An Ode to a Summer Lake: What could be more lovely, cool and fishy scented? Similar to an old rubber diving suit found out back in the storage shed, with the outboard motor, chain saw and oil canisters, it’s just a little too small but which, once on, makes One slightly more buoyant.
On Wednesday afternoon in Hallowell, Our Friend King gave us a copy of the Maine Atlas, He has several to spare, it was then that We got the idea to follow the exact route to Moosehead Lake that We took in 1998, following Abbott Vaughn Meader, the Blue Bunny Himself, over backroads and lastly across a Logging Road to Rockwood, Maine. When You pull back onto the pavement, You’re looking right at Mount Kineo, a Pine-clad Monolith rising 1100 feet out of Moosehead Lake!
We stayed up talking with Bobby Watson and Don and listening to music, very tired but so thrilled to be in the Company We were in and excited about the next day’s adventure, which is the closest I get to a Spiritual Pilgrimage. We had left Flavor Bay, way down in Connecticut at first light on Wednesday morning, so We decided to sleep in a bit on Thursday and had a full breakfast with hot Coffee on Maranacook Lake with Bobby Watson and His Brother in Law, Don, also from Louisville, KY.
The Story behind all of this involves volumes worth of information and may some day be written down. My Love Affair with Maine started when I was three years old and traveled with my Mom and Grandmom to Monhegan Island, Maine, but the other part of the story probably comes out of Louisville, Kentucky, via Maine and points beyond, the Great Beyond and has to do with the meeting of three Fellows there in the very early days of the 1970s. Abbott Vaughn Meader, Bobby Watson and Tim Krekel, those three were how We got to Maine in 1998 and Whose Indomitable Spirits propelled Us forward to this point, here and now and around that table in Bobby Watson’s Camp late that Wednesday Night and on, across the Rivers and Valleys of Maine, up into the Lakes and Mountains Region: the Great North Woods!
Riding out of Maranacook, with Bellies full of breakfast and only the Map to guide Us, We drove through the rustic Maine country, lush green magic and little tables of stuff for Sale along the roadsides, fruits and produce, corn… corn everywhere. We dreamed of Lobster Rolls but didn’t stop for any. We stopped in Skowhegan, past the jack-leg over a spill-way and saw some Side-show ARTs by a Guy in a very old shop with City-Slickers talking to Him.
The sense of Adventure and Wild Freedom of the Sweet Spot of Summer guided Us further North, alongside the Kennebec River, which flows out of Moosehead Lake, through Hallowell and on to the Sea, truly mystical waters. We took the 201 from Skowhegan and stopped at a last Outpost before the vast, remote Forest surrounding Moosehead Lake, and ate sandwiches there, for Our luncheon. Just a little ways up the road, We took a right turn onto Capital Road and drove that Logging Road for over an hour of smooth dirt road riding, with only one Logging Truck that passed Us. We were thoroughly warned to get over if We saw a plume of dust rising in the distance and sure enough, We saw one, pulled off and waited for a high-speed Log Truck to roar by…
One more scenic stop as We passed the source of Long Pond and then on to Moosehead Lake, a pilgrimage is not meant to be quick and We were still hoping to get down in the Magic, Sparkling Waters there by the shore before the Warm Yellow Sun sank into the Pines in front of the Bogs, filled full of that even more Mystical Creature said to inhabit those areas: the Moose. First We had to stop and see Our Friend Liz Munster, of Munster, Spalding and Pickle Real Estate Developers at the mouth of the Moose River.
At last Our accommodations were sorted out and We checked in to Cabin Five “Catch a Falling Star”, right on the shore of the Lake looking directly out at Mount Kineo. From my journal entry, dated August 7, 2014: I sit by Moosehead Lake at the Cabin #5. I’m at the Birches, which is filled with Guests
and other drunken Folks, an odd assortment of Golf-types and Woodsmen, waiting for their supper. A speed boat takes off full-tilt from the dock, like a water-rocket, out into the open Lake. A small Squirrel or very large Chipmunk runs up and down the tree trunks and in front of the thicker ground covering that grows around the rocks at the edge of the water. Earlier, Krekel went swimming (it was too chilly for me after the Sun went down) and I collected smooth rocks on the little beach. A motor-boat and a pontoon boat both cross in front of me at various distances, causing ripples on the flat surface of the Lake. There was a rainbow on Mount Kineo as the Sun shown its last yellow rays. Kineo is green and huge in the foreground (about two miles directly across from Me) with a backdrop of purple, dark clouds. We came over from 201 on Capital road, it was a little over an hour off-road and it was smooth sailing the whole way. This Lake is so beautiful and such a magic spot. I am soaking it up. I had a Chicken-Caesar Salad to go and now a light rain begins to fall instantly from the Sky. When they say “it looks like rain” in Maine, You have about three minutes to find cover. Mount Kineo disappears into the encroaching mist, which will soon envelop this Northern edge of the Lake as well. The Mountain is fading into lavender. Its vivid green becomes unseen as if it’s just evaporating out there. The quiet here is only interrupted by drunkards and kids hollering.