores Bernier photo.
Dolores has known for years what I do while out wandering these woods, but this year she did it with me.
"I love the Maine woods and the AT," she said as we drove home.
I thought of next year, walking that 3.5 miles of yellow-blaze-marked trees that form the line uphill through the woods of Horseshoe Canyon until I reach Breakneck Ridge Road.
Hope I don't break a leg.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at
"Think of the story of Jesus walking on the water, found in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52," Strobel writes, quoting a scholar he was interviewing. "Most English translations hide the Greek by quoting Jesus as saying, 'Fear not, it is I.' Actually, the Greek literally says, 'Fear not, I am.' Those last two words are identical to what Jesus said in John 8:58, when he took upon himself the divine name 'I AM,' which is the way God revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. So Jesus is revealing himself as the one who has the same divine power over nature as Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament."
A man way up in Danforth, actually who was known in those long-ago days when you could describe him such as the town drunk, said to me while we were in the general store, "I touched a moose and nobody believes me." He explained that he had canoed down the river, landed on a small island, and seen a moose standing still, just standing there. The man had walked up to the moose and touched its nose. It still stood there.I knew that in those days there was a nerve disease circulating through moose herds, which rendered them fairly helpless. They would just stand still, even if you didn't touch their noses.
Before leaving the dock, the Elizabeth Ann's captain, held up a lifejacket for us to see and even strapped it around himself. He explained that should we tip over -- maybe diesel-powered vessels don't tip over like our canoe doesn't because we're careful and cowardly about being in Maine's cold, cold water -- those life jackets would save our lives. I wondered why you just wouldn't hold onto the vessel as we would our canoe in the event it ever tipped over. Probably some Coast Guard rule.
The approximately 150 miles of trails are as varied and scenic as ever, and the Island Explorer buses allow circle hikes. Up one trail and down another. Not yet succumbing to GPS except to find corridor-boundary markers and recording their GPS settings along the Appalachian Trail (150 miles north of Acadia) as a Maine Appalachian Trail Club volunteer, I recommend a map that shows Acadia National Park's trails. The long southern part of Cadillac mountain, which the 3.5-mile South Ridge Trail follows from Route 3 to the summit.
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About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.