Flat calm, Fil and Fried Fish.

After all the blowing that’s been going on here, We now have a flat-calm, which means the Sea is like plate-glass and the neighbors are burning a big fire, already, at 6:00am, of palm fronds, coconut hulls and other debris, maybe a little styrofoam… no wind also may mean the sand flies will come. The man upstairs, Doug, says: don’t take an early shower, I’ve only had one since I got here, late yesterday afternoon and it made Me feel too clean, I missed my Lord-of-the-Flies style grunginess (and since I’m not sitting close to anybody on an Airplane…)

flat-calm this morning

When I was on the Airplane, I was in a row with a Large Lady from Belize who was very nice, She sat on the aisle and I had a window seat so the middle was empty, there were no seats before Us, just a bulkhead separating Us from First Class (I could smell the Lobster Thermidore), that Lady got up to use the Lavatory while We sat with the engines off during a slight delay (caused by heavy air-traffic over Cuba), and a bearded Man came up and claimed the middle seat, He said the Lady he was sitting next to had way too much perfume. His name was Craig and He lives in Belize, in Monkey River, You can only get to His house by boat, so He has to take all of his supplies at once. I didn’t feel bad being stinky next to that Man and He laughed when I told him I was the opposite of the perfumed Lady, from the extta-long OJ Simpson-style run through the Miami Airport.

a mile and a quarter to the Sittee River curve.

Yesterday, I rode the route I took on Wednesday, butcept, I went in reverse (as I type this one of the two Airplanes that fly over here all day, goes by, a propeller plane, probably heading for the Dangriga Airstrip. There is nary a “chem-trail” in the entire sky). I rode the mile and a quarter through the tall grass and swamps on either side, down to where the Sittee River curves and goes out to Sea. Lots of lily  pad  flowers are blooming but not a sign of any life, not even a raccoon (I know they are nocturnal, and also they are just normal to me, not something I don’t ever see, so…).

When I got back to Tipple Tree Beya, there was a Man, an Artist from Toledo (just North of Punta Gorda, where I will travel next Wednesday to meet Tiffany on the Water Taxi). His name, like mine, was Fil (short for Filone, He showed me his licence to prove it, although He said His name first), he had many carved bowls and some butterflies behind glass that He called “Humming Birds”, he also had the Jaguar Masks (above), that were very unique, to my eyes.

Yesterday I finally asked Doug if there was an “Isis Restaurant” I thought I saw it on my first night but couldn’t find it again and I began to wonder if I had imagined it, or dreamed it, maybe… He didn’t miss a  beat and said: “oh yes, Iris’ Restaurant, She’s been here a long time but She takes in the sign when They’re closed.” So that’s where I went for dinner last night, across the street from “Arts by Alex”, I was the only customer, the Lady came out and asked me if I’d like to eat there and I said Yes, please, what have You got? (there was no visible menu posted) She said “rice & beans… and fried Fish.” I waited to see if She said anything else and then agreed to that menu. It was yummy and I was hungry and with the Fanta, it was less than $10 US (which coming from Asheville, NC, is a refreshing price for a filling meal). Then I walked down (or up if You like) to the Dong Lee Supermarket and turned on my heal and came back to the Beya (having no more dollars to spend).

fire, street light, moon.

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Exploring and Dining in Hopkins, Belize.

 A squall can come up quickly here. We are right on the sea, no Caye to stop the Bay from blowing and causing things to swing and wind to sing through palm fronds across the sandy long lawns. 

a squall blows in across Hopkins Bay.

I rode my bike (rented) for miles down a bumpy dirt road with saw grass and palms trees higher than my head on either side, way down along a swampy bog. I’m told there is a chance I could see Raccoons if I go out along the Swamp’s edge just around dusk. I have yet to see a single Tarantuala or Snake but I have seen a nest of Baby Birds and lots of lizards.

I swam in the sea twice and walked and ran down the thin strip of sandy beach, on which I was the only Human in sight. Around noon the breeze kicked up again and cooled things off. It was warmer at 4:00am than it is now, because the breeze had completely stopped. I rode from one end of the village to the next past oppulent constructions and fallen down shacks. It’s mostly closed up here at this time of here, there are a few other Tourists, riding Golf Carts, sending up clouds of dust as they zip down the dirty highway, packed in there, six or seven of them, coming to see what’s going down in the non-all-inclusive part of town. 

 

Coconut Gravy seasoned with herbs and fish.

 
I ate the Hudutu last night at Innie’s Restaurant, it’s the second night I’ve eaten there, the first night I had StewChicken With   Rice&beans, I also had their last Sprite on Tuesday, so last night I had Fanta Orange soda (which tastes like fake orange popcicle flavor). Hudutu has a thick chunk of bony fish inside of coconut gravy, I mixed it all up and made quite a mess, it ends up a lot like coconut chowder, although it starts out like a Chicken and Dumplings, if the chicken were an unknown fish and the dumplings were a clump of Plantain mash molded into a wad of doughy delight. The restaurant’s menu has this description of Hudutu: “Hudutu is mash Plaintains (in a cake) and gravy made from coconut milk, seasoned with local herbs and fish. This unique Garifuna dish has been cooked by the Garifuna People and it is loved by many people from all walks of life [who] have tried the Hudutu and many have loved… It’s definitely worth trying” – Innie’s Restaurant. I recommend You try it, too and getYourself some local Culture. 

Art pARTy¡

Parts One through Twenty-three.

Join the Art pARTy¡ Fun mix-up of imagery here with the off-kilter scanning of this colored-pencil and ink drawing, featuring one of the Art pARTy¡ Heads that I make, inspired by the Moai of Easter Island.

Join the Art pARTy¡ Fun mix-up of imagery here with the off-kilter scanning of this colored-pencil and ink drawing, featuring one of the Art pARTy¡ Heads that I make, inspired by the Moai of Easter Island.

Since the Year Two-Thousand I have been drawing these Heads. Here is an original sketch and the first painting in the series.

Original Sketch.

Original Sketch.

painted in 2000 by Phil Cheney. Acrylic on canvas.

painted in 2000 by Phil Cheney. Acrylic on canvas.

Join to-day!

Join to-day!

A drawing of the two large Papier-mâché Heads I built in the early days of the 2000s.

A drawing of the two large Papier-mâché Heads I built in the early days of the 2000s.

the Pond Farm Brothers at the French Broad River Festival in 2009 (featuring the Art pARTy¡ heads).

the Pond Farm Brothers at the French Broad River Festival in 2009 (featuring the Art pARTy¡ heads).

 

the Sweet Spot of Summer pART six.

We took Sunday off, it was Our day to chill at Maranacook Lake, before the LONG drive back to Our Home, nestled in the super-green Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. After We finally got out of the Easy Street Lounge and made Our way back to Bobby Watson’s Camp, somewhere deep in the Summer Night, We got to sleep. The next morning, fueled by bacon and eggs, We played a special version of “Dancing Bobby Watson’s Song” for Bobby et al. on His front porch, overlooking the Lake: it’s Dancing Bobby Watson’s Song.

performing a special version of Dancing Bobby Watson's Song.

performing a special version of Dancing Bobby Watson’s Song.

On this day, as well, We got to spend some time with some of Maine’s Finest Residents. The Attendees of the Performance the Night before were a Who’s Who of What’s What in the Maine-frame but the raucous activities and the mad-cap status which overflowed from the Easy Street Lounge (formerly the Speak Easy, owned and operated by Joey Gagne long, long ago), made it hard to concentrate on Anybody for very long. We were also set to embark on a Pontoon Boat ride all up and down Maranacook Lake and before that, Krekel and I took some personalized Paddle-boats out to Blueberry Island…

Paddle Boat Commander. Blueberry Island Docked in a tiny cove. Mid-Lake swimmer.

We were lucky to get to visit with Lindon, Greta Joseph, Scotty Perrow, Andy and Darlene (Bobby’s neighbors and owners of the Pontoon Boat “pARTy Barge”) and Sheila Meader. We also got to eat Lobster Rolls and Ice Cream before turning in for the Night. In the morning We were leaving at first light to head South after a brief but action-packed tour of Favorite Friends and Locations on the Eastern Tip of the Nation!

Pontooning on Maranacook Lake!

Pontooning on Maranacook Lake!

Pontoons Slicing. IMG_6032 IMG_6057

Sheila Meader with Krekel and I. I got Abbott's Hat and Krekel got His beads.

Sheila Meader with Krekel and I. I got Abbott’s Hat and Krekel got His beads.

IMG_6077 Scotty and Greta

WHoa!

WHoa!

Tiny Elf and Friend.

Nighty-Night!

the Sweet Spot of Summer pART five..

Another velvet smooth morning on the BIG Lake. The crazy show went on in the ten o’clock hour after a BIG Dinner of stuffed haddock plates, rib eyes and yes, even caesar salad… they were out of that and beef medallions but Liz Munster still had romaine lettuce, vinaigrette and beef tips (close to medallions). I think there’s a cormorant on the floating dock, the closest one, on the corner, the rest are ducks, that are sunning there. Yesterday, the wind blew in from the left, which I reckon is North. Tiny mosquitoes are visiting no-doze, a lot of loud lady-voices pierce the otherwise pristine morning air. Birch trees, with their green leaves in the sunshine, all the time. We really got soaked on Kineo and they really kicked the ass of bluegrass all the way back to the Mountains of Western North Carolina. We had surprise X-Factor Guests, Rich on Drums, Arthur on a Paul McCartney Bass (from the early Beatles’ days), Bobby Watson on the Sax (no doubt), Peter Re on the Keyboards, and Christina, Abbott’s second or third Wife, the only Lady on stage, also on Keyboards, and Jason Krekel rockin’-the-Fuck-out on Guitar and Fiddle-playing and singing all the songs. I even got to sing on some that We had rehearsed. There’s the recap if You missed it or had forgotten. This is the fifth installment of the Sweet Spot of Summer…

In the cool on the porch of Cabin Five, looking out into the wonder. Across the Lake a pine-clad monolith sleeps, or a resting ancient Whale, stuck here since the Seas receded. I can think of worse places to be stuck… except maybe in mid-Winter. I don’t see how there’s enough wood in Maine to keep all of these Folks warm. King told Us that they turn everything way down low in the B & B. When You come to Maine, You’ve got to do it right, don’t go straight to Moosehead Lake, take it slow and steady as she goes. The Nautical is infused in these deep Woods.

On Saturday morning I swam in Moosehead Lake, at the little beach of the Birches, finally, right before the hour of high Noon. I jumped off the floating dock, too. Krekel went in first and inspired me to, as well. I had been collecting the rocks on the shore, which is an infectious pursuit, and by doing so, I was also collecting warming light energy from Our closest Star, the Sun! Once I built up enough warmth to go in the water, I did, slowly at first, wading out to my mid-section, then diving into the cool, clear water, filled with sparkles both above and below the fishy surface layer. When We went to check-out at the Main desk, a Fellow with red hair and beard, and wind-blown like the rock-face of Mount Kineo itself, said to Me “Hey good job last Night!” and before I could even say “Thank You!” a Lady behind the counter, who I’d never even seen before added: “Yeah… pourin’ Bee-ahs down His throat!” and I hadn’t had a single beer that whole night. I think I had a sparkling water.

This was the day of Our Gig in Hallowell, Maine, back to the Spiritual Captial, again. To the Easy Street Lounge, where it’s “a Hare Bit More Colorful than the rest” (to say the least) but before that, We had to get back to Maranacook Lake, to Bobby Watson’s Camp. Bobby invited Jason and I to eat Lobsters that afternoon and We were gonna get to eat two each, plus (You guessed it) corn-on-the-cobb!

"no Chicken Lobsters!"

“no Chicken Lobsters!”

Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake on a Saturday Morning.

The drive back down was lovely, We took a right once We crossed the Moose River, near Liz Muntser’s Headquarters, and headed toward Jackman. We weren’t going all the way to Jackman, though, there was a short cut, another Logging road, but much shorter than the one We took on Thursday. Just a drop-down to 201, with Krekel navigating by reading the Map that We got from King on Wednesday.

the cut-off to 201.

the cut-off to 201.

the pARTy Barge.

the pARTy Barge.

Oh, Thank Gravy! We made it back to Maranacook and a quick dip We took in the lake by where the pARTy Barge is parked, then to Lobster eating We embarked. Bobby Watson, Tina, Don, Lindon, Darlene and Andy were there with their Lobster Bibs on. We were “shuckin’ those Lobster Bugs!” according to Lindon, who lives nearby in the Summers. We also had the Steamers, which are Clams. After the Lobsters and Clams and more Corn, Krekel and I took the winding country road around between the Lakes and over a big hill down towards the Kennebec River. At the bottom there, next to the little alley-way, which runs between the shrubberies by the River, is the downstairs entrance to the Easy Street Lounge. Giant flowers as big as Your face are popping out in every color from the trellis that protects the back porch below the decks of apartments stacked haphazardly above for several stories.

Easy Street Lounge.

Easy Street Lounge.

Jason Krekel and His ALL-Star Band!

Jason Krekel and His ALL-Star Band!

the Easy Street Lounge is “a Hare Bit More Colorful”, all right. It may well be the most color-full spot in a very color-full Town. Hallowell is perhaps the cherry on top of the BIG pile of whipped cream that is the State of Maine. Inside, the World’s largest collection of Paint-by-Numbers Art hangs on the walls, along with other odd items, including the entire collection of Blue Bunny paraphernalia left to Our host Bruce Mayo by Abbott Vaughn Meader. Bruce is also a painter, himself, and many of His own works also adorn the walls, the halls and the bathrooms. A cozy spot, even when the snow is piled high and the river is frozen over out back. We were lucky enough to get a gig there last Summer and even luckier this year, as the only date available in ALL of August was this very night, August 9th, 2014.

Mister Spock by Bruce Mayo.

Wise Men.

Jesus Clock.

Illuminated Peacock.

Moonrise over the Kennebec.

  Moon mirror in the bathroom. by the banks of the Kennebec.

tonight!

tonight!

Jason Krekel and Bobby Watson performing at the East Street Lounge.

Jason Krekel and Bobby Watson performing at the East Street Lounge.

It was a blast to be a part of this Creativity Outfit, representing the Entire East Coast. I continued to work on my painting of two Elephants and some super-natural activity, outtakes from the OUR Fest Artwork. We got to see a tons of Old Friends at the Show, Scotty Perrow joined the Fellows on the Drumkit, He first appeared with a Bongo and later was heckling Us when I sang one of Abbott Vaughn Meader’s Songs.

and other implements of Cosmic Significance.

and other implements of Cosmic Significance.

 

the Sweet Spot of Summer pART Four

As I sit here on Labor Day, the very first day of September, 2014, with the Cicadas making a racket all around my location in Woodfin, NC, I search back in my mind to remember that Loveliest of places, Maine, and more specifically, Moosehead Lake, where a gentle rain storm swept across from Mount Kineo, it soaked the vibrant greenery and the moss and made all the smooth rocks very shiny by the shoreline. I had collected plenty of twigs and pine cones before the rain to build a fire in Our Cabin and Krekel had gone off to Lincoln’s Camps to meet Peter Re, et al, over there. Peter is an incredibly talented Piano/Keyboard Wizard and an Old Friend of Ours, involved over the many years in forwarding the musical vibrations. I stayed behind to unwind a little after the whirlwind of OUR Fest, the Flavor Bay and the traveling and touring of the past two days, I was bushed.

a warm fire on a cool August Evening on the shores of Moosehead Lake.

a warm fire on a cool August Evening on the shores of Moosehead Lake.

“I’ve seen the Sun come rising out of a Lake at the break of dawn, it glowed like gold and it looked like the whole World had just begun.” from a Wish of Continual Seeing of Things by the Dynamic ARTs League. I penned those lyrics at Moosehead Lake back in August of 2004, upon rising early and seeing what looked like a fire on the Lake. This Friday morning was no different… Krekel was sawing logs on a tiny fluffy cot in the corner of the log bedroom, festooned with antlers and other random rustic appointments, jutting out at odd angles, so I woke up and tip-toed to the door of the cabin, opened the screen door with more creaks and squeaks than I had heard since the previous year’s visit and walked out into the dewy green carpet of soft grass stretching for several feet to the water’s edge. There was Mount Kineo, in the middle of what looked like 1 million diamonds shining, the Sun having just made its way over the tippy-top of that ancient rock and singeing, ever-so-slightly, the pine trees that line the hump-back island.

Our goal for the day-time part of August 8th, 2014, was to hike to the top of Mount Kineo and climb the Firetower there, a tradition which also began in 1998 and has continued with every trip to Moosehead Lake since then, of which there have been several, at least 8, that I can remember. In order to do that, We needed to catch a boat-ride over there. Peter Re had a boat and called Krekel just after breakfast to say He would be by to fetch Us in 45 minutes. Until then We sang songs on the porch and enjoyed the complete serenity of the surroundings. The Golf People were either up and gone on a Golfing excursion, or still passed-out from the previous Evening’s revelry…

a very unusual drift-wood object upon the rocky shore.

a very unusual drift-wood object upon the rocky shore.

 

Mount Kineo on Friday morning, August 8th, 2014.

Mount Kineo on Friday morning, August 8th, 2014.

crystal clear and sparkling waters of Moosehead Lake.

crystal clear and sparkling waters of Moosehead Lake.

Peter Re and his Wife Deborah Jean (pronounced like She was from the South: Debra-Jean) arrived and We all greeted and headed to the Marina to get onboard His new boat. There were two Sea Planes tied up at the dock and one of my biggest ALL-time dreams is to Fly-in to Moosehead Lake on a Sea Plane. Logistically it’s kind of tough. One would either have to take a Train to an Airstrip and then land in a field near a Lake or other water-body, big enough to take off and land on, then ride a Hay Wagon from the Airstrip to that place and get on a Sea Plane, which would deliver You from there. I still haven’t done it but I’d go in a heartbeat, just so You know. The one I got close to was called “Headin’ North” and it really plucked on the old Heart-strings. We piled into the boat and Krekel and I sat up front in folding lawn chairs to even things out, Peter Re said it was a bit choppy on the Lake already, although the Sun was shining brightly and the big puffy clouds that We could see seemed so far away, floating over the distant purple Mountains to the South and East.

 

"Headin' North"

“Headin’ North”

Me by the Inland Sea.

riding out of the little Marina at the Birches Resort and Saloon.

riding out of the little Marina at the Birches Resort and Saloon.

Deborah Jean and I in the motor launch.

Deborah Jean and I in the motor launch.

a rare view of the backside of Mount Kineo. The flint-rock Mountain rises up 1100 feet out of the black water, there, which descends to a depth of 300 feet at its lowest.

a rare view of the backside of Mount Kineo. The flint-rock Mountain rises up 1100 feet out of the black water, there, which descends to a depth of 300 feet at its lowest.

Captain Peter Ray at the Helm of his boat and Krekel as unofficial First-mate.

Captain Peter Re at the Helm of his boat and Krekel as unofficial First-mate.

We made for the North end of the Island of Kineo, which is actually more of Peninsula, as it is attached to the Mainland by a thin spit and a roadway (wide-enough for a Golf Cart), and then putted around to the backside of the Mountain and Peter Re dropped a fishing line into the deepest part of the Lake, there, while Deborah Jean took the helm. There was much recollection of times past, fishing with Abbott Vaughn Meader and Jason’s Dad, Tim Krekel. After a short while, Deborah Jean was ready to go back home, She may have had a premonition of some sort, We may never know… Peter said He’d drop Us off at the dock for the Kineo Launch, which was on the opposite side of the Island from where We were but He pulled in his fishing line and We motored around with much spray and bouncing in the now rough waves, although still below bright blue skies. They dropped Us off and headed back for the mouth of the Moose River and Peter said to call Him when We were ready for Our Pick-up. Krekel and I were both hungry and were delighted to find that the Golf Course on Mount Kineo, had a little Clubhouse, which contained a Grill. Neither of Us had ever seen it before but the Manager assured Us that it had been there for 16 years… 

Of course, there's a Golf Course on Mount Kineo... They say it's the second oldest in Maine.

Of course, there’s a Golf Course on Mount Kineo… They say it’s the second oldest in Maine.

With full bellies We began to walk along the trail that runs along the base of Mount Kineo and has three possible ascents. We took the Bridal Trail and it started to sprinkle just a bit, so We thought We’d take shelter at the Honeymoon Cabin, just a little ways up that trail…

Remains of the Honeymoon Cabin.

We were completely surprised to find out that the Honeymoon Cabin (similarly to most things built on that Island over the years) had burnt to the ground, probably by Ice Fishers or Snow Mobilers over the long Winter. There was no shelter to be found in the woods and the light rain had let-up, so We went on up the trail towards the Summit. It was muggy and muddy and We passed several weary Hikers making their way down, warning Us to take another route, as it was very muddy up there, they told Us. We, being consummate Hikers, continued on, not dissuaded by the groups of grumblers coming down. They really wasn’t any problem, We were able to easily get around the muddy spots and got to the Firetower with a little huffing and puffing. It was by this point very cloudy and windy but We climbed the rickety metal stairs to the top, nonetheless.

at the confluence of the Indian and Bridal trails.

at the confluence of the Indian and Bridal trails.

Climbing Up the Firetower. Mountains to the Northeast. Looking down. Storm a-comin'!

it was too Windy to even take a decent picture of Ourselves at the top. Here's the best We could do.

it was too Windy to even take a decent picture of Ourselves at the top. Here’s the best We could do.

We got back down and there was a very Young Couple getting ready to go up the Tower. We told them it looks like a Storm is coming and forgot completely that three minute rule that applies to that part of the Country. We decided to take the Indian Trail back down, which is a bit more steep than the Bridal Trail but slightly shorter. Within a few minutes of reaching that decision, very large heavy drops of cool rain began to fall, a few at first, then a little bit more, We thought We’d take shelter in some trees as We moved quickly down the side of a rock face trail but there was to be no shelter… the Sky opened up like the rains of the Great Flood. Droplets the size of Jello-cubes and big chunks of ice fell on Our heads and shoulders. We were instantly drenched to the bone, soaked-through. I remember being caught in a rainstorm like this in the Summer of 1978, there are few downpours of this nature. Surrender to the soaking was the only option, We slipped and slid and hopped, accompanied by gully-washers, transferring items from the top of the Mountain all the way down to the edge of the Lake, and finally, We reached the path at the bottom, followed shortly thereafter by the also-soaked Young Couple We had seen at the Summit. Krekel called Peter Re, who had called Us when We were on the Tower. We could actually see He and Don riding out of the Mouth of the Moose River, in their tiny boat with the V-shaped wake behind it, on their way to retrieve Us. They had had to turn back very shortly after that, to ride-out the Storm on dry-land. Peter said there was no way He could come get Us now and that We’d have to sit-tight. We made it to the floating dock at last, under darkened Skies in mid-afternoon and inquired of the Motor Launch Captain as to how much it cost to ride over to the Rockwood Landing. He said “Five bucks, one-way.” We could call Liz Munster to pick Us up from there, in the case that Peter could not pick us up but sure enough, here He came, racing across the heavy chop to scoop us up and bring Us to the Lincoln Camps, with chattering teeth, We were fed hotdogs in Lobster Roll buns and warm beans! 

Liz Munster did deliver Us from the Lincoln Camps back to the Birches. She gave Us a good pep-talk on the way, using allegory and stories, again of Abbott and Tim to illustrate Her point. She was instrumental in the setting up of the Gig and Accommodations at the Birches and was very helpful with most other things in the Great North Woods. She is often referred to as the “Moose Queen of Moosehead Lake”. Two more Musicians had been added to the Blue Bunny ALL-Stars for the Gig that night, while We were on Mount Kineo, a drummer that Peter Ray had met at a Gas Station and a Bass Player from a Famous Local Band. Along with Krekel on Guitar, Bobby Watson on Saxophone, Peter Re on Keyboard and Me painting, all inside of a giant rock Fireplace in the Great Room of the Birches. We really appreciated the lift and got on Our swimming suits and went directly to the Hot Tub!

pARTy in the Great North Woods! the Blue Bunny ALL-Stars with Liz Munster in the front row!

pARTy in the Great North Woods! the Blue Bunny ALL-Stars with Liz Munster in the front row!

the Painting I was working on with the Blue Bunny ALL-Stars.

the Painting I was working on with the Blue Bunny ALL-Stars.

a Monster Rocker, no doubt!

Rich, a Monster Rocker, no doubt!

Peter Ray on the ivories.

Peter Re on the ivories.

Rocks made Smooth by Eons in the Waters of the Greatest of ALL Maine Lakes.

Rocks made Smooth by Eons in the Waters of the Greatest of ALL Maine Lakes.

We had a delicious meal in the dining hall of the Birches Resort. I had Baked Haddock, stuffed with Crab and Others had Steak and We all had Corn-on-the-Cobb (except Liz Munster, who had Caesar Salad, even though They were out of it). Around 9:30pm most of the dining crowd cleared out, got after-dinner drinks, or headed out for a smoke (even in Northern Maine there is no smoking indoors). The Gig came off without a hitch, after a slight hic’cup at the very beginning, when the PA System had been left out in the same rain storm We got caught in on Mount Kineo. After a very brief set-up, that took all of 15 minutes, the Band launched into a rocking melody that sounded liked they had been practicing in a Garage nearby for ages! All night long We stayed strong and I got to sing a few rollicking numbers, with dancers and revelers rolling and spinning and flying around the Room. Many numbers and several encores later, We concluded the Night with a lengthy load-out and a walk of 150 feet back to Cabin 5.

 

 

the Sweet Spot of Summer pART Three.

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.

featuring Jason Krekel, Emil Nomel and Nery Arevalo.

featuring Jason Krekel, Emil Nomel and Nery Arevalo.

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!

pointing to Moosehead Lake on the cover of the Gazetteer.

pointing to Moosehead Lake on the cover of the Gazetteer.

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.

Freak Show Folk ART in Skowhegan Maine. We pulled over and went right in to see!

Freak Show Folk ART in Skowhegan Maine. We pulled over and went right in to see!

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…

Old Timers would laugh at this load of skinny Trees. Before the Great North Woods were clear cut, back when Oak Trees 4 feet wide at the base grew there.

Old Timers would laugh at this load of skinny Trees. Before the Great North Woods were clear cut, back when Oak Trees 4 feet wide at the base grew there.

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.

dark and flowing waters by the side of the old Logging Road.

dark and flowing waters by the side of the old Logging Road.

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

a drawing I made on the porch of Cabin V at the Birches REsort, Moosehead Lake, Maine.

a drawing I made on the porch of Cabin V at the Birches REsort, Moosehead Lake, Maine.

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.

Holy Mount Kineo in Moosehead Lake.

Holy Mount Kineo in Moosehead Lake.

Rain on the ShoreKrekel Cabin 5.Kineo in the mist.