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  1. #1
    Deadphans's Avatar
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    Most Amazing Moment in The Woods

    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.
    "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." -D'Signore's, Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine.

  2. #2
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    I like it! Everybody needs to include pictures if they have them.

    Now I'm going to need some time to think of my most amazing....

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lorax's Avatar
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    I've been lucky to see and experience so many things in so many places in my many outdoor pursuits.
    Wildlife that makes your heart beat fast, starry nights that take your breath away, wolf howls that softly wake you from the warm bundle of slick nylon and soft downy sleep, waterfalls that make you feel like you're a kid again, mountaintops and views that go on forever. Frosty mornings and that first sip of camp coffee, snowshoeing through a muffled wonderland of white, paddling up on that feeding moose and sharing that moment in time with eyes locked before she feels all is well in our little corner of the world and goes back to feeding as you slip slowly by.

    There's just too many to list. It's what keeps us all going back for more. It's all good.

    36 states, 9 countries. down, as many more as I can fit into this lifetime to go.

  4. #4
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Lorax said it well. Having lived most of the last forty yrs in the BC interior there have been many moments but two always linger in my mind.
    In 73 i worked for Parks Canada at Bowron Lakes Prov. Park, one of the best wilderness canoeing parks in the world. The fallowing isn't my trip but good pics. Scroll to the top.
    http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/comm...n+lakes#p62630

    I was part of one of the crews that helped build and maintain the park, trails etc. We lived out on the circuit for most of the 5-6 months we were there. One evening after work i was relaxing out front of the dilapidated log cabin we were staying in that night and i just gazed out in front of me. To my left fifty ft away was a moose foraging in the lake. In front of me swimming by at the shore was a beaver. Across this small lake was a bear making its way around the far side of the lake and in the middle of the lake was a group of Alaskan Loons calling to each other. This was all happening at the same time. I realized right there this was a rare moment and drank deep. That time with Parks was a great learning for me at 22 yrs old.
    The other memorable encounter was the day after a serious bear charge. I was in the coast mnts east of Powell River in an area called the Powell Daniels in 1990. I had to go up into this valley to do some work on a site we had been on the wk before. I was alone. and working down below the road. Now normally this wouldn't be a big deal except i was still a bit jittery from the day before. Its one of the few times i've had the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I was looking around for bears but could see anything. Just as i finished work that feeling went away. I walked along the river bottom to the side hill of the road which was about 40-50' high. I climbed up and when i stood on the road there was a Rain Wolf, ( Wolf of the Great Bear Rain Forest), standing in front of me about 15' away. I dropped to my knees so as not to startle it and it just stood there looking at me and i at it. We had some deep eye contact. We were both cautious and curious. I had wished i'd had a jelly sandwich, ( Farley Mowett ).
    It slowly walked of a few feet and turned around and we looked at each other again. It did this three or four times slowly moving away. It was magic. I didn't find out till many years later that this Rain Wolf is a separate group from the other wolves of North America, having been isolated and protected my the Coast Mnts which i'm guessing is why is was more curious than fearful.
    Anyway ,,,good stuff.

    bill
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  5. #5
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Sometime in late 1972, early 1973.

    I was stationed at Ft. Sill, OK. I hadn't been there long before I discovered the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, but my sojourns out there had been pretty much relegated to driving through the park on the main road, stopping in the picnic areas to grill burgers and drink beer, or stop off to eat at the Old Plantation in Medecine Park or the Meers Store. But that was pretty much because of the guys I hanging out with at the time---none of them were hikers.

    In my barracks there werea couple of guys who worked off shifts (at the time Post Field was a 24 hour airfield operation). One of them was an old Spec 6 named Duffy who was a birdwatcher, the other two guys were young pups like me and we were aquainted, but because they all worked the same shifts (at night) they were all off at the same time, and Duffy often took them out to the Refuge on bird watching trips.

    A few months after I arrived, there was a change in the operations of the airfield and the two younger guys (Wild Wille and a guy who's name I can't remember---you don't forget Wild Willie) were put on regular shifts and we started hanging together. Talk turned to the Refuge and they told me about all the places Duffy had taken them to. After I told them about my frustration of not being able to hike with the guys I was hanging with, it was decided that they would take me someplace, and they promised me that it would be someplace special.

    We drove out to the refuge, and turned down the road to Lost Lake and past it to the parking lot at the end. Then they took me on what they called a "Duffy Trail," which wasn't a trail so much as it was a general direction, scrabbling over rocks and betwixt and between postoak. When we emerged it was near a little promontory overlooking a chasm with a three tiered waterfall at the end. That was my first look at Forty Foot Hole and I will never forget that experience. In the 40 years since, I've been back often, but not as often as I'd like.

    Its a short day hike out there, and there are a couple of good routes, but I'll never be able to re-create the "Duffy Trail" it took to get there. My avatar is a pic of the approach to it

  6. #6
    Senior Member nimbus37's Avatar
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    My experience was not as spectacular as the above, but two years ago my wife and two kids were on south manitou island. We had just finished packing up after 5 days on the island, and off in the distance, say 150 yards, we heard a huge crashing noise. As it continued my wife and I looked in the direction of the noise and we watched a tall thick tree just topple over. Mind you it was not windy! After it settled, after taking a few small trees with it to the ground, I looked at my wife and said, "I guess they do make a sound!"

  7. #7
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Sorry mines not like everyone else's, but it make me glow every time I see it.....my kids, and my better half out in the woods with me.....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

    "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift---thats why its called a present" - Master Oogway

    It's always best if your an early riser!

    I like hiking as it's like exercise!

    My Blog

  8. #8
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    I think this is a hard thread to talk about. Not everyone has had dramatic memorable things happen in the woods but i think the warm feeling cranky bear talks about is pretty common and is what keeps people coming back to the woods. For me most of the time its a group of subtle things together, a kind of zen moment of light, gentle breeze, maybe rippling water near by, that creates that " all is right in the universe", warm, moment.



    bill
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  9. #9

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    How about schlepping my canoe across a carry in Algonquin park about dusk. Most of the way over I just felt like it was break time. Racked the boat in a tree for an looked up to see a bull moose standing there watching me. He was stock still blending into the brush along side the trail. Said Hi Moose and back out to go get my pack. By the time I got back he had moved on.
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  10. #10
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    I am with Cranky Bear. The first real hiking trip 2sticks and I took will always be with me. The pure excitement she expressed was a memory I will always have. We have had lots of times in the woods but this one stands out.

    BTW here is our trip report from 2010

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