The land trust’s annual monitoring trip to the Mount Abraham easement marked the initial visit of a new stewardship volunteer – Mike Marrone. Mike is a New Gloucester native who returned to Maine from Colorado, having experienced the majesty of the American West. As we all know, there’s no place like Maine, and Mike came home to volunteer for the land trust as a monitor of conservation easements. He currently works for TD Bank as a supervisor at the Auburn Contact Center and will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in the fall of 2016 with his girlfriend, Brittany.
Mike and land trust Executive Director Simon Rucker headed up the Fire Warden Trail on a clear, cold Saturday for the annual conservation easement monitoring visit. Mike is an experienced hiker but had never climbed Mount Abraham, which is a spectacular mountain with a variety of interesting terrain and features. Despite this, it is often overlooked for day trips and there was only one other group on the mountain that day. The first surprise they encountered were the TWO NEW BRIDGES over Rapid Stream.
Many a Mount Abraham trip had been made more harrowing by having to cross the two streams just to reach the trailhead. We are happy to report that, with the installation of these bridges, high-clearance vehicles can once again drive right to the Fire Warden Trail trailhead.
Mike and Simon made it to the summit – about 4.5 miles – in about 2.5 hours. The summit was wind and very cold and there was some icing above treeline. Despite the conditions, they were able to inspect portions of the easement area shown above. Another significant year-over-year change to the property (which is owned by the State of Maine) was that the old fire tower structure had fallen over.
The two chose to eat lunch lower down the trail on the return hike and despite the shortening of the days, made it back to the car before sunset. It was a great day and it was great to have Mike aboard for stewardship duties!