The Appalachian Trail

The Postmark Adventures of Kelvin Kindahl, Part 17

July 24 -- Went up Route 27 through Coburn Core and into Quebec. Coburn Gore, at the Canadian Border, hasn't had a post office since 1960. About all that is there now is two very expensive gas stations, 20 miles from Stratton. Although I thought the gas was expensive, I'm sure the Canadians think otherwise, and that's why the stations are there.

Not having any good up-to-date list of Quebec post offices, I simply looked around each time I entered a town. I found six corporate (Canada Post Corporation) post offices and four RPOs (Retail Post Offices), somewhat akin to our contract stations of CPOs.

July 28 -- Went to the only three post offices in the northern half of Somerset County: Caratunk, West Forks, and Jackman. I could have continued into Canada, but it was a damp and dreary day, and I didn't have a lot of time. Instead, I turned around to go meet Ann at the Kennebec River crossing, and we took the afternoon off.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club operates a canoe ferry to get hikers across the river, as there is no bridge and it is much to dangerous to ford.

July 29-31 -- The trail is now going through an area where I have previously been to most of the post offices, so I have to travel a ways south to get any new ones. Went to a number of small towns, mostly in western Penobscot and northern Waldo counties.

I have also spent some time wandering around the backroads of central Maine, far from any post offices, scouting potential meeting places with Ann. Between Monson and Katahdin is the so-called "Hundred Mile Wilderness", where the trail doesn't cross any paved roads, and the few places I will be able to drive to are accessible only by paper company-owned logging roads, which aren't always built for two wheel-drive vehicles.

Maine has probably been my favorite state of the whole trip. It is one of the most beautiful, I am already familiar with it, and I have had the opportunity to go to several places which for years I've only stared at on the map.

August 1 -- Went to the Bangor area and visited the Eastern Maine P&DC in Hampden. Found Bangor's three contract stations, but discovered that Station #1 closed three months ago. Some years back, I had gone to East Holden, which had since changed its name to Holden, so I was happy to visit Holden. East Eddington also dropped the "East" from its name, but I had never been to East Eddington.

Cardville, Costigan, and Olamon may all be closing before too long. Plans call for a new building to be build on the main highway, which the Cardville office will move to and change the name to Greenbush. Greenbush is the name of the town which both Cardville and Olamon are in. Costigan is in Milford, close to the Greenbush town line.

August 4 -- Went east today, into Washington County and through a small piece of New Brunswick. Unfortunately, there were no post offices in the one New Brunswick town I went through.

Wytopitlock was the first post office I've ever been to in Aroostook County, the northernmost county in Maine. It was the last county in New England where I hadn't been to any post offices. At Orient, the postmaster had just gotten his four-bar canceller mailed to him from the manufacturer.

I'm not sure if it was brand new, or had been sent back for repair. It was one of the self-inkers and from what I've seen and been told these often break and have to be returned for repairs. Either way he opened the package in front of me, and gave me the very first impressions of it.

August 7 -- Today I went into New Brunswick and went to six post offices, including one RPO in Woodstock. West as far North as Presque Isle, the town where PMCC member Dave Lyman works, but did not get to Caribou where he lives.