North Maine Woods Expedition

North Maine Woods Expeditions

Bertrand Pelletier (University of Maine)

June and July, 2004


The primary objectives for the month of June were logistical in nature.   The North Maine Woods are a 3 million acre working forest that has multiple land owners.   It is necessary to obtain permissions from landowners in order to work in specified areas.   The two primary landowners for my research are 7-Islands Land Company and Irving Woodlands.

June 6-10 2004:   “Windy-City”/ Oxbow expedition:

Over 20 years ago Rob Bonnichsen identified the Munsungan Lakes region as a key paleoindian resourse.   This expedition had 2 primary objectives the first was to re-locate the Windy City site as well as the USGS datum located in the vicinity.   The second was to locate the Oxbow peat.   The oxbow peat is the geologic evidence for the Oxbow Remnant Ice Patch and is critical in understanding the relatively late deglaciation of the area.   The Windy City portion of this expedition was successful while locating the oxbow peat was not.   The peat is ephemeral and more time is needed to track it down.

June 28- July 2 2004:   Chandler Mountain preliminary investigation.

The purpose of this trip was to survey the area around Chandler Mountain in order to identify possible lithic sources and game lookouts near the proposed Oxbow Ice Margin.   Peter Leach and I climbed what we believed to be Chandler Mountain.   We later discovered that we were not on Chandler Mtn but on a nearby hill.   This fact emphasizes the difficulties in working in a thickly wooded environment.   We also discovered a lithic source on the backside of Chandler.   This bolstered my enthusiasm regarding the area.   Glacial striations were also identified on this trip.   Their meaning has yet to be determined.   I needed to get to the top of Chandler Mountain!


As mentioned in the last entry, Chandler Mountain had become the primary area of interest.   High grade lithic material was identified nearby and the mountain offered a pristine view of the area proposed to be covered by the ice patch.   July was also the month that I brought my advisors, Brian Robinson and Brenda Hall up to the woods to show them the research area.

July 20, 2004:

Brian Robinson and Brenda Hall arrive for a day trip. We went to a sandpit and then to the area where striations were discovered during the previous trip.   We then proceeded to the “ice side” of Chandler Mountain to look at the soil formation of the area.   We then proceeded to Munsungan Lake to look at the geology of the “Thoroughfare”.   Due to the difficulties in moving about through the North Woods a considerable amount of time was spent driving.   From the paved road it is approximately 60 miles of logging roads to reach Munsungan Lake.   Many of these roads are single track and unmaintained. This is a critical factor and must be taken into consideration during the initial design of any research projects in the area.

July 21, 2004:   Chandler Mountain Expedition:

Climbed Chandler Mountain and began survey.   Found nothing on mesa. Area may still be significant but due to lack of time and other areas of interest Chandler Mountain investigations have been completed.

Chandler Mountain
Chandler Mountain

In the mean time, we will try to send short messages about how things are going.