I’ve received numerous comments from my post about the arrest of Christopher Knight, now dubbed “The North Pond Hermit”. Here’s an update on his continued resistance to connecting to a society he walked away from decades ago.The link brings you to additional new stories about this most unusual situation.
The day was dry, but the footing was often wet, but I made it up and around with nothing more than wet feet on today’s training hike.
The mandatory picture from the top of Mt. Megunticook shows the remains of snow along the edge of the plowed Mt. Battie Road.
Two miles of trail from Ocean Lookout back to the top of Megunticook and then down the Ridge Trail to Jack Williams Trail (JWT) is still covered with appreciable snow, and even ice floes on the descent to the connector to JWT. I didn’t have traction devices with me and had to switchback along the untrodden snow to get down from the ridge.
It’s a mixed blessing to be walking in the Park this week, with more snow predicted tonight, April 12.
We started at the Mt. Pleasant parking area, which was almost a swimming pool. I took a side trail over to show Doug the summit of Mt. Pleasant, with absolutely no view at all. It was humid and the air thick with moisture. On the way there, I had images of riding the same track, and was blown away at how wet and muddy the ground was right now. As we made our way over the ups and downs we encountered ice and snow.
I forgot my map, but used Guthook’s Camden Hills Hiking Guide to track our location on the trail. Not many people know that the Highland Path is a bonus on the App.
When we were just .6 mile from Route 17 where we spotted Doug’s car the fog cleared and there was a bit of a view.
We hope to reunite in October, hopefully with 6,000 miles racked up in total. Sheesh!
In Maine’s Sunday Telegram.
Dateline: Spring Brook, Camden Hills State Park, Camden, ME
The normally staid water bottle, AKA Tiki- Man, barely survived a harrowing fall into the rushing, frigid Class V rapids along Spring Brook on March 16, 2013, in Midcoast Maine.
When Tenzing was getting refills for multiple water bottles near the bloated culvert containing Spring Brook, Tiki-man leapt from his hand into the raging torrent.
While Tiki-man remained collected, Tenzing became gravely distraught about the situation.Tiki-man was engulfed by the torrent that quickly propelled him under the multi-purpose road above. In panic mode, Tenzing scrambled up the embankment, only to become further frantic as he realized that the revered, purple, and ( at times) luminescent head was no where to be seen.
Glancing straight down the side of the road to the surface of the maelstrom below, Tiki-man was sighted, in an immobilized state within the backwaters of an eddy, but beyond human reach. Tenzing leaped into rescue mode, and quickly fashioned a three-pronged branch, that he used to dislodge and release Tiki man, only to realize that the valiant water bottle was facing yet another harrowing scoot down the icy water.
Tiki-man courageously traversed at a diagonal across the channel, where he eventually struggled to maintain a tentative hold on the far-side shore.
At this point, Tiki-man was clearly up against very thin ice.
The three-pronged stick guided Tiki-man past this last challenge into a still pool, where he was airlifted to safety by the selfsame stick.
Most importantly, Tiki-Man lived to tell the tale. He described his dunking as the most harrowing experience that he has ever been through.
Tiki-man is a seasoned, 6 year old water bottle. Tiki-Man has recently become increasingly despondent at his persistent failure to lose enough weight to qualify him as an ultralight backpacking accessory. He occasionally mumbles about being teased as “a bloated relic” by Platypi and even the young upstart plastic soda bottles.
The colorful character has risen through the ranks of backpacking water bottles through his persistent dedication to thru-hiker hydration.
A veteran of three National Scenic Trails, Tiki man has endured unparalleled adventures on the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Vermont’s Long Trails.
The closest the battered water bottle had come to the slag heap of also-ran hiker gear was in 2007, when he was dropped from a day pack on the AT and left for dead in a crevice between a rock and a hard place. Extracted from his impending tomb by a hiker named Big Sky, the revived Tiki-Man survived a dark passage through the US Postal Service, adorned with a mere one dollar and thirty-two cent stamp and a tattered Uncle Tom address label.
Undaunted by his early morning sub-freezing soak today, Tiki- man bucked up, and settled into place in the backpack, where the wizened vessel supplied his human partner, Uncle Tom, with hydration on a long winter day hike in the Camden Hills.
My friend Lock and I strapped on our carpenter’s aprons and vastly improved the Hobbes Pond camp kitchen today. It was a rotting, decrepit mess that was bought from the owner 11 years ago to cover the cost of a truck. Hobbes is feeling much better now, thank you. I believe the former owner may have lost the pickup in a divorce, but Marcia and I continue to work together to still have the camp. It’s also less than 5 miles from home.
We should have torched it, and started over with new- it’s a tiny place that sits beside a stunning pond- but instead chose to rip out floors, walls, the door, most every window, and even carrying timbers and slowly improve the situation over there. I truly enjoy working at my own pace, generally with used materials. I savor the act of stepping back at the end of the day to view an upgrade in my physical universe.
Today, Lock and I spent as much time preparing the final installation as we did in putting up the panels. It’s like that with this place. We used the Sawzall, chisel, and and even crumbling blows with the hammers to remove and even up some incredibly bad mismatched and botched-up carpentry that gave this place the character that it earned over the years. Then we endured the despicable cutting and stuffing of fiberglass insulation in the bays between the ceiling rafters. The final step was to install of galvanized metal panels to fashion a no- maintenance fire-proof surface that brightened up the tiny 8 X 8 foot room. People around here don’t use galvanized metal for interior work, like they do in Montana. I’ve even seen it as a high- end appointment in Dwell magazine.
Can’t wait to recover from tomorrow morning’s surgery so that I can start the next project over there- replacing the bedroom window with the nice one that Andy Hazen gave me, from his own upgrade.
A loud shout out to my dear friend Lock, and the Beatles, who were pacing our work all day long. Hopefully there will be not as much Twisting and Shouting today!
No snow when we arrived here, but what a conflagration of ice on the Ducktrap River this weekend in Lincolnville.
My men’s group took a 3.5 mile walk along Tanglewood’s Ducktrap River today where we saw ice like you wouldn’t believe.
Not very far below the newly replaced snowmobile bridge, there are ice floes stacked upon ice, with one ice sinkhole that is actually draining the river.
We walked down the river as far as Turner Falls, a couple of ledge drops. Here’s a picture standing above the Falls, spilling a force of water downward toward the sea:
On the way back, we talked about volunteering to rebuild a former dilapidated lean-to near the River Trail.
Then we found a single Red Pine. Closely viewing, and talking about trees took up much of Hank’s and my conversation. We were noting wilderness landscaping details that we have been studying in Reading the Forested Landscape. Here’s an excellent example of three trees growing on a hummock, perched above the high water table:
After supper, Dave, Pat, and I walked back to the river to sway on the bridge, and stare at the visually alluring ice patterns swirling below distorted headlamp lights.
Very enjoyable day, with great food and real stories from men that have seriously entertaining tales to tell.
Riding in real cold, real dark, real steep, really difficult traction conditions in the Camden Hills State Park, overlooking Penobscot Bay under the last quarter moon. I don’t think it reached 15 out on the seven-plus miles tonight.
Five Bubbas made it out with the help of the lights: four guys on fat bikes ( Ian, Jason, John, me) and Craig Mac on his Tallboy outfitted with a brand new pair of Ice Spiker Pro 29″ 2.25 Studded Tires.
Here’s John’s brief clip of tonight’s actual ride at the start, which has some other local footage on it. I admit it casts a bleak aspect on the wonders of the outdoors, but heck, it’s night time and the lights we use aren’t flamethrower candlepower! As Craig so aptly quipped tonight, “At least we’re off the couch.”
We left from the Route 1 Parking lot. The ride was most difficult right at the start, with an immediate climb of 400 feet in the first half- mile. Ian and Jason took right off and Mac and I rode together.
The track tonight is not frozen in at all, despite five days of cold clear weather since the last snowfall. It’s a wide packed smooth snowmobile-graded skiing trail, wide enough to let the ski skaters fly along through the Park. Every once in a while, the 250 pound combined weight of me and the Pugsley broke through the top layer and started spinning a bit until the lugs on my Nate tires caught and on I’d move ahead. Craig Mac stopped a couple of times to dump air out of his tires. You need as much surface on the pack as possible in order to keep from sinking while you pedal.
On the way up, John Anders came at us on his Pugsley from the Lincolnville end of the road, a mile and a half downhill from here.
We caught Ian and Jason. Ian encouraged me to dump most of the air out of my 4” tires. I thought they were soft enough, as I had pumped them up to 9 pounds two weeks ago. He told me they were still too firm. A mere four pounds inside the tire didn’t sound like a good idea to me, but after I let the air out, I pulled up and away from Craig Mac, which NEVER happens.
We regrouped at the 3.5 mile mark, at the start of the Bald Rock Mountain Trail, where the young bucks headed up and Mac and I doubled back.
It was crazy fast and fun running down the long downhill. While the track was not frozen solid, it made it possible to lean the bikes over and keep rubber down as we twisted and skidded our way back to the parking lot. I’ve got to improve my footwear situation. I should of listened when Marcia told me to throw out these batteries,just because they were 6 years old.
[ Note: Be prepared to pay $1.50 each to enter the Park. Have the change ready. ]
Sometimes good things just happen.
About the Paleo thing- I had not needed to go to the gym lately. I’ve been riding, walking a lot, and lifting and hauling lots of firewood and logs the past month. My woodshed roof collapsed a couple of months ago so I had to extract and restack two cords of wood. Lifting, hauling, pushing and carrying is part of a Paleo exercise program.
A few months ago Central Maine Power noticed some wild cherry trees that were threatening their overhead power lines on the property line between my neighbor Bill and I, so they cut them down, and Bill told me to take them for firewood.
I saved out a 6 foot log for my friend Dave, who will carve a paddle for his new cedar and canvas canoe out of it. The rest I cut into stove-length pieces that I hauled up and stacked for processing. Some of the pieces were almost 2 feet in diameter.
So, I got out the splitting maul and started at it yesterday, lifting and rolling and whacking away. At one point, Bill drove by on his John Deere Gator and asked me if I wanted to borrow his wood splitter. Both my shoulders have been acting up recently, so I said yes.
Less than 5 minutes later, he was up with the Gator again, with the Supersplit in tow.
In less than an hour, I had split up all that wood, and kept at it, filling up a half-dozen plastic buckets with dry kindling.
Bill came back again, this time dropping off more local harvest: a rump steak and a pound of venison sausage, and a pound of garlic heads that I’ll plant in the garden for next year’s crop. He shot the deer in the field below our houses and reasoned that it was probably fed from my own vegetable garden.
Tomorrow I’ll continue this ancient exchange by dropping off a few bars from my latest batch of pemmican.
Read my review below. Thanks to Philip Werner, Author of http://SectionHiker.com, outdoor writer, hiking guide, and educator for recommending it: