Friday, August 21
Months went into the planning of this trip. Being prepared and having everything well thought out always makes for a better experience.
However, there were times when things don’t go according to plan. It’s those times that experience; creativity and the will to find a way make all the difference.
In an article for the Maine Scholar, David Rothenberg wrote of the North Maine Woods, “The wild is more than a named place, an area to demarcate. It is a quality that beguiles us, a tendency we both flee and seek. It is the unruly, what won’t be kept down, that crazy love, that path that no one advises us to take–it’s against the rules, it’s too far, too fast, beyond order, irreconcilable with what we are told is right.”
It really is all those things and more. We set out to experience what the North Woods had to offer. Places like this are disappearing and possibly within Chris’ lifetime, they will be no more. This remote section of Maine is arguably that last place even close to wilderness on the east coast of the United States. It is not untouched by man. Like someone said, “the hand of man can be seen in the footprints left in even the most remote places.”
Nature and all her bounty is there to see and appreciate. It’s a place like no other where you can experience a wide open sense of unbound freedom, while at the same time feel the risk of the wild.
It is a place where it is possible to drive, canoe or walk for miles and miles, days and days, weeks and weeks and still see no sign of what we call civilization. You can still camp under a blinding array of starlight and listen to the loons or the pure silence of the woods. You can canoe the many lakes, ponds, river and streams with only the blue water as your roadmap. Or you can step off the beaten path into the woods and stroll for as long as the mood lasts among the rocks and trees. And you can cast a line into the water anytime the mood strikes, and as Chris did several times, hook dinner.
We were very fortunate to have had this chance to venture into the woods and to have been able to do it together.
Many people have journeyed into the North Maine Woods, none more famous that Henry Davis Thoreau. He left a record that may never be surpassed for its descriptive originality and poetic prose. What Thoreau did in the mid 19th century, his travels and adventures, have set the bar for generations, No one will ever duplicate what he did, it would be impossible. But in the spirit of what he left behind, we can each in our own way, venture into the woods and take from our experiences everything we can and use what we learn to improve our own lives.
Near the end of our trip a stooped, old gray-haired man stopped me along the shore of a lake where we had camped.
“Tell me about your trip,” he said without introduction. His large eyes were bright with curiosity and perhaps a bit of sadness. I had been staring out at the water; maybe knowing our journey was coming to an end. I hadn’t seen him approach and was surprised.
“We’re just wandering around,” I said.
“Where are you going tomorrow?” he asked.
“I really don’t know,” I answered.
He patted me on the arm, “That’s wonderful,” he said slowly turning around and walking away.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.