So, Pillsbury State Park. We chose this location with the hopes of going out into either a canoe or kayak for at least one of our days at the park. Even though we left our apartment at 3:30 pm, we didn't get to our site until almost 7:00 pm (due to traffic and stopping for dinner). This meant that we didn't do much on our first night besides set up and sit by the fire. Our campsite was one of the more secluded sites and considered a 'walk-in' site, although the walk was maybe a minute long. Overall, I'd say Pillsbury State Park is more rustic than Monadock State Park as it has only latrines, and water taps.
|The marker and path leading up to our campsite.|
|Our campfire, just as it's beginning.|
On Saturday we spent the bulk of the morning and early afternoon in a canoe. We haven't honestly spent a lot of time boating, this was maybe the third time I can remember paddling together, but I think we both had a good time, and were reasonably successful (i.e. we didn't tip, and were able to navigate to where we wanted to go). Butterfield Pond (where the boat rentals are located) and May Pond are connected directly, and according to the map they're approximately 1 mile/1.6 km from tip-to-tip, then Bear Pond (0.25 miles/0.4 km) and North Pond (0.5 miles/0.8 km), can be reached by a short portage. We'd never portaged before, so we were very glad the trails between the bodies of water were short. I took the bow for the first two, but I couldn't see far ahead of me so navigation was....challenging. On the return trip Andrew took the bow, which seemed to work better. Regardless, I'm not ready for any extensive canoe camping.
|A view of May Pond from the shoreline (I didn't want to take the risk of taking the camera onto the water).|
|Bear Pond from the shoreline.|
|Andrew balancing on balancing rock.|
|Me, while we rested and ate lunch at Lucia's Lookout.|
|The view from the lookout, although this is from a spot (maybe a minute) away from the main lookout area, on the edge of the cliff.|
Just as we reached the start (or our end) of the trail a couple of park rangers were headed up to look for a group of 10 that had gotten lost, or confused, or something...At the time it struck me as very odd that a group of 10 could have gotten lost. It's a large group, and not a particularly challenging trail and someone ought to have known how to follow the trail markers. When we checked out on Monday, Andrew asked if the rangers were able to find the group--they had. Apparently no one in the group could read the map and got confused around the Moose Lookout. Oi. At least no one was hurt, although they probably got wet as it was around that time (when we saw the park rangers) when it started to rain.
It rained for most of the rest of the night. Fairly lightly to start, not even enough to thoroughly soak the ground, but around 7:30 pm that changed to quite a downpour. Thankfully we had large tarp, and had set it up for shelter on Saturday morning, so we stayed dry. We were even able to have one last campfire since the tarp reached far enough to keep it dry.
Monday was a beautiful sunny morning, although we spent most of it packing up our site, then driving home. We could have stayed at the park for part or the rest of the day if we'd wanted, but we knew we'd have to run errands and unpack when we got home--plus we expected the traffic driving into the Boston area on Labour Day Monday would probably be atrocious if we waited too long,
|One last picture of our fully packed Smart car. Next time we go on a camping trip we'll be driving something bigger.|