By Michelle Davis
I walk like a Mainer, talk like a Mainer, eat like a Mainer, paddle like a Mainer. I’ve spent the past month hiking some of the Appalachian Trail on weekends, eating red hot dogs and whoopie pies and paddling on some of the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen.
I’m back from my last canoe trip, and I’m missing Maine already. We had a fantastic week to end with on Flagstaff Lake, near Stratton-Eustis, which runs right along the Bigelow Range. The range is gorgeous, some of the highest peaks in Maine. As a hiker myself, I was drooling from the surface of the lake, looking up at the ridge line. We had some fantastic campsites on Flagstaff Lake, and the abundant history of the area was readily apparent one night where we were surrounded by remnants of old cars left over from the old Flagstaff Village.
We had fantastic weather. SUNSHINE for a week straight! I came back to The Forks with a tan, some of which might just have been dirt. We had a week of quick paddles (thanks to Mother Nature’s blessing of tailwinds!) which gave the kids full days of swimming, and sunning. We were spared from a potentially brutal thunderstorm and given beautiful sunsets instead. We fell asleep to loons singing at night and woke up to them again in the morning. I had a blast exploring the lake and our campsites with the kids from Rangeley and Stratton. We checked out old cars and speculated about the history behind them, and hung out on a mountain of sawdust left over from a mill at Round Barn. We had great kids this week, full of energy, enthusiasm and outrageous stories, and constantly sporting Kool-Aid mustaches.
I learned a lot this summer, from the kids I paddled with, from the guides I worked with, from local Mainers and from Maine herself. Maine is a beautifully simple place, full of history but seemingly untouched. It runs on a time schedule based on the release of the Kennebec Dam or the wind shift on Flagstaff Lake. If you haven’t spent time in central Maine, I urge you to spend some in The Forks, Jackman and Stratton. I’ve seen and done some amazing things and met some of the most good natured and interesting people who I won’t soon forget. So get out to Maine, paddle the Moose River and Flagstaff Lake and take me with you!
Thanks for taking an interest in my adventure.
Over and out,