Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lund Mid Winter Status Report or Let's Toss All Our Junk Into Her

This is the 4th winter that we've had our Lund Rebel Sport. And this coming spring will be our 5th boating season. It's shocking to me how the previous 4 seasons have flown, no boated, by so quickly. So being that it was 50 degrees on this fine early spring, January day ...
and with our most recent 6" snowfall quickly melting away, turning our spring staging area for the Rebel Sport, into a slippery layer of muck, "The Thoughts" started to creep into my consciousness.

With the perfect combination of  events: the bright warm sun and temperature, no snow in my immediate view, the sweet smell of vernal decay (well maybe not quite vernal yet) and of course the prime indicator of spring, a layer of mud, my mind wandered off to.... Groundhog Day?

Not hardly! It was of course, boating (which really meant fishing). Those were the thoughts that had started to rapidly infect the old neurons with the dreaded , Boatusonthebrainus Syndrome !

And now that I was totally possessed with "those " thoughts , I had no choice but to be close to my
l'objet de desir, my paramour.

As I said this winter is the 4th that The Rebel Sport has had to endure. In the previous three, when the time came to winterize, my wife and I would spend the better part of a day enclosing her, the boat not my wife, into a blue cocoon , complete with a wooden skeleton, stretching rope and bungi cord to their breaking limit. Of course all this time and effort would never keep all the water out and we were reminded daily of our failure of showing her our proper respect and the loving care that she deserved.

  Just our everyday driveway inny's and outey's would deepen my profound sense of guilt of being such a poor caregiver to that which , next to my wife and dog, held such an exalted position in my heart.

Something had to be done.

I couldn't bear the thought of exposing her to another "unprotected" seasonal experience, so my solution was of course our "two car" garage. Two car in name only as the second bay was filled with a hand mower, a riding tractor, a wheelbarrow, a wood chipper, assorted lawn furniture, multiple lengths of garden hoses and more leftovers from summer. But..no second car.. there never was and there never would be.
So after many careful measurements and the removal of two layers of trim boards from the door opening, the Rebel Sport had found a new winter home. And with the trailer tongue folded neatly back , there was at least two inches of clearance with the garage door shut. Plus all the stuff that had to come out , went back in. Nicely fitting around and on top of the RS like a 3D jigsaw puzzle.

However I still get a slightly uneasy feeling each and every time that I open Door #1 to back out the car and consequently viewing all our adornments to the Rebel Sport. But it does make a wicked good catch all and hopefully soon she will be back out on Penobscot Bay or Lake St. George or West Grand in her rightful element, carrying Pat and I and the pups to the next deep hole where those wily landlocked salmon are lurking.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

More Land For Baxter State Park - Another Reason To Say No To A National Park

  "  A 143-acre tract of land with an iconic, lakefront view of Mount Katahdin and a rich history is being donated to Baxter State Park today by Huber Resources Corp., a timber management company based in Old Town. " -courtesy of The Portland Press Herald

This just makes Baxter State Park an even more special place. Presently I am in planning mode for some early spring fishing at the park.. will keep my blog updated as my plans progress but if anyone out there has first hand experience with fly fishing at Baxter I would appreciate some input...

And in my mind, this just enhances my view that Maine is in no need of a national park. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


     There were, at one time, six of us.  The quintessential family of the 50’s with a father who provided, a stay at home mother who nourished,  a first born son , then two girls and lastly another son.
We were running at full throttle, 100%, burning up those innocent days of the 50’s as if there would be no end, oblivious that it could change. No end to fun, no end to family. 
     Now, on this day some 60 years later, that family of 6 is down to 50%. The first to pass was the provider, than the one who nourished and now the first born son.  My brother Dennis died on New Year’s Day 2012 of a cancerous tumor on his brain.
     Dennis and I were not close.  He was 8 years my senior and  I’m pretty sure that as we  grew up he considered me a more of a pestering, spoiled brat kid than someone he could relate to in a brotherly manner.  There were just too many years between my childhood and his adolescence.  But I did look up to him because he was just too cool. He was a teen during the golden 50’s. The years of flat –top haircuts, rolled up blue jeans, and hot rods. For those things and more I was jealous of my big brother.
     And being older, Dennis and Dad would go hunting together, leaving me moping and wallowing in self -pity at the injustice of it all. On the rare occasions that I would be included to go out with them , which I’m sure happened  at the insistence of my mother, I would have to privately endure my envy of the scope mounted, lever action, .32 Special that Dad had bought for Dennis.  I really loved that rifle.  And when I had the chance I would eagerly, but secretly, retrieve it from the gun cabinet, peeping though the scope and joyously jacking imaginary shells into the chamber. Dreaming of the day when I could use it for real, on a hunt with Dad which would finally happen after my brother graduated from Crosby High School in 1960.
     However fishing was the exception to my self-perceived exclusion.  I guess the general  consensus was that a spinning rod in my hands was a whole lot less threatening than a deer rifle. For whatever reasons I was allowed to accompany my brother and Dad on more than a few brook fishing expeditions.  But after the third time I “hooked up” a low lying branch  a disgusted brother  Dennis would move on to fish in peace, leaving Dad to tend to my rescue (s).  Then there was lake fishing....  Dad had an old, green, canvas covered wooden canoe with a square stern on which he would mount a small Johnson outboard. I’m sure it weighed a “ton” but he and Dennis and Uncle Oscar would toss it up onto the homemade wooden rack superstructure that topped off our old Ford F-100. The three or four of us  (if the Big O came along)  would pile in and head out to Swan Lake with our sights set on some landlocked salmon action, the cab of the pickup soon filling with the aroma of Prince Albert.  And on some of these occasions even I caught a few fish, trolling streamers in our wake.
     To this day, I still have the love of dragging a Grey Ghost behind my boat, evoking memories and a profound melancholy for  those long ago days.  Perhaps a part of these fond memories was that, in my mind at least, Dennis and I were almost equal in that big green canoe.
     After his high school graduation he had a short stint with Maine Maritime Academy and then the U.S. Army for 23 years, including a tour of Viet Nam.  He lived in Germany, out of state, and in state but not close by, got married and raised a family, graduated from Pensacola Bible Institute and did missionary field work.  So once he left home after Crosby High, he was gone, only returning for short visits.
     Den and his wife Daryl did finally settle only 10 or so miles away from me for his retirement years.  And during that time he and I saw one another somewhat more frequently, although our relationship never became closer.  I guess it just wasn’t meant to be but I wish that it were.  

     Perhaps it could have been if we had only gone fishing once again in another big, green canoe.

(Dedicated to my brother Dennis who passed away at the age of 70.)