Saturday, December 5, 2015

imaginary friends


At the beginning of August, I had an opportunity to get some rest and hold down the animal fort while my partner went to Maine with friends OR I could rearrange some clients, schedule a last minute cat sitter, and drive 10 hours alone with the dog after having just come home from a 12 hour drive from West Virginia. Judging from the opening picture, you can guess which choice I made. It was one of the longest drives I've ever made, which is saying a lot. It ended with Waze telling me I was at my destination when in fact I was across a small channel of water from my destination. This minor detailed added 25 minutes of windy roads because nothing in Maine comes easy. Add fog, an unmarked fork in the driveway that no one warned me about, and not having eaten dinner, and you have one very cranky Me on your hands. I will admit to making the trip considerably longer because of my driving mania, which manifests in taking small roads off the highway (sometimes the occasional fire road that dead ends into a pond) and stopping for pictures, such as this:

just needs some paint 
The manic journey was well worth it because I ended up having an incredible few days in Maine with Charrow, our friends and their almost 3-year-old. We went berry picking, currant picking, river swimming. hiking, running, and on our last night we saw 3 shooting stars in the span of 5 minutes. One of our hikes was on a semi-maintained trail that runs along the Machias River:

machias river

We originally started that day by driving 2 hours south to Acadia National Park, but we got about 10 minutes up our first trail and felt smothered by the hordes of people. I will say this, we gave up quickly, which allowed us to drive 2 hours back to the wilds of Machias and still have plenty of time for a 5 mile hike on the Machias River Heritage Trail during which we saw a total of 0 people until we reached the major connecting trail. It should have been an incredibly relaxing hike, but I kept seeing little piles of smushed berries that I was convinced were bear droppings. I've never seen a bear and the prospect of seeing one with our decidedly idiotic prey-driven dog scared the crap out of me. He had proved his lunacy the day before by trying to attack a porcupine (boy was that a messy and expensive mistake that I may make into its own post). We had no way of knowing what the dog would do should we stumble upon a bear or vice versa. Charrow scorned my paranoia, but we kept seeing the piles every 5 minutes and they were right in the middle of the damn trail. After awhile, she caught the fear, and we decided to sing ridiculous songs to supposedly scare away the phantom bears. We started with I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) by the Proclaimers, but that gets old really fast, so we moved on to the very catchy and adaptable call and answer Jewish bible song called Three Wandering Brothers (the internet wants me to call it Three Wandering Jews, but Charrow disagrees). I wish I could remember some of our made up verses, but they're long gone, much like the bears we never saw. I think Red picked up on the anxiety...


We finally turned off the densely wooded trail and onto a main thoroughfare, complete with a man driving a four wheeler. It wasn't technically any safer should we happen upon a bear, but there's nothing like logic to create a false sense of security. And now for the short version of that story:

lazy river hike
fresh berry scat underfoot
sing sing sing! now run

All pictures taken near Machias, ME with film (Portra 160)

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