The Overgrown Road

I’ve got cleaning! No, there is no smiley. I’ve got gardening! (okay, bit of smiley). So here’s something past. In Maine Metaphor R. is called Allen. (In case you are wondering.)

As pictured in the Press Herald, Paul opposes casinos in the county. 

“The Overgrown Road” is the name of a chapter part of which tells of our visit up to Paul’s place. If one is not possessed of a rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle, one huffs and puffs her way up his hill. As we neared the top, Allen and I saw the stone and cedar-shake house through white spindly birches. From here it looks like a modern spacious Middle American home. But, as we gained the summit, a difference appeared: His stonework is rustic, made of glacial till from his gravel pit. It’s not the precious professional masonry found in upscale neighborhoods. The sunny house, sitting above the surrounding garden plot, and circled by the pale green of spring trees, had its roof raised by friends and neighbors on a Saturday morning.

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the maine hermit

Here’s included just enough of the hermit’s story to tantalize you. He lived, solitary, within sound of the occasional lawnmower and motorboats plying waters on the pond below his camp. The author of The Stranger in the Woods, Mr. Finkel, called Christopher Knight’s meeting with people “collisions”— as Anne Morrow Lindbergh used this word, I noticed while reading her journals. Collision.

We went biking uphill and downhill through woods, over sand deposits on trails — sands left by the glaciers. It’s the trail I think of as my free will trail. Sometimes on the trail I think about free will.

 

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elsewhere they suffer rains, whereas here we suffer not, but work

snowy-wood

when praying for snow, in hopes of a soft cover over three inches of ice from the oh-so-gentle-looking ice storms…when praying for snow in order that one might go skiing or snowshoeing…please don’t tell anyone i did this…as a lot of tax money has been spent plowing roads…and businesses have had to close temporarily…yet everyone seems merry if you chance to meet….

So please watch what you pray for.

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Maine members of ongoing creation

 

r-on-shoes-uphill-swan

R. pauses on shoes up toward buck’s farm

 

Today we hope to get in a little snowshoeing, if conditions aren’t too glumpy or icy.  A combo is on the ground now, glump on top, ice underneath. Both conditions are hard on a chronic foot injury from the 1998 ice storm. And R. may be bringing up some wood, though a January thaw is on. Here in Maine we are members of the ongoing creation story, and of the blogosphere.

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My Hero, Lost On A Mountain In Maine

Posting here in honor of his recent passing over the dark river.

Shipps view

One of my heroes was lost on a mountain in Maine. Not just any mountain, but The Greatest Mountain—Katahdin, it was named of the Abenaki. Highest mountain in the state and sharing with downeast coastal Quoddy Head first light each day in the continental U.S.. The mountain has a distinctive profile, standing lone and long. Its two often cloud swathed peaks are connected by a narrow path of eroding stone called the Knife Edge, some places 2-3 ft. wide, some places dropping off almost sheer to the valley below.

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B. Pond

treasuries chambers

the view from swan’s ledge

 

Yes, am continuing to re-read We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich. It’s still propped up on the kitchen table. I’m not sure I want the book to end… just yet anyway. I’d like to quote her on her experience with “B Pond,” because it shows that facet of this book which I may not have well expressed in the earlier post. I’ve never seen B. Pond. I’d like to–ever since first seeing that name on the map. Rich experiences enchanted days, her reward for persisting in this enchanted visit to B Pond, year after year. She loves this pond. And I can identify with that in my own Maine experience.

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by louise dickinson rich: we took to the woods

richardson lake map (2)

We are askew. There’s a lot going on, caring for an injured relative in a smallish log cabin on-the-grid. Daily life looks different. So right now, in snatches, I’m reading Louise Dickinson Rich‘s We Took to the Woods, one of my favorite Maine books. This is a good book, and it’s marked, plenty of marginalia from previous readings. Here’s my note on the title page, in pencil: “see p. 131-32 for the heart of it — what she has to say about their life in the woods.” I haven’t looked at that yet for this blogging. I began reading all over again this time from the beginning where she describes how she came to the woods 20 years before, one teacher among a group of such hikers (along with a guide). And how she came to write the book in 1942, living off-the-grid.

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shoeing

snowshoe post2

before dawn above the house

18° outside this a.m., 57° in the bedroom. Fahrenheit. Prediction is for 10° below 0n Sunday morning. Our last post was a prayer for snow. New England neighbors well south of us got more than enough at that time, but here, where there is plentiful use for it, snow on the ground was patchy, old and stiff. No good for skiing or shoeing. It’s been like that all winter. Yesterday we got a very pretty fall of 4 in. which helped some. Usually by this time we’ve posted some snowshoeing entries. We went through level woods past the snowy stream and our neighbors’ on shoes, exhilarated, impressed of the great beauty all around us. And the sun shining through trees from above the slope opposite. This picture was taken this morning at temperature check.

In previous winters it went something like this:

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