Our two-month road trip was drawing to a close, and we had one last stop in mind: Baxter State Park. It was the perfect place to cap off our journey and showcase the stunning mountain views we'd come to expect from our travels. We arrived at the park gate, eager to explore, only to be denied entry. Our van was 2 feet too long and a few inches too tall for the size restrictions. Talk about a bummer.
But we weren't about to let a little setback spoil our adventure. We decided to find another way to see the mountain and discovered a spot called Compass Pond. It was supposed to offer a great view of the mountain from outside the park, so we set out on a mission to find it.
We followed the directions from our online research and ended up on a dirt road called the Golden Road. It was a wild ride - bumpy, dusty, and completely off the beaten track. We bounced along, shaking like crazy and stirring up a cloud of dust behind us. The cat was not amused but it still felt like we were on an epic adventure.
The Golden Road, a dirt road that goes for miles and miles that was once paved, but completely covered by dirt over the years.
After what felt like an eternity, we finally arrived at Compass Pond. There was no parking lot or designated viewing area, just a small sign on the side of the road. We pulled over and set out to find the perfect spot to view the mountain.
Chris wandered off to explore, and I sprayed Cedarcide all around to ward off any bugs. Suddenly, he called out to me from across the street, "you have to check this out!" I ran over, and he led me down a hidden path to a small clearing with an incredible view of the mountain. It was breathtaking.
I quickly got to work, sketching the scene before me and taking photos to capture the moment.
Then, as the sun began getting lower in the sky, we knew we needed to find a place to stay for the night. We decided to cut our losses and head back to the coast, making a mental note to come back and explore Baxter State Park more thoroughly another time.
Our journey had taken us to some incredible places, but our impromptu adventure to Compass Pond was one of the most surprising and memorable experiences of our trip. It was a reminder that sometimes the best adventures are the ones you stumble upon unexpectedly.
If you would like to see more of the art I created on my summer painting challenge in Maine, check out this post here.