For the last ten days I’ve been out of touch in the wilderness of northern Maine with our youngest daughter. All that blog content you’ve seen for the last ten days was blogged ahead to cover the days I was gone, and not blogged in real time as usual. Now I’ll catch you up going forward of all you’ve missed while I was gone. We had a fabulous time.
I realized I’ve been on call 24/7 for my job as a practitioner for the last 24 years, including every time I went on vacation. I can count only 4 days when I was unable to be reached. So for me to unplug for ten days, with no ability to even text, with no wifi or cell service that whole time, was very unusual. It was a blessedly quiet, special time in a beautifully wild and untouched place. And our youngest was the perfect companion.
We stayed in lean-to’s (three sides, with a roof and platform) in Baxter State Park in northern Maine. Six days we were on the shore of South Branch Pond on the northern edge of the park, and then we migrated to the southwestern side to stay at Kahtadin Stream, so our daughter could climb Mount Katahdin.
Here’s what you can expect from my unfolding travel log:
- Our first day of rain followed by the most amazing rainbow I’ve ever seen
- Photos of contemplative days lakeside
- Our hike to Howe’s Falls
- What I read
- South Branch Pond sunsets
- Our canoe day
- What I painted at South Branch Pond (mixed media)
- Close up details in the park
- Large pastel of tree bark with lichen and moss
- Katahdin Stream photos
- Two pastel paintings of Katahdin Stream
- Our daughter hikes to the top of Mount Katahdin
- What we ate, especially baking in the campfire with our new cast iron dutch oven.
I’m so grateful for this gift of time. It was very low budget, while highly satisfying and appreciated.
We brought 21 gallons of water, since there are no services there. You must hike two hundred yards from any water source to brush your teeth, or distribute dishwater, which must be strained and every little bit of waste taken out of the park with you. All food must be stored in your car.
The perk of people complying with this over decades is that the lake is pristine; indeed you can distinctly see every rock on the bottom, 20 feet down. Swimming in this bracingly cold, clear water is silky and lusciously smooth; it was enough to keep us clean. All the care with the food and waste also meant the bears did not bother us.
Our daughter rigged up a mosquito netting for the open side of the lean-to, which kept our sleeping bug free. We brought cots and comfy camp chairs. The weather wasn’t perfect, but it was cool. Our daughter also did all the meal planning, car packing, meal preparation, dish washing, and generally pampered me. It was truly a vacation, and a major change of scene. There was plenty of time just meditating on the beauty, hiking, canoeing, painting, reading, or knitting in front of the campfire.
In the photos in this post you can see us heading out, and get a sense of what the lean-to and locale looked like. In the days to come you’ll see lots more photos! Welcome along now belatedly on our wonderful adventure!