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Return to Malaga

In the summer of 1912, the impoverished residents of Malaga Island were forcibly removed from their homes by the State of Maine. Lacking alternative living arrangements, their relocation was haphazard. Some found acceptable accommodations, others moved their tiny homes onto rafts, a few wandered, and a handful were deemed mentally unfit and placed in the […]

Mount Desert Island Trifecta

Who says old people don’t know how to have a good time? A sextet of over seventies recently met on Mount Desert Island for several summer days of biking, sea kayaking, and mountain hiking. I call it an outdoor trifecta. Three couples with multiple agendas, we joined up for some activities and went separate ways […]

Rounding the Swan

When my friend Ken Gordon contacted me about a sea kayak trip Amy Schrag was organizing circumnavigating Swans Island, I didn’t have time for the four day endeavor. Since I’d never paddled around Swans Island, curiosity compelled me to research the online Maine Coastal Waters Forecast. Stellar conditions were predicted throughout. Although only three days […]

Traversing the Big Lakes

I had two good reasons to organize a trip on the big lakes of western Maine. First, a traverse of Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic, Upper Richardson, and Lower Richardson Lakes is one of the most exceptional paddling experiences in Maine. Second, the excursion would be an episode in my new book tentatively entitled The Fifty Finest Outdoor […]

Murky Exploits on Penobscot Bay

Dense fog and very humid conditions greeted four of us when arriving at the rudimentary Spruce Head Boat Landing early morning in preparation for a Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society sea kayak trip in western Penobscot Bay. The Channel Six weather guy had promised clearing by then. After unloading boats and changing clothes, the fog […]

Riding the Narrow Gauge

One of the most unique bike trails in Maine is the historic Narrow Gauge Pathway in Carrabassett Valley. The trail follows the former Kingfield and Dead River Railroad bed used to convey logs to a sawmill situated in Bigelow at the northern terminus of the railway in the early 20th century. Two-foot narrow gauge tracks […]

Exploring New Meadows River

Tenacious is how I would describe my longtime friend and Brunswick resident, Carolyn Welch. An octogenarian, she has endured several months of physical setbacks followed by the difficulties and uncertainties of the pandemic. I suspect even the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts among us would lie low for the summer. Not Carolyn. Despite the fact that […]

Senior Revelations on the Dead River

The first time I canoed the Dead River thirty-five years ago, the dam release was 1,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). The seemingly huge waves, mammoth holes, and powerful currents were the most intimidating whitewater I had ever experienced. As is true with many aspects of life, one’s perspective changes over time. As the years […]

Sea Kayaking Begins at Mere Point

Like my Native American ancestors, when the blackflies arrive I gravitate to the coast. Consequently for me, sea kayaking normally begins in late May or early June when the nasty blood suckers begin to proliferate in the mountains and on the rivers. The pandemic has added another incentive as sea kayaking doesn’t require a shuttle […]

Tumultuos Times on the Machias River

Forget the St. John, Allagash or Moose Rivers. As far as I’m concerned, the Machias River is the best canoe trip in Maine. A free flowing river with a large watershed, it begins in the lakes region of northern Washington County and then tumbles for eighty miles to the sea in the coastal community of […]