April 27, 2011

My L.L. Bean Outdoor Gear & Clothing Review Videos

These have about 10,000 hits on YouTube. I created the videos my senior year of college; the days of a buzz cut. Pour a sip of whiskey on the rocks and press play!

Frederic Church

Of all the paintings Frederic Church accomplished during his tenure, I've always been partial to the ones he painted locally. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Whiskey Afternoon

Snow accumulation.

Lazy dog's corner.

Great Book, Great Whiskey, Great Afternoon.

Can you name them all?

Snowy lab.

Wicked Good Slippers.

L.L. Bean Signature Fall 2010 Tees - Perfect. Love the images. More to come.

Say what?

April 26, 2011

L.L. Bean Covers & Camping Trip

One of my favorites. A lot of humor went into this piece.

I believe this is my all-time favorite L.L. Bean cover. Reminds me of being in one of the places I love most - Baxter State Park.

The Deer awoke before me. I snapped this photo nearby Baxter State Park in Maine.

Kayaking to our lean-to in my L.L. Bean Manatee Deluxe. My LLB Guide Pack is secured atop, along with my Z-Lite Pad. Some firewood in the rear of the kayak. Cold drinks in the front.

View of the Lake in front of our secluded camping area.

The lake in the background is the one featured in the previous pictures. Amazing waterfall-filled hike.

Never fails to spot a moose when you tag along with me.

April 25, 2011

Canoe Trip - West Branch of Maine's Penobscot River

My fondest memory on the water is a trip that, in most books, ranks as one of the most desirable canoe trips in the East, the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Today it is renown for it's salmon run and plentiful rainbow trout; a fly-fisherman's dream. Rich in history, long-log drives on the Penobscot River supplied timber that built the cities that would be early Boston and New York City.

Setting out on a 4 day voyage from Lobster Lake to lower Chesuncook Lake, I removed the slightest idea of work from my mind and replaced it with my Double LL fly rod. For this week, I would concentrate around the art of sparking fire, practicing my fly casting technique, and cooking hearty meals on cast iron.

The mornings began early, the sun dominated afternoon skies, and the evenings were peaceful and story-filled. Three mornings we watched bald eagles fly above us. They, too, made their way down river. The second morning we awoke to the footsteps and splashes of a moose, as he crossed our campsite and then the river.

We did not bring a trustworthy map and what the gatehouse provides isn't sufficient. On what was to be our final day, we were unable to find our pick-up vehicle before darkness set in. We were forced to pull our canoes up onto a beautiful beach. As the frustration subsided and the realization set in that we would be unable to contact our loved ones, we made camp. Lesson learned. Do not be specific with family to when you will be home - give an approximation. To make brief, all ended well and memories were made!

One of our canoes pulled up on the shore of Pine Campsite

Casting a fly at sunset into the West Branch before Chesuncook Village

Beautiful campsite set up before the dinner bell rang

The trusty L.L. Bean Double LL Fly Rod

We hooked our two canoes together and set a makeshift sail with our tarp and oars

In 1911, these men sailed from the West Branch to Fort Kent. We did the same thing nearly 100 years later. Humourous that I had no knowledge of the above photo until post-trip. I do not own this image. I own no copyright. Full rights are held by Maine Historical Society. It can be found on their website. 

April 21, 2011

Maine Exploration outside Baxter State Park

As a preface to my first post, I would like to briefly state that whatever follows this initial post will center around the outdoors, particularly Maine, and my life therein. My interests are centered on an L.L. Bean lifestyle. Enjoy!

Three friends and I ventured to Gulf Hagas, near Katahdin Iron Works, to experience what is known as the Grand Canyon of the East. With it's waterfalls collecting the chilly spring run-off in pools below, we were ready to take it all in. We were greeted at the trailhead by 8-foot snow banks. We haven't had snow in Boston for over 2 long months. We've even touched 70 degrees. 

500 yards in, we were introduced to a rapidly flowing river. The aforementioned water temperature was all but instantly numbing to sandaled feet. We decided to retrace our steps back down the tote road to the last bridge, cross and hike up the opposing riverside to where the all the glory of the trails laid in wait.

Due to the winding jut-outs of the riverbanks disrupting our bushwhacked route, we placed downed trees to bridge the gaps in the banks. If nothing less than humorous, we crawled, scooted and tight-rope walked over the temporary bridges. 3 hours into our day we decided that our wringing wet pants had chilled us enough to simply spark a safe fire atop snow-covered ground, warm our toes, have lunch and return to the truck. Here are the few photos we took along the way.

 Early breakfast of diced almonds, granola, coconut flakes, blueberries, and coconut milk
 LLB Maine Hunting Shoe and Bean Jeans by a fire
 Mother nature dropped a bridge for us
 Add in the LLB Maine Guide Shirt
On the riverbank with my chocolate lab
 One of the old blast furnaces
A Maine original - a moose