TELSTAR, Grafton Notch


Telstar COMSAT Earth Station, Grafton Notch State Park and The White Mountains National Forest are all located in the same area of western Maine. Students expressed interest in visiting Telstar while Grafton Notch State Park and The White Mountains National Forest were added to expose students to the geography and gelogical aspects of the section of the state. Contact Andover Earth Station....

From the Bangor area Telstar is reached by following Route 2 to the Rumford-Mexico area. From here follow Route 120 to Andover. The Earth Station is located on Route 120. From Bangor this is a three hour trip which includes rest stops at rest and picnic areas.

At Telstar a twenty minute movie concerning the COMSAT communications system is shown and is followed by a lecture in the lobby of the information building. This procedure may be reversed in the case of large groups. The groups may be split into two parts. WHile one group is viewing the movie the other is hearing the lecture. The lobby area has many displays and models dealing with the system. Students are allowed in the large dome shaped building to view the receiver-transmitter from a glassed in observation point. The dish shaped receiver-transmitter can be viewed from a distance. The main function of this station is telephone communication with Europe via satellites while television transmission is also available. Total time at Telstar was one hour and forty-five minutes.

From Telstar, following Route 120 towards Andover, you will find a municipal picnic area. There is also a store a little further along Route 120.

Following lunch, we traveled straight through the junction of Route 120 and Route 5. This road will take you tot Route 26 in Upton. Turn left on Route 26 and travel to Grafton Notch State Park. There are several turnouts for hiking, climbing, and photography. Also plan to visit Moose Cave, Moss Garden, Table Rock and Screw Auger Falls. All of these sites are well marked with signs. Table Rock involves a climb. Screw Auger Falls is the most impressive of the stops because of its unique appearance due to geological considerations.

From Grafton Notch State Park it is a forty-five minute drive through the outskirts of the White Mountains National Forest to Gorham, New Hampshire. At this point you are not very far from Mount Washington and if time permits and activity involving the mountain may be planned.

The dinner meal was enjoyed in...Rumford and return travel to the Bangor area found us traveling Route 2. This was a long day's travel. Twelve hours were spent traveling and 328 miles covered.

* Not visited in 1980.

(Excerpt from The Maine Journey Field Trip Guide, 1980, p.30-31.)

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