The Appalachian Trail

The Postmark Adventures of Kelvin Kindahl, Part 16

July 17 -- I had been to West Peru, Peru, and Dixfield several years ago. Since that time Peru closed and subsequently West Peru changed its name to Peru. Therefore, although I had once been to Peru, ME 04273, I had never been to Peru, ME 04290.

I also had not gotten to East Dixfield last time. The East Dixfield post office is actually right over the town line in Wilton, in Franklin County rather than Oxford County. If it moved across the street, it would be in Dixfield.

July 18 -- Like yesterday, my route took me south of the trail into the more populated part of Maine. A glance at the map swill show that much of Maine's population, and therefore post offices, is in the southwestern quarter of so of the state. The trail tens to be slight north of that area.

The day's first stop was Roxbury, which turns out to be located at Frye, several miles to the south. The Frye post office closed several years ago and the Roxbury office has moved to the village where the Frye office once was.

July 19 -- There are only four post offices in the northern half of Franklin County. East of here, there is one post office in the northern half of Somerset County and none at all in the northern half of Piscataquis County. Although the area is remote and beautiful, none of the post offices are particularly exciting. Stratton is a mail stop for us and IS exciting.

July 21 -- Heading south, I went to Augusta, Maine. I had been to the Water Street Sx downtown some years back, and I've seen the main office, but hadn't stopped before. Augusta used to have three stations but one of them has closed.

One of the two remaining ones is at a large Veterans Administration hospital at Togus, east of the city. There has been a post office here for many years. At various times it has been named National Military Asylum, National Military Home, National Soldiers Home, Togus, Togus Branch of Augusta, Veterans Administration Branch of Augusta, and now simply Branch #3 of Augusta.

July 22 -- Ann is out for three days once again. From here to Katahdin has some of the most remote parts of the whole trail, and there is nowhere to meet until Wednesday, which enables me to travel farther from the trail.

Today I was able to visit 23 post offices and get 42 postmarks. I sent over to the coast, from Brunswick up to Boothbay Harbor. I've been up and down Route 1 through here many times, but usually without stopping at post offices, so there are several along Route 1 and even more off the highways.

The Brunswick Naval Air Station (MOU #1) has no guard at the gate, so access was not a problem. Capitol Island CPO, Boothbay Harbor, was easy to get to because a one-lane wooden bridge was built by a group of residents in the 1970s. Isle of Springs CPO, Boothbay, and Squirrel Island CPO, Boothbay harbor, will both have to wait for a future trip; I don't have time now to wait for the ferries.

July 23 -- The earlier incarnation of the Whitefield post office closed several years back, and subsequently, North Whitefield changed its name to Whitefield. The post office is still in the same building, and the mark of the word 'North' is still visible where it was removed from the sign.

The East Vassalboro clerk in charge expects that her office will either close of be changed to a CPO at some point. A postmaster has not been appointed, and North Vassalboro will be moving in a new building next month.

In Waterville, where I'd been to the main post office once before, I went to Colby College. None of the summer school students seemed to know where the post office was, but eventually I found it, closed up until fall. Fortunately, someone came along who told me to go to the mail services office in a building next door, and it turns out the post office simply moves in with campus mail services for the summer.