We awoke to freezing temperatures and the knowledge that we needed to pack up and head home. We gulped our hot oatmeal and coffee in the protection of the car to avoid the heat-stealing wind. We packed up, discussed hummingbirds and the advent of internet locally with the ancient park ranger upon check-out, and attempted to find the headwaters of the Connecticut River yet again.

This time we bravely parked at the “last turnaround before border” sign and, per the park ranger’s suggestion, followed the footpath around the barbed fences protecting US Customs, ventured across the road in the no-man’s-land between US and Canadian Customs, and followed the trail up and west to the Fourth Connecticut Lake.

Here, snow had dusted the ground only hours before and trout lily flowers and ferns were bent and shriveled due to the unexpected late season cold and snow.

Trout Lilies in Snow
Trout Lilies overwhelmed with late May snow

My personal goal for this trip was to see a northeastern moose, which I have seen on many occasions but by which I am always thrilled regardless. As the trail dipped down to a marshy pond (the Fourth Connecticut Lake), I saw two healthy moose on the opposite side. We drove back feeling like the trip was complete: catching wild native fish and seeing moose and loons made for a worthy experience, despite the unseasonably cold temperatures and the lack of formal planning.

Moose at Fourth CT Lake

For the rest of the In Search of Salmon series, follow these links:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three