Lightning Crashes

Lightning crashes a new mother cries
Her placenta falls to the floor
The angel opens her eyes
The confusion sets in
Before the doctor can even close the door

Lightning crashes an old mother dies
Her intentions fall to the floor
The angel closes her eyes
The confusion that was hers
Belongs now to the baby down the hall

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

Lightning crashes a new mother cries
This moment she’s been waiting for
The angel opens her eyes
Pale blue colored iris
Presents the circle
And puts the glory out to hide, hide

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

How much control do we really have over our lives? Can we overcome anything that confronts us? We like to think we are the masters of our fate, our decision making powers provide us with the ability to take charge of the circumstances that present themselves to us, the forethought to have prepared for the worst. We are going to make our mark in this world before we die, we can make a difference that will leave a lasting change in the fate of others. But what if were wrong? What if there’s no rhyme or reason to it?

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Will this be the last sunset I ever see? If so, can I savor it in the here and now with the knowledge of whats to come? I think not. I think we have no idea of whats going to happen in the future with any certainty. Oh we can plan for this contingency or that, prepare for bad times with the hope of skating by with little damage, but I truly feel it’s mostly just dumb luck.

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Was this pond formed for the expressed purpose of providing a habitat for the woodland animals and migrating birds in this area, or was it just because it was gouged out by a glacier during the last ice age in the correct shape to hold water? How did the fish arrive in it’s depths? I think the human mind can think up all kinds of methods or reason many ways that this or that happened, but ultimately we don’t really know for sure. We can attribute some sort of consequence that led to our existence on this planet but we have no solid proof to show for certain how it came about.

I choose to believe there is a balance to all things. An underlying equilibrium that plays into everyday life. Not fate per say, but more of a poetry of existence that shows itself in the opposites of every action. As every child is born, someone dies having lived a full life, after a forest burns, new seedlings sprout to once again showcase the splendor of nature. A storm may wipe away a desert landscape, but a fuller array of life comes forth where only sand was before.

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Like this flowering tree against a cloudy sky, life provides many contrasts, many colors that soothe the everyday trials. Our senses provide the impetus that completes the circle, the stimulation that gives us clarity of our surroundings. Each smell and taste, sight and sound, conspire to bring everyday experiences into a more concise arrangement, a palate of life full of the colors that show us how wonderful it is to be alive in this world. I for one relish every day of life and will continue until it’s last breath.

What Inspires You?

Anyone who knows me understands that I am obsessed with sailboats, right mom? But realistically the boat is only a means to an end. The boat is one piece in the lifestyle I have been searching for my entire life, even though I didn’t understand the “Big Picture” until recently.

Some years ago I moved my folks to a town in central Maine called Sebec. We bought 2 plots of land and a 34 foot motor home. (If you look closely you can see Vinny in the windshield) 

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We stayed at a nearby campground for a month while my father and I cleared one lot to move the camper to so we could live while setting up their home next door.  Here’s a few pictures of the initial setup for the camper.

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Once this part was done we could place the camper and not pay for the campground. I had a power pole placed and we moved onto what would become my lot.  I think it was only a week or so until we had a bad hailstorm come through. Pretty big hail for Maine!

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My mother and I still talk about how much fun it was living in that camper.

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Later, after my folks home was complete and they moved in, I cleared further back on my lot to build a shelter for the camper. I rented a small excavator to do the heavy lifting then built the structure. At this point in time my father was recovering from cancer and couldn’t help much even though he tried.

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Vinny thinking with his stomach!

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This picture above shows the left side of the camper. What you don’t see is the area to the right and the whole reason I set the lot up this way. This is Meadow Brook, about 50 feet from the right side and down a small hill. (There are the young cinnamon ferns Jessica!)

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This was the point in my life I had broken from the drug use of my past. Every day was a struggle to suppress the urge to fall back on the “crutch” I had relied on for so long. My goal in doing all this was to help my folks live in a less expensive area and remove myself from all the reminders of my past, including every person that I knew from a very troubling time in my life. I wanted the freedom of my little spot on this earth where I could get away from the stress of everyday trials, my safe haven. What I didn’t realize at the time was I would not find my peace tied to one spot. My wandering spirit and lust for ever greater adventure was bubbling forth now that my mind was clearing.

Some years later when my father lost his drivers license, my folks could not stay here because they were to far from stores and no public transportation was available. My fathers dementia was also becoming more apparent along with his angry outbursts. Not long after my folks gave up their house to the bank and moved to an apartment I sold my camper and land. I started to see I was never going to be happy in one place, never going to feel at home living a “Normal” life as most do.

Just let it go

My lust for travel was partially satisfied when I bought my truck and rode through almost all the states with Vinny at my side. It was at this time that I started to understand what inspired me, what gave me a true feeling of freedom. The idea of having your home with you all the time means you always have your comfort zone. Like a turtle, your always home no matter what. Everything you need is within reach anytime you need it. I felt in control for the first time in my life.

laura-dekkerThe idea of a sailboat came from the story of Laura Dekker. Laura was the 14 year old Dutch girl who had a dream of being the youngest person to sail around the world alone, and she did it! If you have never seen her movie “Maidentrip” on Netflix you really should. I was totally inspired by her strength and tenacity even when her own government tried to stop her.

I don’t know if I will sail around the world, but I know living free on a boat, no rent or property taxes, no electric or phone bills, it’s the way I want to spend the rest of my life. Even now as I watch her movie again I feel a strong attachment not to her, I don’t personally know her, but to her spirit and her strength, her unwillingness to give up. Just like my father, she never quit and neither will I.

I’ve looked at many boats, read many stories and articles about this design and that. Studied what made this boat or that the ideal candidate for me, but I finally realized I was not really forming a plan, setting a goal. I think now I have the perfect boat in mind, the goal I need to focus my aspirations toward.

Lin & Larry Pardey Books and Videos

Lin and Larry Pardey are among America’s (and the world’s) most knowledgeable and recognized cruising sailors. They are known as “America’s first couple of cruising.” Together, Lin and Larry have sailed over 200,000 miles, including two circumnavigations east to west and west to east aboard self-built, wooden, engine-free cutters under 30 feet. Author of a dozen books, countless magazine articles, and co-creators of five cruising documentaries, Lin and Larry have shared their sailing experiences with tens of thousands around the globe prompting many to take up the sport and live the dream of the cruising lifestyle. Their motto has always been, Go simple, go small, go now!

The above image and script comes from Lin & Larry Pardey’s website. Of all the information I have read I believe theirs is the idea I should follow. I see no need for a large boat, all the amenities and all the costs that go with it. A boat 30 feet or less, very stout and strong, good storage and easy to sail single-handed. A boat that has a proven record of seaworthiness and open ocean passages. A boat I can trust to get me there. I have chosen a Baba 30.

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Watch this video for a complete understanding of just how beautiful they are.

Granted this one is in “Bristol” condition, and the one I purchase may not start out as nice, but I can purchase one for $40,000 to $50,000 or less. If I work really hard I can save the money over the next 2 years to purchase it, then work maybe 2 more years to fund a complete refit with enough money left over for a long vacation to give her a long shakedown cruise. After that I can drive part time or go back to landscaping in the summer, the one job I truly loved.

This is what inspires me, this is what I have been looking for all my life. The freedom to go where I want when I want. The freedom to work a job I love not just the best paying one. What are you willing to give up for the chance to live a life worth living?  I’ve made my choice.

Alone In A Field

If you have already seen this post, disregard as I have had problems with posting to reader!

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I feel this way alot, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I’m sitting in northern Wisconsin with nothing to do till Monday, so I take Vinny for a walk in a field across from the truck stop.

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It’s about 3 acres between the truck stop and the highway, but if you look closely you can find beautiful things to photograph. Like these flowers all alone in the field.

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There just simple wildflowers but their radiance is still enticing. How about this prairie grass blowing in the breeze?

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Vinny stands there while the breeze flows past his face.

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Alone with my thoughts I can think things through more clearly, make better decisions than I have made in the past. Ive made some decisions in the last few days and my 3 year and 10 year or so plan is now set.

627a8-100_1202I had been talking with the company I drive for about leasing a truck from them. The advantages of leasing is the freedom to set your own schedule, control where you run along with a little more money at the end of the day. The down side is the maintenance, repairs, insurance and other hassles that go along with ownership. I have owned my own truck in the past, but I’m to close to my final plan to take on the responsibility now. I’ll stay a company driver.

I’m going to spend every penny I make this fall and winter purchasing better lenses for my camera, a canoe for next summers camping trips, a few more tools for the upcoming boat projects and I’m going to pay off my car. By the end of May I should be debt free.

5357707_20150925114209219_1_XLARGEAt that point I will have everything I need to entertain myself, no need for any other items of any substantial cost. I earn $4000.00 to $5000.00 each month after taxes and I can easily live on a quarter of that once I have no payments. Every penny extra at that point will go to the boat fund. In one year I will have enough to purchase the boat I want, and in two years I should have the refit done. I will essentially have a new sailboat at that point.

I think once the boat is done I will take a summer off just to give the boat a real shakedown and give myself a vacation to remember. In all my working career to date I have never had more than a one week vacation, and I have never traveled out of the US. I would like to sail to Nova Scotia and then to Prince Edward Island. Maybe go down the Saint Lawrence Seaway to Quebec then back to Maine. It’s a dream I have had for a long time.

After that summer I will go back to driving for the winter. I can earn enough in six months to sustain my lifestyle for the year if I’m careful so I can take every summer off. That is the point where I have made a big decision. I’m going to give something back to the country that has allowed me to live my dream, as well as destroy the demon that has plagued me all of my life.

img_6531-largeMy relationship with my father was never very good. Partly my fault, partly his, but I think most of it had to do with the PTSD he was never diagnosed with until he was in his eighties. He was the picture of a dutiful father when it came to providing for the family. He was never without a job, we never went hungry, always had toys to play with, and I never felt he didn’t care.

The real problem for me was that father/son connection, it was never there. Now that my dad is in late stage dementia, it’s too late to make up for lost ground. My chance to play ball with my dad, go camping or fishing, work on my first car, it’s all gone. It tares me up to see him now, there’s nothing I can do but watch him slowly fade away. I have to live with this, but what if I can help others to avoid it?

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My 10 or so year plan is simple. Enjoy the time I have left while I’m still healthy, and do something good for someone else. I have decided to start a non profit that will be aimed at Veterans with PTSD and their children. I’m going to offer 3 or 4 day excursions for Veterans diagnosed with PTSD, and their son or daughter, off the coast of Maine entirely for free. Sailing, fishing, kayaking and even swimming for the very brave! (Maine coastal waters never get above 65 degrees or so!) All food will be included also.

I can think of no better way to give back, or pay it forward than to give a Veteran and his/her child a chance to really bond away from everything modern. No internet, no phones, no tv, just nature. 4 days of just being together with no distractions. I wish I could do that with my dad right now. The company I work for has said they will be a sponsor along with putting me in touch with the organizations they already work with. I spoke to a Lawyer about setting up the organization but I need a name for it. That’s where you come in!

I have wonderful followers that have great minds, and I love to hear from all of you. Let’s put our “Hive” mind together and come up with a name that will inspire, a name that projects the goal I have given myself. I have done a search of the Maine area and can find no other organization offering anything similar. I think this could be quite a hit if I can get it off the ground.

I don’t believe the costs for such would be very high, and I don’t think I will have any trouble finding Veterans to help. I’m not looking for money to buy or refit the boat as it will be my retirement home also. Just enough to cover the food, insurance and other minor expenses I incur. I feel very strongly about this. I’m not sure how many summers I would offer it, but even if I only help one child connect with a parent, I will have made a difference.

The next time you drive by a field, think about that flower. It’s just waiting there for someone to come along and be it’s friend, someone to show they care. Just like a child waiting for their dad to go play ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Been A Long Time Crossing Bridge Of Sighs

The sun don’t shine
The moon don’t move the tides,
To wash me clean
Sun don’t shine
The moon don’t move the tides,
To wash me clean
Why so unforgiving and why so cold
Been a long time crossing bridge of sighs

Cold wind blows
The Gods look down in anger,
On this poor child
Cold wind blows
And Gods look down in anger,
On this poor child
Why so unforgiving and why so cold
Been a long time crossing bridge of sighs

Bridge Of Sighs – Robin Trower

Take a moment, close your eyes and listen to this song.  Try to put into words the primal reaction you have.  What images come to mind with the agonizing chords, the sound of the wind across your closed eyes.  That’s the power of a great song.

In my mind I feel a great sorrow, a feeling of despair over a deep loss.  His voice exudes a tremendous amount of anguish, but also a sort of resolve to his fate, as though a lover had left with no hope of return.  He wonders why the gods are so angry with him, how long is the bridge of sighs.

We all have a bridge of sighs to cross, and I think it will take our entire life to get there.  There will be missing planks to stumble over, broken rails that cause imbalance.  A heavy fog to cloud our way, strong rains to impede our progress.  I don’t think life was meant to be easy, I think it’s a test.

A test to see what you are made of, a constant hardship ever evolving, no two days the same.  Just when you reach the summit of one difficulty, you see the next hill is larger still.  Those that refuse to give in, those that only see challenge not despair, they are the ones that will understand the beauty in such an existence, the value of overcoming adversity and the timeless achievement of crossing the bridge of sighs.

 

 

I Don’t Want The World To See Me, Cause I Don’t Think That They’d Understand

And I’d give up forever to touch you
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
And I don’t want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
And sooner or later it’s over
I just don’t wanna miss you tonight

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am

Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

 

Music is a huge part of who I am, even though I have no talent in that arena!  The one thing I do know is a great song when I hear it.  Some songwriters have a second sight, a visual prowess that allows them to see into the human mind and soul and then put into words the grief, anguish, fear, happiness and hope of this complex existence called life.

When you listen to the words, not just the music, you are transported to a place that can be quite different for every individual.  A great song has more than one meaning in every verse, sometimes a different meaning every time you listen.  I think this is one of those songs.

When I listen, I get the sense he is on the same quest I am.  Patiently searching for his better half, ever hopeful she is out there with the same destiny.  But under it all is the fear it will only be fleeting, something will happen to destroy the dream.  I think he is holding back, careful to only expose as much of himself as needed, fearful of rejection.  Do you ever get the feeling a song was written for you?

We all feel sometimes that we are alone, no one understands us.  We struggle with social situations and can’t seem to really connect with anyone.  We can take the path of walling ourselves off, careful to keep our hearts shielded, living life in the shadows.  But deep down, when we are honest with ourselves, that’s not where we want to be.

Then we hear a song that cuts right to the core of who we think we are.  It’s so close to the image of ourselves we start to look a little deeper at our inner being, reassess our worth.  It’s then that you realize, your not the only person to feel this way, your not alone.

I think part of being human is the search for acceptance.  The longing to be a part of something bigger than oneself.  The path to that fulfillment I feel can only be found through trial and error. One must try new things, break out of the norm in your life and look for a way to discover and express who you are, what moves you.  I believe that’s the real reason I started this blog.

I needed to come out from the wall I had built around myself as a defense against the feelings I neither understood, nor wanted to explore in-depth due to an irrational fear of what I might find.  In these posts I have found my release, the inner voice that was trying to break out for so many years, stifled under the fear of what others might think.  Am I the weird guy with the dog?  I know now that I am he.

I think the weird guy was in me all along, waiting for the right moment, the right point in time to burst forth and reveal who I really am without fear of rejection.  I told myself that even if I had no response to my views, no followers to offer opinions, I would still be opening up the hidden part of me locked away for so long.  I would be free to feel.

Free to feel what it was like to express how I look at life.  Free to explore what made me laugh or cry, what made me angry or sad.  A blog is like a diary.  You write down all the things in your mind arranged in a way easier to understand, simpler to convey their true meaning.  It’s only when you push “Publish” for the first time that you truly let go all the fear and anxiety.  Now you are out there for all to see, and you hope they understand.

I’m Wide Awake, I’m Not Sleeping

If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would
Let it go
Surrender
Dislocate

If I could throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free, I’d lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so, fade away

Wide awake
I’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they’d
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in bloodshot eyes

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
If I could, you know I would, if I could, I would
Let it go

This desperation
Dislocation
Separation, condemnation
Revelation in temptation
Isolation, desolation
Let it go

And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
Oh now, and so to fade away

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

Bad – U2

 

I see what’s happening in this country.  I see the indifference many of our leaders have for us.  I see citizens blindly following one hopeful candidate or another, even in the face of blatant lies, or unrealistic folly.  I see the naked hostility by many aimed squarely at others simply because they have a different opinion. This same group hypocritically decries the lack of civility in our society, the lack of understanding of those who are different.

I see the one mindset trying to force objectives and ideals upon all, scoffing at those who dare disagree, dismissing those who don’t trust their unreliable science.  I see others trying to stir up resentment in the name of social justice, then stand back as riots begin, placing blame on those who risk it all to uphold the laws that protect all.  I see liberty and freedom trampled under the feet of those who want to fundamentally change our way of life.

No one group or person in this country has the solution, the medication for the ill’s contracted by the people.  No one law will undo the wedge forced between people, a wedge put there to incite unrest.  Some on both sides are guilty of racism, but not all.  Yet the fires are kept burning in the minds of all by those with the power to inform.  To what end?

A great sickness has wormed it’s way into our lives, a fever growing in the minds of the masses.  We have lost sight of what we were supposed to be.  “One nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  Those words are lost on many.  The thoughts and ideals that brought forth the founding principals of this country are no longer taught in our schools.  We stand by as some burn the symbol of our country.  We praise those who sit and dismiss the meaning of what it took to make this country.  We have allowed several generations of Americans to loose sight of what we stand for, worked for, died for.  Are we America, or are we becoming Europe?

Because we are a nation of immigrants, we open our borders to all as a way of showing the world how generous we are.  Many are indeed looking for a better life for themselves and their children.  I feel for them as their search is a noble one, something all people regardless of race, creed, color or religion deserve.  Those that started this nation, and those that populated it, have come here to be a part of something better.  They brought skills and worth with them.

I welcome all who want to contribute to this great nation, willing to do their part for the benefit of all.  Yet so many come here illegally, and they are not ready or sometimes willing to become part of our country.  Many can’t speak the language, have no skills, don’t understand our culture, and have no want to assimilate into society.  They feel they can come here, enjoy the benefits of our freedom, and pay no price. They are wrong.  When you come here the right way, as millions did in the past, it’s because you want to BE an American, not just live off one.

There are those from warring nations that have been displaced by the barbarity of their leaders or the more radical followers of the Prophet of Peace.  The same bloody battles have been waged for thousands of years with no real end in sight.  We are the most generous nation on earth, we have spent billions of dollars on other nations to prop them up or to help rebuild after wars or natural disasters.  Should we insert our help and values into a conflict where we are not welcome?  Should we allow thousands of refugee’s into our country, or just send relief supplies to help?

In those huddled masses there hides a few who relish the thought of killing in the name of one cause or another.  Some whose only goal is to destroy not improve.  How can we avoid this if we don’t have order?  How is wide open borders a benefit to all?  We cannot risk possible death on those already here for the benefit of those coming in.  That is just foolish.  Secure the border, streamline the vetting process, and allow those who will improve our way of life as well as theirs in.  Almost every country in the world has tougher immigration laws than the US.  Why?  I wonder…

If you ask the average citizen in any country how they feel about “Globalism”, some will not understand the question.  Those that do will say it’s fine if all countries will adopt “Our” way of doing things.  No country is going to completely give up it’s identity to become part of a “New World Order” under the control of some small group of representatives at the UN or other such organization.  Just look at the first signs of failure at the EU that are becoming apparent.  Yet I believe there are still many in this world who are striving for just that!  You can call it a conspiracy theory if you like, but the signs are there.

I think there are people on this earth who think they are the ones who have all the answers, the ones to herd the “Sheeple” into a more just and fair system.  True Americans, myself included, are far to independent and will have none of that.  Many of those first few who came here, fought and died in a war for our independence.  Had I lived then, I just may have been one of them.

I’m wide awake.  I’m not sleeping.

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Camping In Western Maine

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It’s hard to express how good it felt to take this picture.  It was more than just the view, the soothing breeze with the smell of pine.  More than the sound of the wind and a nearby stream.  It was a sense of coming home to the place where I feel so connected to the land, a place I am the most comfortable.  The mountains of western Maine are like no other place I have ever been.  If this was the 1800’s, I never would have come back to write this.

As a young man I spent many weekends camping in this area.  Back then I could not afford great gear and I had to rough it much more than this trip.  Many times I woke up in the pouring rain, soaked to the skin, and slept the remainder of the night in my car.  Even with bad trips like that, the pull of the woods brought me back again and again.

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Today, as I drove in the 12 miles of sometimes single lane road to the campground, I felt the rush of going back in time.  Back to a time of my youth that was so full of promise, a time of simpler joys and quiet nights.  But I also thought of what it must have been like to be a pioneer in this area, riding my horse through the woods along a clear stream.  Breaking into an open field to see this beautiful lake in front of me.  I would have broken out my ax and built my home right here on this shore.

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This was the view from the stony shoreline of my campsite.   The main campground was across the narrow lake by the sandy beach.  Even though it was so close, I felt miles away in my mind.  I shut off the outside world and started thinking like a weary traveler from the past.  First things first, set up camp.

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Everything I brought fit in two large duffel bags, a cooler and a backpack.  All fit in the canoe along with Vinny and I with room to spare.  In future trips of longer duration, I will forego the cooler as ice will only last 2 to 3 days and stick with canned or fresh food.  The site was fairly level, very shaded and about 10 feet above the waterline of the lake.  Once the tent was up and covered by the tarp, I took a little paddle around.

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Can you imagine waking up to this every day?  Going out in the lake to catch your dinner. Stalking deer and moose, partridge or ducks to put food on the table.  Growing vegetables in the fertile soil by the shore.  Building your cabin from the spruce and cedar trees that grow all around here.

The pioneers had many hard times, many died in search of their place on this earth, but they had something many people will never have.  They had true grit and determination, the intestinal fortitude to go out there and make a spot in the wilderness their home.  They had the joy and pride of having done it themselves.  They had a spirit that is lacking in most people these days.

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As I come back to the campsite I am thinking about a good dinner and a quiet evening.  Just some time for Vinny and I to be alone with the soothing sounds of nature.  Unfortunately for us the people at the next campsite, about 200 yards up the lake, decided they were going to share the music they love with everyone!  I could hear the echo of it from the opposite shore it was so loud!  So much for going to bed early!

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This is why I hate going to campgrounds.  To many idiots!  Oh well, make the best of it.  I knew this was going to be a “Shakedown” of my new gear and a refresher of my outback skills, but next years trips will be away from all people.
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Campfire going, food cooked, full belly and a good wine to end the first day.  Goodnight Vinny.

 

 

It’s 1:30 am, and idiot next door is singing!  It took all my self control to not go over there and give him a piece of my mind.  I regain my composure, look up and realize he did me a favor.  Look at the sky!!!!

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Yes, those are the “Northern Lights” along with about a billion stars.  I spent the next 2 hours sitting there with tears in my eyes.  This one moment made the entire trip worthwhile.  How do you top something like that?  How can anything else stir my soul more than the unbelievable beauty of this evening?  It’s mind boggling to think about the vast stretches of space, the distances between stars.  If only the idiot next door was so far away!  He finally shuts up, and I crawl back to my sleeping bag to find Vinny blissfully asleep, and join him.

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It’s 5 am, and this is what greets me.  WOW!  I grab Vinny and paddle out into the lake.  I can’t put into words the scene, so I will just post the pictures.

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Is that incredible or what!  Just amazing what happens when the water is 70 degrees and the air is only 40!  Brrrrrr, a little chilly this morning.  “Look Vinny, a loon!”

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It took an hour and alot of paddling just to get these shots.   They are tremendous divers, they can stay underwater for 30 seconds or more, and then pop up 100 yards away.  Good thing I brought my 300mm lens!  And just for a laugh, it was not 20 seconds after that shot of Vinny that he jumped up on the wet plastic seat and proceeded to fall in the lake!  So much for bird watching!

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Breakfast of champions!  No, not Wheaties.  A 24 oz ribeye with southwest rub, new potatoes with garlic, shallots, thyme and parsley with 3 over easy eggs to round out the meal.  Something about all the paddling and the cool temps made me hungry!
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OK Vinny, time for a walk to burn off breakfast.  From my site a few trails lead off into the forest.  Vinny starts off down one and I follow.  “Hold on Vinny, I’m hurrying!”

 

 

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What did you find Vinny?  The Maine woods at her finest!  In the spring this waterfall runs hard, but late in the season it flows with the most tranquil sound, captured in small pools surrounded by moss, fallen branches and inhabited by water bugs.

 

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I sat beside this pool for an hour while Vinny ran up and down the rocks.  It was great to see the little guy having so much fun.  His age is showing as he struggled with the inclines and the moss.  He fell a few times, got all wet, but jumped right back up as if to say, “I’m not going to let age slow me down!”  When we got back to camp, he flopped down by the bank and watched me wash the dishes.

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I can’t blame him.  The view from our site is wonderful.

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By mid afternoon, Idiot started with the music again.  He and his wife had been out fishing and it was time to cook fish and start drinking again.  I could smell the fish, and as the booze was consumed the music and laughter became louder and louder.  Not again!  I had wanted to stay another day, but I decided to leave in the morning.  Maybe he would shut up early?  NOT!  You just can’t fix, stupid!

Next morning was the same beautiful sight.  I never get tired of this.

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Why do so many people not see what is right in front of them?  Why do so many complain about not having anything to do when there is so much around them?  If they just look away from their smart phone for a moment, walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get back to nature.

Out here there are no cell phones, no internet.  No taxis or buses, no traffic or mobs of people.  Just you and nature.  Just think how much better you could connect with your children without all the distractions, the memories they would carry the rest of their lives.  What’s more important than memories?  They are the only things you take with you when you die.  (I put an 8 instead of a 9, but you get the idea)

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