Dana’s Trip To Spencer

Today Dana made the 2 hour and 45 min drive into the camps. This time across roads glittering with ice, with his father in tow! By his own admission he was thankful that he didn’t meet any logging trucks in the “bad” spots and only on the nice clear flat stretches. On the way in there were a few trees that had fallen in the high winds we had over the last week, but nothing impassable. He reported about two inches of snow on the ground despite heavy rain and temperatures that were close to 61 in Bangor….it’s another world up there. A world I can’t wait to join.  You can feel/see the climate change when you turn Spectacle corner in Monson and then again on your way out of Kokadjo. I’m not a meteorologist but I’m pretty sure you are crossing some different climate zones as you head north. My father and I recently discussed the differences up there the other night. The conversation circled around the difference in the size of the deer up there, even in as small a distance as Shirley Mills to Spencer Pond, the deer increase in size. It makes sense, deeper snow, colder winters, more predators, and survival of the fittest…Darwinian principles at their best. The strong, the hardened, those that can persevere survive…the analogy carries itself not just from the wildlife but also into the people. The people are different, “Real Mainers” I like to say…the strong …the hardy….not fluffy, not fancy…my kind of people. I can’t wait to be living up there among them!  (Animals and people) We currently live on the coast, with its mild temperatures and late onset of winter, it feels more like September here than December. Global warming? perhaps…but then again, this summer certainly didn’t feel very warm…so not sure I’m ready to pull that thread any further.

His father was impressed with the camps and eager to point out projects that he and Dana could work on in the spring. A little father / son bonding time is always appreciated. Dana’s father was recently diagnosed with lupus and it was meaningful for them to be able to share the day together doing “guy” stuff, whatever that means. Dana got the last of the camp close up done, picked up the trash, and surveyed our newly delivered pile of wood. The truckload of wood was perfect, nice straight beech, a few maples and neatly placed up off the ground. We are indebted to our logger and our trusty forester who made the arrangements. That is a huge weight lifted from our mind. There may be a lot of work to it, but now we will have some nice wood for next spring. Wood splitting party anyone? Dana is one of those strange types who can almost split wood faster by hand than he can with a splitter (although I suspect with beech he will resort to the splitter.) As I hear, his grandfather believed teaching his grandson how to split wood fast and efficiently by hand was a valuable skill and one that taught discipline. 

Speaking with a neighbor the other day we were discussing his land, and how a good day for him, is a day he never leaves home. I agreed with him as he owns part of the beautiful oak ridges I most like to walk through and hunt in the fall. I mentioned that I had always felt “at home” in the mountains. This is what I call the Moosehead area. (I know eye-rolls from my western friends and Miss Tamara who runs Yukon River Lodge deep in the heart of interior Alaska)…but I do…I feel at home in the Maine Mountains. I love the air, I love to listen to the thunderstorms echo off the slate lined ridges near Monson, I love the smell of the freshly cut woods, and listening to the white-throated sparrows that thrive in new openings. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. You can find happiness anywhere if you set your mind to it. But the real question is, where is your “soul” most happy…and do you find the courage to discover that place and then bring the  reality of living there to fruition…I certainly hope so. My friend looked at me wistfully and said “sounds like inside you already know where you need to be; now you just have to get there.” I’ve always been goal oriented and good at achievement. So now I’m aspiring. I’m working towards it…slow and steady wins the race.

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