In lieu of the scariest moment in the woods thread I thought to make the opposite...the most amazing moment in the woods. Now for many of us that is probably very hard to do, as many moments are amazing. But I am sure we have that one story that really stands out in our mind. It could be an animal encounter, spiritual/religious experience, whatever and what have you. I would love to hear it.
I will start:
Let me start with the setting, sometime late summer early Fall on a trail called Bold Coast, Cutler along the steep cliffs on down east Maine...Campobello Island (Canada) can be seen on the horizon. A perfect easy over night trip within 20 minutes of my University (we went often!). The trail is 12 miles total, rectangular shaped, 6 miles through the woods and approximately 6 miles along the coast with campsites dotted along the coastal trail near a light house. Beautiful, serene, picture perfect "post card" trail. Tons of wildlife and very little people. Although with the recent mention in Backpacker Magazine it has boosted foot traffic a little.
We arrived at the primitive campsite about two hours before dusk on a beautiful September - early October night (cant remember the exact date). We set up camp, fired up our stoves and cooked dinner. A few coyotes can be heard in the distance and it was so very humbling to be out there. When doing the Bold Coast we almost always bring a bottle of Jim Beam. So there we were, bellies full, relaxing on the rocks along the cliffs sipping back Jim Beam, watching the sun set over the woods and the pink sky over the water, talking about ecology, Jack Kerouac, music, what have you.
When all of a sudden we hear "PFFFFFFFFFFFFFF" and a huge spray of mist comes bellowing out of the water. We peer down the approximately 30 foot cliff and right below us was something puffing water out of its blow hole. We thought dolphin, but the sound was too deep and the water coming out was too powerful. All of a sudden it emerged again, PFFFFFFFFFFFF, this time we could see the dark outline of a WHALE!!!!!!! We couldn't believe it. I mean literally this thing was right under our feet, of course 30 feet below us. (I could have jumped on the back and rode all the way to Campobello Island).
It was so incredible I could not wipe the smile off my face if I tried. The whole night was majestic and very spiritually powerful. The colors, the setting, the light house, the whale, the piney woods and smells. It was truly incredible.
For anyone interested, the Whale we saw was most likely a Minke Whale migrating for the winter.