White ibis

White ibis
Ibis

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

When Aroostook NWR was a Secret Air Base

Saturday morning, I took an early bike ride along the auto tour and found the tour ended up at the secret Air Base for Surface to Air Missiles. While the base is not part of the refuge, the nuclear storage facility is and the gates are open one one can go in and explore.  Some of the doors are off the missile silos, so I even checked inside.


Map of Loring Air Force Base as it is today

Map of the nucular storage area

One of the bunkered buildings



A long view on the Nuclear Storage Facility

Now the area is for meadow dwelling birds, including upland sandpipers
 - but this here is a song sparrow

The road not taken - THEN I found it went to moose and eagle observing area 

Another building

Some of the bomb bunkers

The spider webs were glowing in the early light

Bomb bunkers

Loved the bluebird house on the front

I've never seen this type of light- they lined the bunkers

Another closed-up building


Then I took some roads off the loop road that is part of the driving tour, and eventually ran out of roads. So my bike and I tried to cut another road or trail, rather unsuccessfully. I was stubborn enough to drag my bike through brush, some of it chest high, for over a quarter of a mile.  Finally I had to go back the way I'd come. I ended up doing almost fourteen miles, about two of it on foot pushing the bike. But it was a beautiful trip.

After I ate a late breakfast I went to visit the nature center and chat with a local volunteer who was managing it. She told me that Lake Loring was just down the road I did not travel.  And it is prime moose country.  I hoped to visit it before I leave here by mid Sunday morning, to head to Baxter State Park, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Sunday was dark and rainy, so I abandoned plans to explore more and just hung out and got my stuff into the car between showers. Something told me to check to be sure I had my tent.  Sure enough, I had my winter clothes bag instead of my tent bag. So Sunday consisted of driving seven hours to retrieve it, before going to Baxter.  Currently I'm recuperating from yesterday's. hike.