Primitive camping they call it. Little triangular outlines in red on the Maine map in the gazetteer. There’s a site not far from us we visit for it’s view and the bike ride to find it. It can be a handy or beauty or cheap way to stay the night, depending on your position.
We camped once not far from the Bold Coast…
Below us is the meeting of ways where folks who have enough will be given more. There’s route 1 wiggling its way from East Machias into Machias village. We glide toward it. Tonight I will see blueberries in hummocks and hollows along the road toward camp.
Rain’s drip-dripping, pattering upon the rain fly of the tent…breezes rustling-rustling, breathing above our tiny triangular cloth sheltering…falling, waking; in and out of sleep consciousness…breathing. The new mattress is an ironing board—overfull of air. …Footfalls of bear? All the breathing… about to knock deadfall upon us…the heavy limbs of conifers, aspens, lichened with fogs of the ages? Staked fabric, pitched with thin aluminum…for protection? Awaken, but trip to outhouse is out of the question by reason of bears. I’m hardly here; without breath, scarcely breathing, my gaze bleak in the dark. Breath surrounds me, rustling, breaths. That and thunder distant, the pattering of rain walking over our tent.
The voice of the chick-a-dee calling its soft mating song in and out. The answering on opposite shore of waking. First on one side, then on the other. One side and the other…. Look up, breather, on the tent-filtered triangle of hushed light. Yes…. Open morning eyes on the dimness of dawn.
Now comes song-flood of the wood thrush, meandering. Creep, on shaky knees, outside three-cornered flap. Dewy dimness, rainy-wet, unsure descending feet on pine needles… over rock, roots, toward tall outhouse. Drenched is the way down from damp outhouse…down to the river bend. Grey-green the reedy bed, over the waterway. Fresh the river coming, fresh breath of dewy dim. I stoop, wash my hands.
Ah! rugosa rose—wild rose, rosey at my turning round. Green all the everywhere in light come increasingly.
Toward the Bold Coast…
I like stretching, getting up in the morning; slowly dressing, picking up speed. I like lifting the rain fly’s wire stakes from the ground, sliding the fly like wet silk over and off the tent. The tent hangs naked from thin poles. We take no time to air dry anything, but pack it up wet and head down the road. This is what I like: walking into a restaurant early, where coffee pours dark from the maker into glass pots, steaming, and is carried to my table by one who has had it ready. Oh, set those ubiquitous white ceramic cups down and let’s get to the ease of being waited on, served.