June 28, 2012

Filson x Backwoods Plaid

Click below to read my latest Guest Post on Filson Life.

Editor's note: Thanks to the good folks at Filson for the opportunity, the exposure and continuously supporting lovers of the outdoors.

Previous Filson Guest Post:

June 26, 2012

World's Only Bridge

A Coastal Maine town by the name of Harpswell is home to the world's only Cribstone bridge. Construction began in 1927 on a bridge connecting two island communities that allows strong tides and currents to flow freely. Only gravity holds the stacked granite blocks atop one another. Storms have constantly beat upon the 10,000 pounds of local granite that make up the bridge, but she has held her strength - only pausing in 2010 for small repairs. Claims state that Scotland once held a similar bridge, but no proof has ever been found. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 - it's surely a unique place to photograph and visit.

The ancient slabs of granite evenly balance a two-lane roadway.

Perhaps one of the only towns in America whose power is carried via ocean telephone poles.

The center of the bridge houses a gap large enough to allow fishing boats to safely exit the harbor for daily fishing ventures.

Local colorful buoy houses.

Oceanic findings.


Unloading our kayaks, we strapped on our L.L. Bean life vests and explored the coves of the islands. As fascinating as it is to explore the coast by foot, it's even more exciting to take in the view from the Atlantic. After exploring the harbor, we exited via the passageway built into the bridge and paddled a few afternoon hours. The sunshine was adequate, wind calm, and swells minimal.

Photo from the kayak on the way out of the harbor.

After loading the kayaks, we opened a beverage and sat back on the shore. The golden sun set beyond the village and we chatted of local lore and of course plans for next weekend.

As sun sets on this historic bridge, I hope to cross her again soon. My body leaves tired, but I have plenty of photos to return home and sort through.

Truly a beautiful spot that makes Maine an ideal tourist destination.

June 21, 2012

Review: Filson's Alaskan Guide Shirt

Six months of abuse on two Alaskan Guide Shirts has proven to be indiscernible. Comfortable fit, room to move, and toughness are absolutes when purchasing my outdoor clothing. From ice fishing for brook trout to working fireside on cool spring evenings – these shirts have been ideal. Filson’s website calls the product a “favorite of bush pilots, year-round guides, and anyone who works or hunts in the cold.” I’m not a pilot, guide, or hunter, but I would already recommend this for anyone who spends and enjoys time in the outdoors.

Absolute durability is apparent with each use. Bushwacking through dense brush and overgrown forests to reach fishing holes is worriless and snag-free. When the sun drops below the tree line, along with the temperatures, the 7 oz. shirt holds your body heat well. Warmer weather has pushed my favorite shirts a few hangers back in the closet, but summer in Maine is a short season.

I will warn that the shirt is long until laundered. I wear size large and was astonished when I held the shirt up and looked at the length. I was hoping they’d sent the wrong size. But, after washing and drying on medium heat – each shrunk to a perfect size. I’d also note that a button or two were loose on both shirts. After a quick stitch, they are now solid as a rock.

Overall, The Alaskan Guide Shirt is already a Backwoods Plaid favorite. It’s been a staple for Filson since the beginning and so will it be with me. I look forward to providing plenty of wear and tear in hopes that it holds up and always looks as good as it does now. Swing into the Filson online store to pick one up.

P.S. – I successfully passed the motorcycle course and received my license in this shirt last weekend. I’m thinking plaid will look damn good atop a blacked out Harley Davidson.

June 20, 2012

Afternoon Casts

It wasn't many afternoons ago I found time to throw a fishing line into the river. Afternoon temperatures hovered above 80 so I cut loose from work early to test a new fishing spot. Heavy fog had set in before I arrived at my destination. I wandered about a few paths, taking photos, on the long way to the river. A large rock alongside the riverbed made for an ideal and comfortable seat to toss a few casts. 

I had dug worms from the backyard and placed them into an old Tupperware dish. Each worm drew several bites. Actually, they were more like nibbles. My few worms disappeared, one piece at a time, into the dark depth of the river. I tried casting to several locations with varying depths and potential 'hiding spots' for trout. All had the same result. I hope for better luck next time. Any day on a river is a good day. Get outside and enjoy!

My Fishing Adventures:

June 14, 2012

Canadian Geese

Flight formations of Canadian Geese always impressed me as a child. Hell, it still does. The clacking takes over the countryside as the "V" pattern soars overhead; each bird firmly situated in it's given spot.  Growing up, our home was surrounded on each side by farm fields for as far as the eye could see. (OK, not completely as far as you could see, but our closest neighbor was nearly a mile.) Our plot of land was smack dab in the middle of crops. Two of the four fields were typically potatoes, one was grain and the other broccoli.

As the farm tractors steered between rows, I recall watching as the geese landed a safe distance away and ate grain. One goose will watch over the entire cackle as they graze away. Taking turns, they are alert and monitor surroundings. They ensure safety of the group and noisily make it known when danger approaches - whether that be man, machine, or predator. Canadian Geese are an extremely quick group to take flight. I always appreciated their eloquence in the air and couldn't resist the opportunity to take a few photos when I spotted them on a recent trip back home to Northern Maine.  

June 12, 2012

1 Year of Backwoods Plaid

Backwoods Plaid recently celebrated it's 1st year anniversary. As we approach nearly 100,000 views, I'd like to thank all of those who have bookmarked the blog and checked in weekly. I appreciate all of your e-mails, tweets, and blog comments. If not for the interaction and feedback, I wouldn't have nearly as much motivation to bring my camera along on adventures or sit down to write and upload photos for hours each week.

I look forward to a second great year of exploring new destinations, reviewing innovative outdoor products, and taking in as much mother nature as one man can handle. Below is a selection of fond memories made throughout 2011. Thanks again, all!


Fly-fishing trips and multi-day canoe trips.

Weekend get-a-ways with views of entrancing ocean overlooks.

Exploring Maine's beaches.

Hikes throughout the vast and splendid woods of New England.

Early morning adventures and coastal explorations.

Ice fishing trips and warm cabin fires.

Holidays spent with family and the serenity of the woods.

Who can forget that the best seafood in the world is just beyond our doorstep.

June 8, 2012

Filson's Father's Day Giveaway

Father's Day is approaching so enter the Filson Father's Day Contest and take a moment to reflect on the admiration you have for your father and be in the running for a Limited Edition Oil Tin Cloth Vest.

Click the image below to enter the contest!

June 6, 2012

BackwoodsPlaid Summer

Prep for a BackwoodsPlaid Summer

  1. Woolrich Timberline Shirt - American colors, American plaid, American comfort.
  2. Maui Jim Stingray Sunglasses - Stylish polarized shades of summer.
  3. L.L. Bean Signature Whale Buckle Belt - Nothing says Maine coastal summer like whales.
  4. Levis 513 Slim Jeans - Classic American company paired with a classic fit.
  5. L.L. Bean Classic Field Watch - Keep the outdoors close to hand.
  6. Harley Davidson Trucker Hat - Harley's 2012 slogan is "Live Cage Free". Sounds good.
  7. Survival Strap Bracelet - American made paracord bracelet that can be unwound in emergencies.
  8. Filson Uplander Boots - Travel through the field, streets, wetlands, and your local watering hole.

June 5, 2012

Drift Wood

Summer may nearly be upon us, but here in Maine the wind and rain clouds have yet to fully give way to afternoons of warmth. Light-weight jackets still hang by the entry-way door with Bean boots located directly below. Weekends of late have been spent helping my folks fell trees for for fall firewood. On the way home recently, we ventured East and took a walk on a stretch of private ocean. The only interruption of silence was brought by crashing waves upon a beach filled with drift wood. Here are a few photos from the day. 

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