West Branch Pond Camps 2020Blog March 19, 2020
By LAC member Abby Gordon
This past weekend, nine LACers traveled up to West Branch Pond Camps, in Frenchman Township, east of Moosehead Lake, for what was sadly our last LAC adventure for a while. I think we all agree that the love, support and cheer we all shared this weekend was just what we needed to return to the real world Sunday evening with the strength to face the uncertainty of the coming weeks.
For better or worse, West Branch Pond Camps is off the grid. No cell phone service, no WiFi, no news! While somewhat disconcerting because of the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation, it was also wonderfully restful to have just 48 hours with no word from the outside world. Eric, who owns and runs the camps, along with his teammates Corey and Uncle Chuck, truly spoiled us with their warm welcomes and home-cooked dinners and breakfasts. While one of our guides, Carla, didn’t participate due to a recent trip to Italy (we missed you Carla!) Ann, Patty and others stepped up to lead this trip.
We arrived on Friday afternoon in pouring rain and incredibly windy conditions so had to cancel our planned afternoon ski, but enjoyed a cocktail hour before dinner together Friday night. We stayed in rustic but cozy cabins, some dating back to the opening of the camps in 1881. Everyone (well, possibly this lazy author excluded) took turns throughout each night throwing logs in the woodstoves to keep the cabins heated.
Saturday, we all snowshoed from the camps to the summit of Hedgehog Mountain, about a 5-mile round-trip adventure offering beautiful forests and views down at West Branch Pond. The sun warmed the snow up enough so by the afternoon, a bunch of us were able to hit the cross-country ski trails around the pond, which Eric had groomed just for us.
No trip to West Branch Ponds would be complete without Patty’s Old Fashioned cocktails for happy hour. But enjoying each other’s company and sharing our fears as well as quite a lot of laughter was the true prize of the weekend.
Eric led us on a shorter snowshoe Sunday morning across the pond and to the Pinnacle traverse above for views down at the camp. It was cold but clear and sunny and a wonderful way to wrap up the weekend. We were all a bit reluctant to leave this oasis on Sunday, but I think I can speak for us all that we were so happy to have made that one last LAC adventure for a while. More than ever, this weekend was a true expression of the wonderful community LAC encourages.