Thursday, December 12, 2013
I'm going to rewind for one post, back to an early fall camping trip that brought us North, nearby the U.S./Canadian border, to Rangeley, Maine. I've found it to be one of the most serene areas in Maine to relax by and cook over a campfire, cast a trout line, and sleep beneath a patch of the most serene sky that one can find. And trip intentions were just that - a weekend escape with the dogs to kindle fires and breathe in the scent of rising pine smoke from wood split by my own hand, to take one last bitterly cold afternoon dip in the lake in front of our remote campsite, and settle in to the sounds of silence that is so often unfound.
Packing simplicity of car camping. Two large drawstring bags contain each of our sleeping bags and respective pad, mine a bit cushier because you might as well retain comfort when relaxation is the key. An Igloo cooler sloshes our bacon and beer back and forth amongst the ice. My Maine Guide Tote holds shorts and the much anticipated longer pants that the fall air will require. The black Bean's duffle in front contains our spacious 6-man tent and last bag contains fry pans, fishing poles, an axe and other fun gear.
Canadian Geese begin making their voyage South. Imaginably, they will hold out in Florida until the snow decides to melt. I would aim to follow, given the opportunity.
I snag a close-up shot of one of the oldest dams in our State, Aziscohos Dam, completed in 1911. I think there is a unique beauty to it. Aziscohos is a unique lake, named by the Abnaki Indians, it means "Small Pine Trees".
Trees sometimes tend to sprout, grow and survive in some of the strangest spots. Here, I find a deep dark crevice with full-grown trees clinging to life as they hang over the edges. I love to venture off the beaten trail, particularly in remote areas, where I can imaginably stand where no other ever has. A unique feeling rolls over your entire body when you venture miles into the woods, and admittedly others probably have stepped over this exact square foot of ground before, but to humor myself and for the sake of adventure, I pretend not.
Morning coffee backfires. I'll note that placing a heaping tablespoon (or two) of coffee grounds into a mug of water makes for the best camp coffee. This morning, I set two mugs on the split side of a log, balancing between two sturdy chunks of wood. One tends to forget in the foggy-morning-mindset that fire causes logs to shift. As my coffee reached a peak boil, the kind of boil that causes the aroma of fresh coffee to spread across the woods, the log rolled and I lost my caffeine into the bright red embers of fire. It was the last of the grounds.
The greens of summer can be felt fading away as water rushes through a power-creating pipe downstream.
Lunch is served. Grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches with the ideal amount of black. These were fortunately not lost to the flames. However, the trout we catch tomorrow might be a different story...
Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys.
Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout.
Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.