July 5, 2012

Camp Life

Body and mind succumb to nature's schedule before long. A rising sun in the eastern sky wakes you early from a restful sleep just as the evening darkness puts a tiredness in your bones. The surrounding spruce fields slowly come into focus from within my tent as the early morning light begins shining through the woods. Rubbing my eyes in an act of submission, I unzip my sleeping bag and step barefoot onto the dew-covered grass. I keep two things close as I go to sleep at night: sneakers and an axe - both for obvious reasons. 

A rushing brook is just beyond the bank of the campsite. Luckily, ours is the only campsite in the area. We stroll down the bank and skip over a few rocks to find a deep hole to wash up. The cold water is refreshing and washes away yesterday's grime. Rejuvenated, I head back to start breakfast.

Preparing a tinder bundle that will take a spark goes quickly. These woods are plentiful with birch bark and dead tree branches. 

The fire is soon found to be blazing. Bacon begins frying in my Lodge Logic cast iron fry pan. The scent finds me inching my chair closer simply for a bigger whiff. Removing the bacon temporarily, I fry a dozen eggs in the grease. This infuses the eggs with a perfect hickory smoked flavor. Before the eggs finish frying, I crumble bacon into the pan and give it one final stir.

I ready my fly-fishing gear for my first canoe trip of 2012. A friend of a friend has graciously offered up his canoe (complete with padded seats) for the afternoon. We make our way down old logging roads, as the dirt kicks up behind us, for 15 miles before reaching the secluded cabin. Only four camps sit on the lake shore. 

I'm told that mayflies and hornbergs should match the latest hatches fairly well.

I check my fly case one last time to ensure I've selected the best fly choice for a day on the water.

The road that's been tread by years of logging trucks stretches over the horizon. Every corner yields a similar vision. All I can imagine is being the one to first travel down this winding path.

We reach Little Kenebago Lake and unload our gear into the canoe, leaving the camera behind.

Reflections and crystal clear waters.

We paddle for a few hours. I have the opportunity to cast in several locations and yield two strikes. I don't obsess over fishing so I don't find disappointment in the yield. I enjoy the opportunity to be present in nature and take it the sights. 

Making it back to camp by late afternoon, the weather forecast looks excellent for the remainder of our stay. Tonight we will sleep beneath the stars with no fly (rain cover) in our Big Agnes sleeping bags. Open air is the best way to sleep anyhow. 

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Gary and Louise said...

Hello Rhon! Today in Rite Aid I stood in line with your mother and she told me about your blog. When I got home I had to look it up. I love it! You have a great eye with that camera to show the woods and the things you encounter. Even more impressive is the descriptions of your trips and adventures. I love the outdoors in Maine and really enjoyed reading through your entries for June and July. I will get a look at the rest of it when I find time. Keep up the GREAT job you are doing. Wonderful!

Gary and Louise said...

That's your weary old history teacher who made the above comment in case you haven't figured it out.
Louise Cole

Rhon Bell said...


Happy to hear you found my website. A lot has surely changed since high school. I try to explore new parts of Maine/New England every chance I get. It's great to be able to live in a place where we can get out often. I appreciate the kind words and hope you continue to follow. Feel free to tell a few others in town what I'm up to.

Take care,

Dustin said...

Have you read Dick Proennekes books?
One Man's Wilderness and seen his movies on PBS?