You are in an open jeep with friends in the wilderness of Northern Maine.
With a pair of Old Town red and green canoes strapped to the top rack. A bumper hitch insulated container box packed with ice. Loaded with home made goodies to munch on. As you dine outside with one big fresh air, exercise induced appetite. Where the setting always provides an open picnic table with one jaw dropping incredible Maine view.
Two Maine moose so far and three deer, one black bear mom with a cub spotted.
You are in a neighborhood where the natives are all four legged, furry, not so social. On the dusty trail leading to today’s adventure. In the unspoiled outdoors of “T” this, “R” that unorganized territories of the Pine Tree State.
Where the owner of the large, hundreds of thousands of acres of timberland sends the property tax annual check directly to Augusta. Lacking any local muncipality to mail it to like the rest of the state.
Then something odd comes into view, your field of vision.
Conversation in the jeep stops. As you slow, gawk and wonder. A top of the line, flame red, heavily optioned BMW sedan is sitting along side of the roadway. Parked, empty, not what you expected to be smack dab in the middle of the heavily wooded pathway you find yourself on today.
That looks so out of place in this terrain that begs for something with higher ground clearance. Mud flaps, heavier, multi ply knobby tires that are not so low profile, aerobicised, painfully skinny. And needing a four wheel drive lever to throw into gear. Shoved forward when you go as far as you can go powered by two wheel drive. To do a 180 degree about face. To head back to civilization when the day is done. While there is still daylight.
Rather than making a desperate call to the Warden’s service to start the search for the name on the Beemer’s registration in the rich “Corinthian leather” dash glove compartment.
The lone out of its element, awkwardly parked car out of place. Not in it’s normal element in the bright lights, big city. Near the swanky, way overpriced snarky dealership that deals out the German imported highly engineered vehicles. More designed for an autobahn highway inspired by Hitler. Not the dirt trails with massive mud puddles that you hope have a solid bottom as your “ford”, “portage” them in Maine’s willywags.
Climb In, Hang On, Maine White Water Rafting Video
My youngest son is leading white water rafting trips in The Fork’s area of Maine this summer.
Before he goes back to Colorado for his senior year of college this fall. And he says he sees lots of folks that have been to LL Bean. Brand new, state of the art camping, hiking, rafting items. Many still with price stickers, just unwrapped before he decides where to put the party of paddlers in the big raft for today’s adventure down the Dead, the Kennebec River.
One yellow helmeted newbie rafter raises his hand when asked are there any questions. After the safety rigamore verbage that is much like the stewardess that holds up the belt, shows you how to work the latch. And what to do with the seat cushion if over water. How to slide on the air mask if it should suddenly appear, be dangling in front of your tray that hopefully you left in the upright position.
The nervous rafter asks are we going to get any water spray?
If he is large sized, he is going up front. If all the weight is in the back of the raft, tail drag is not doing to help navigate the boat around the rock hazards to deliver the passengers in tact to the eddy out for lunch on the river.
And yes sir, you are going to get some spray. Very wet to give all that new expensive gear that transforms you in to a white water rafter enthusiast, afficionado overnight to end up totally soaked. Walls, sheets of water are going to hit the larger guys, gals in the front of the raft. It is a given. Paddle hard until instructed to reach down for the short rope. And you hear the yell to “hang on”. And to remember if you are catapulted, swepted off and out of the boat, to keep your legs up so they don’t get broken.
Maine, the real natives don’t have all the price tags, latest high tech equipment but enjoy the state year round. Not just a weekend, a string of days called a vacation taken just annually. Get to Maine for a day, end up staying a lifetime. Find your place in the space of Maine.