By dull emmet
Look at that calendar. In three weeks it will be September. All those summertime plans you made while huddling near the woodstove In February? Dashed.
The leaves are turning.
I am a humble man (sort of) with humble Bucket Lists. This summer, the big ones were to bike the Sunrise Trail in Machias (and stuff myself with Helen’s strawberry pie.) My second favorite campground (after Four Seasons in Naples) is Cobscook Bay State Park, where you can watch a full tide change while you eat a sandwich. I planned a two-night stay there just to dust off the cobwebs from my camping gear. The perennial summer plan is to paddle the kayak across Megunticook Lake to Norton Pond and the Lincolnville boat landing.
In order to do the 40 mile trek on the Machias bike trail, you need at least two consecutive days without the benefit of rain or locusts. You wouldn’t think that would be hard but if the weather cooperates, there is a doctor’s appointment, a car checkup or some damn thing. Sometime, I just don’t feel like making a three hour drive just to get to the trail. You must admit that is close to insane. Then there was the fire. I’m sure you saw the news when Helen’s burned to the ground a few weeks ago. That was at least half the reason for the trip. The last two times I visited Helen’s, they were out of strawberry pie. I was so frustrated that I wrote a column about it and they hung it on the wall. I assume the column went up in flames like the restaurant.
Cobscook Bay State Park has some of the most beautiful campsites I have ever seen. Plus, they have that tide thing. Cobb Manor Philosophy 101 holds that you must camp out several times a year. Let me tell you, your humble abode never looks better than after you have slept on the ground, used an outhouse then tried to cook in the woods. Your flush toilet becomes a small miracle. I did spend a few (Father’s Day) nights at Four Seasons campgrounds, thanks to hosts Bridget and Andrew. I got to watch those super grandkids Matthew and Meara. (Love that name) But that was in a (comparatively lush) RV.
Jefferson Phil, a manly man if there ever was one, plans to return to the Allagash next week. I must get back to the woods.
You might not think the five or six mile paddle Across Megunticook into Norton’s Pond was a Columbus-style trek. It has been on my bucket list for several summers, much to the amusement of the late Lake Warden, Kenny Bailey. Many summers I couldn’t even find the entrance to Norton’s Pond. It takes several, progressively longer paddles to even find the connection point. By then, I am usually pretty tired and have to paddle back; naturally the wind is always blowing in the wrong direction for the trip. Now, it’s becoming embarrassing. The answer of course is to leave another car at the Lincolnville beach. But that is somehow too complicated.
The last time I paddled across Megunticook, there was a drowning death the very next day. That has cut my enthusiasm by half, or more. Of course I will try again and again this year, before it snows. I would hate to have this black mark against my record. If I meet Lake Warden Kenny Bailey in the Great Beyond, I don’t want to admit that I never made it.
Perhaps I will gather what little strength and enthusiasm I have left and finish the summer in a blaze of glory, biking the Sunrise Trail, camping at Cobscook and paddling to Lincolnville, completing my humble Bucket List.
Doubtful. All of that would entail leaving my beloved couch.