November 28, 2011

Backwoods Plaid Guide to Christmas

  1. Jack Traps - Quality hand-crafted ice fishing traps made in Monmouth, ME. Serious traps for folks who take our ice fishing seriously. State law allows 5 traps per man. Get 5.
  2. Woodwick Candles - Listen to the crackle of a wooden wick as the warm scents of Pumpkin pie linger about the room. 
  3. Double L Classic Fit Chinos - Go for navy. I own all the colors in multiple sizes - always having the perfect size for the perfect fit, such as the day after Thanksgiving.
  4. Canon T3 - A recent purchase that I highly recommend. Also, a Best Buy by Consumers Digest. 12MP and enough settings to make your head spin (or maybe just mine). Spring for the 200mm zoom lens, too.
  5. 4Sevens Quark 123 - I carry this flashlight. It has a max output of 220 lumens which is bright enough to blind an attacker or a crazed moose. On "candle-light" mode the batteries will last for 30 days.
  6. Outside Magazine - Even if you can't venture across our great country - flip through these pages filled with vibrant photos and detailed escapes.
  7. Sam Adams Winter Mix - It's already snowing here in Maine. Take the chill off the New England way.
  8. L.L. Bean Signature's Maine Guide Shirt - The perfect restyling of vintage Backwoods plaid.
  9. Snow & Neally Axe Company - A Maine-made tradition since 1864. One of the oldest companies in Maine - that's confidence in your purchase. Grab the 28" "Our Best" axe. Swing away.
  10. Muck Arctic Boots - Keep your feet warm during winter walks or setting up those Jack Traps. These are on my list.

November 26, 2011

Buses, Beers, Barns

A recent excursion brought me to the Northern tip of Maine, and in all reality, the Northernmost part of our Country. My aim was to find back roads I'd never traveled for the pure sake of discovering their endpoints. Here are a few discoveries I made along the way - real pieces of American treasure.   

Yes, this is the "Magic School Bus" and it could be yours for a small monetary value. "Magic" reads the Maine license plate. This beauty represents her Country well - notice the American flag sticker front and center.

She has a majority of her windows, her tires hold air well, and have sufficient tread remaining. What more could one ask for? This bus currently is used as a hunting camp in the back country.
A few miles down the road, hours from most stores, I found this gift shop. I gifted myself a can of mixed peanuts and a Coke - exploration food.

If you find yourself standing in a gas station parking lot, alone, staring at a neon Budweiser hunting sign - you are in a good place; enjoy your surroundings.

Finely decorated storage for American belongings.

As a child we would cut personally cut down trees for firewood. Very few times did we have timber delivered for us to section and split. Physical labor makes a young man grow to respect hard work.

Tools of the trade.

Two two-man saws replace curtains. A wooden moose marks the center.

A small retreat.

An Aroostook County dream home. Made of logs and burning firewood harvested from the surrounding fields.

Front porch lawn mower races.

Left side.

His and hers parking corridors. I'm assuming hers is the right.

November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving and a warm start to the holiday season from snow-covered Maine.

November 23, 2011

Country Roads

I have a love affair with anyplace offering spectacular views. If I had the means, I’d have cabins situated throughout the Country. I wish I could simply cut down a few trees, plane the sides, stack them up alongside a chimney and visit a few times per year. The dream runs fluidly through my mind. I’d wake up before dawn and start percolating a pot of fresh coffee over an open flame and relax the afternoon away on my front porch. That dream isn’t exactly possible – so I take a photograph.  Here is a great spot I found alongside a dirt road in South Western Maine. The lake is impeccable and has only one cabin on its shores. She’s a beauty. Take a look. 

November 19, 2011

Occupy Neckties

Originally, I entered college as a Political Science major. Politics are in my blood. I ended up switching to business in order to earn a finance degree. I understand both sides of the Occupy argument. I personally feel the frustrations and disgust when politicians wake up to find themselves in bed with corporate America, but I also know that Wall Street isn't where 99% of the fingers should be pointed. I wear plaid in my spare time, but dress for success during the week. Here are some of my own favorites that occupied this week.

Bulls versus the Bears.

Depicting the historic market crash of 1929.

Print from the morning paper on October 29th, 1929.

Wall St., The Game // Yacht Club

Made in CT, USA.

November 16, 2011


December 22 may mark the first calendar day of winter, but chilly air has already moved in bringing morning frosts and select snow showers. A majority of boaters have grounded their pride and joys to ride out the long and bitterly cold winter. Imaginably, the owners are already beach-side, feet resting on the rails of the warm deck of a Floridian summerhouse- not a bad gig.

Blocks and blue jacks support the hull. The yard is full of similar power boats, all high and dry.

I'd love to head out on this fishing rig. Any man who faces his boat with this graphic must land great catches.

Career fisherman are still hitting the ocean just before every low tide. There really isn't much of a break for these guys. Dedication and hard work is a way of life.

Truly winterizing a vessel is a time consuming process and keeps out winter precipitation that would otherwise destroy everything from seats to woodwork.

Venturing down the Coast later in the afternoon, the brilliant whites of the small coastal lighthouse reflected on the water's surface.

The rays of a near-afternoon sun cast thin shadows on the underlying cement of each fishing vessel.

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November 14, 2011

Snowy Mountain

Nothing screams "New England" like tall white steeples staggering high above the tree lines. Sometimes, from even miles away, steeples point to the sky and are the first signs of rural towns and small communities.

Growing up in Small Town, USA - we were required to make our own fun; this is a trend that stuck. I'm not a proponent of needing to spend money to enjoy an afternoon when a simple-to-plan adventure will take the place just fine.

"8% Decline Next 2 Miles" marked the old byway that led us down the decline throughout the mountainous region of New Hampshire.

No tree, in my opinion, has the character of a white birch. Its bold white face stands out among the forest.

It's sad, but it tells a story. Many barns and farmhouses I spot are eerily close to present day roads. This isn't the way the man who broke this plot of ground intended.

Home of The World's Worst Weather. I capitalize because this is actually trademarked. Mt. Washington began receiving snow weeks ago. Spot the weather observatory and other buildings atop its great peak.

50 degrees with a bitterly cold Southern wind was made reasonably warm with my wool Maine Guide Shirt. Taking in views of the vertical drops.

Great granite mountains.

A small cabin blends with the surroundings.

Cloud cover moves in over the region and darkness begins to fall as we return from our hike.

Stainless steel, fresh loom and farm with a mountain view.

This home stood out on our return. I love how parallel it is - down to the white curtains and welcoming candles. Truly a New England home.

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Mt. Washington Weather Observatory

November 10, 2011

Coast to Downtown

Being self-diagnosed with borderline ADD, I constantly attempt to pack my weekends with new sights and activities. Although most define adventure to be far from home, staying local isn’t something to turn your nose up at. Something new lies around every corner. With my new camera I’m constantly looking for photos I wouldn’t be able to capture with my old pocket model.

We set out for a marsh hike along the coast of Maine. The morning sun shined upon the still bodies of water among the tall sea grass. The scent of the marsh infiltrates your nose with the scent of mud and sea salt. Today feels particularly warm considering that last week gave us two inches of snow.

The coast is close to down town. Where it blends cannot be determined.

Mode of transportation.

Private fishing docks.

Harbor fish market on the ocean.

Bait shack at sunrise.

Sunrise over the marsh.

An empty beer bottle left by an individual the night before. Perhaps the bicycle in the background was their mode of transportation.

I tested out my new zoom lens to grab a shot of the moon at night. I was highly impressed by the detail. I would love to kick back in one of the craters.

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