There's something kind of disconcerting about heading up to Northern Maine. I've been making the trip my entire life, and I still get creeped out. During the summer months, where there is an influx of traffic that seems to get worse every year in most of the state, but as soon as you get above Bangor, the highway and streets are eerily empty. No cars, no towns, no people. Just woods. The kind of woods that if you walked 10 feet into them, you could manage to get lost and never be heard from again.
True story: when I was 6, my aunt told me their were dinosaurs living out back in the woods. Even though I knew they were all long dead and fossilized and I wasn't a particularly gullible kid, I totally believed her. They are the kind of woods that can hold a secret.
It's the kind of place where you stop to help the turtles across the road.
Also, rather terrifyingly, moose abound.
Moose are fearless. Their only natural predator are wolves, and there are few of those even in these woods. They do not bat an eye when you stumble upon one, and unlike deer, they will stand their ground and even charge if they think you are a threat. They are also too stupid to be afraid of cars, and they frequently congregate on the sides of the road to lick off rock salt leftover from the winter.
This is why moose hunting is not a sport.
They are quite tasty though. The biggest challenge being to drag something that huge out of the woods, but those who do have a nice freezer full of meat for the winter.
I've only been able to take pictures of the ass ends of deer as they are running away, but you could sit in front of a moose and take pictures until you are bored. They stare at you placidly and stupidly and go about their day.
Oh, and in this part of Maine, you can get on a list with the local game wardens. If someone hits and kills a deer with their car, the warden will call you up to come fetch your roadkill.
So, the creepy factor continues. The town of Millinocket is still desolate and economically depressed. There are more empty houses and full, and it's just quiet in a way it shouldn't be.
Want to buy a house here? 3 bedrooms start at $25,000. You can pay your downpayment with whatever you find under your sofa cushions. You will probably have to commute to work 60 miles each way to Bangor, meaning your gas will cost more than your mortgage.
It's just odd to walk around and encounter almost no one. Despite their being sidewalks, no one actually seems to use them.
Hence the need to leave town and head to the lake, where it's okay that no one else is around.