Thursday, September 15, 2011

Life Jackets for Everyone?

I'm of two minds regarding a proposal which would require paddlers of all ages to wear life jackets (PFDs) while on the water.  Currently, PFDs are only required for paddlers aged 10 and under.  (That, by the way, was one of the questions on my guide's test.)

Citing a spate of paddling deaths this year (some of which involved a victim who was not wearing a life jacket), State Representative Richard Malaby of Hancock is looking to change that.  He submitted a bill as "emergency legislation" which, if it passes, could take effect prior to next summer.  Rep. Malaby himself, however, acknowledges that the problem may have to do more with paddler education than PFD regulation.  He says that the regulation would help to educate out-of-state vacationers with the "dangers" of paddling in Maine waters, which basically boil down to the fact that a lot of Maine water is cold.  Really cold.  Even in the summer.  (Don't believe me?  Jump into Deboullie in July- it'll get your heart pumping!)

On one hand, we have helmet and seat belt laws to protect us from ourselves, so I don't see how a PFD law would be any different.  On the other hand, I usually find it awkward to paddle in a life jacket, especially since 90% of my paddling is done on calm water in which I swim regularly.  If I'm paddling a river, or if it's choppy or whatnot, a life jacket is a given.  Wearing one to paddle over to the Island to clean it every few days would be a little obnoxious.

That's just my opinion, though- what do you think?

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Moose in the Yard

Moose are more-or-less a way of life up here. While they don't come through the yard every day, it's not an uncommon occurrence.  Here's our most recent encounter- you'll have to forgive me for the cheesy captions.  (Everyone enjoys cheese now and then, don't they?) 

Ron: holy cow- moose!  Moose: holy cow- humans!

Mama: eat your vegetables. Calf: do I have to??

The shortest distance between two points is apparently straight over the dock.

Don't mind us.  Just passing through.  'Scuze us.  Pardon us.

Oh!  Did I get in the way of your duck picture?  Terribly sorry.

What do you mean there's something wrong with my ear?

Really, it adds character, don't you think?

Did you order the duck?  I don't remember ordering the duck...

*giggle*  *whisper whisper*  *giggle*

Hey- I heard that!

Every now and then, it strikes me how very lucky I am.  I'm currently sitting on my deck listening to loons call back and forth between Island Pond and Pushineer while posting photos of moose walking across that same deck last week. I hope you enjoy them- kudos to Suzanne for getting the first half.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Whitman Ridge Trail

There was a stunning blue sky in T15-R9 today, so after taking care of quite a few things around Camp, I decided to hike the Whitman Ridge Trail (since I'd only previously hiked part of it).

The first half of the trail is great; it first brings you to two Perch Pond overlooks, right over the cliffs on the north side of the pond.  The leaves are just starting to turn up here- there were a few trees that stood out like orange and red beacons, and the rest of the trees are turning that dull shade of green which means they're not too far behind.  The trail then takes you to one of the ridge peaks without too much fanfare.  You can certainly tell you're at the peak, but mostly because the ground all around you slopes downward.

The peak, however, is where I'm going to recommend everyone stop and turn around, at least until the crews can get back to the trail next year.  Soon after the peak, it was obvious that the crews began simply preparing for next year's work, rather than performing a thorough trail cutting.  I walked over a lot of cut branches, pushed a lot of uncut branches out of the way, and almost forged a new trail in places.  The trail is pretty long; I probably followed it for about 45 minutes total before the cutting came to an ungraceful end and the ribbons followed shortly thereafter.  I'm honestly not sure where I was at that point; I'd guess somewhere over Upper Pond.

The return trip proved to be more of an adventure than the trip there.  Some of the ribbons that were obvious from one direction were out of sight from the other, and I had to backtrack two or three times.  Sometimes I was following ribbons, but some times I had to watch for any sign that cutting had taken place.  A few well-worn animal trails fooled me for a short way.

In all, I think the trail will be a great addition to the network already in place.  For now, I'd recommend enjoying the views of Perch and Togue but turning at the top of the ridge.  Better to wait for the crews to finish linking it up with the Ridge Loop Trail, which will probably happen by the middle of next season.

Happy trails!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


If you follow us on Facebook, you'll have seen these photos already.  (And you'll know that I'm much better about updating our page there than I am at updating the blog!)  The renovations have continued this year, but I think they're definitely at the slowing-down point.  Here's what we did after Togue:

First, we added new hardwood floors to the loft in the Island.  Goodbye, 70's era linoleum!  The loft (and indeed, the whole cabin) is now light, bright, and welcoming.  More and more, I want to move out to the Island myself.

After that, we put a new ceiling in the living room of Gardner to replace some more white acoustic tile.

We still have a bit more to do in Gardner (floors, bathroom, etc), but that will all have to wait until next year.  Slowly but surely, we're making progress.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Absent Again, but Back with Amusing News

This just in from Saro, Sweden: a moose was found stuck in an apple tree, apparently drunk from eating fermented apples.  CNN has the whole story.

Once rescuers freed the moose from the tree, the moose laid right down to sleep off his bender for the rest of the night and most of the next day.  I can only imagine what a moose-sized hangover must feel like.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Growing up Goldeneye

Once again this summer, time has slipped away from me.  Is it because I'm growing older, or is it true that time flies when you're doing something you love?

At any rate, there hasn't been an awful lot interesting going on in our neck of the woods.  The Togue renovations continue; we replaced all of the cabin's interior doors with newly-built doors this weekend.  I've done a couple of little landscaping things that I've been needing to do all summer.  Other than that, though, it's been quiet as we gear up for a big few days this coming week.  (We're feeding 36 on Tuesday and 27 on Wednesday!  For us, that's pretty intense.)

So what better way to apologize for my long absence than by posting pictures?  We're lucky enough to replace television with reality up here, so we've been watching the docu-drama "Growing up Goldeneye" all summer.  In this week's episode, the Gang of Four has left the nest, and we haven't seen mama around for at least a week or so.  (Apologies to all of our Facebook fans who have seen these photos already!)

And just to recap where the Goldeneyes started, here they were a little under a month ago:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Shameless Request

I recently discovered Intuit's "Love a Local Business" contest; they're giving away over $1 million in grants between May and September of this year. We're getting into the fray a little late, but there are still two $25,000 small business grants and the grand prize of a $50,000 small business grant at stake.

The contest is run like a lottery- every vote we get gives us one chance to be drawn in August or September. We're love it if you could go to the "Love a Local Business" website and cast a vote for us; each person is allowed to vote once in August and once in September. (You do have to provide your e-mail address, but Intuit promises it won't be sold or used for any other marketing purpose.)