STORY OF A SNAPSHOT

Jackman Maine 2010

 

THE PICTURE SAYS IT ALL

It was nearly the end of May. Jackman, Maine, and the moose were everywhere. We were sharing one of the big cabins. Three bedrooms, lots of bathrooms. Huge kitchen and dining area, suitable for a crowd.

Fireplace, porch. We went moose hunting with our cameras every night for a week. It was our first trip to Jackman, and as it turned out — as a group — it would also be the only one.

Lots of laughter shared, quiet nights in that nearly wild place. Kaity was taking the picture. Left to right, it is Garry, me, Ron, Cherrie, and Sandy. I can truly say “a good time was had by all.” How often can you really say that?

WHY WE ARE NOT ON OUR WAY TO THE MOUNTAINS

That ribbon of highway ...

That ribbon of highway …

Today was the day we were to be heading to Maine, but we aren’t. No packing, no driving. No week spent far away in the mountains.

path by the cabin in jackman

Blame it on the spider bite and blame it on the impact of reality on our world. Garry’s leg is better. The muscle into which venom was injected is slowly healing, but it’s still stiff and sore. A little walking goes a long way right now … and Garry is a good walker.

72-Route-2_015

Facing an eight-hour drive up to the mountains and a week in a place where, if you can’t walk, there is absolutely nothing to do … we passed. Sixteen hours of driving so we can sit around the little vacation condo in Jackman, Maine, didn’t make sense.

72-Friday-AtteanView_03

There will be no northward trek this year. No pictures of the glorious mountain sunsets and sunrises. We will be at home. Maybe going out to dinner a couple of times.

72-AtteanView-GA_018

Even when we are as healthy and hearty as we can be these days, that is a long haul. This year, with Garry still hurting from the bite of the spider which doesn’t live around here (not), it was a no-brainer, deciding to stay home.

road to skowhegan Rt 201

I have decided we are, nonetheless, on vacation. Whatever that means.

HIGH IN MISTY MOUNTAINS

72-AtteanView_001

Dreamlike images remind me of Middle Earth. We are in Maine.

72-Friday-AtteanView_44

These are the mountains along the Canadian border.

72-skowhegan_04

Just look out the cabin door or drive a short way down the mountain. A breathtaking world of color, mist, mountains and clouds. Colors so unreal they feel like magic, as if trees are glowing from within.

And down in along Route 201 toward Skowhegan …

path by the cabin in jackman

We’re heading back in the middle of May. This time, spring. I will always feel at home where the mountains rise to kiss the sky.


Places – The Daily Prompt

VISITING WITH BETTE — AN AFTERNOON IN SKOWHEGAN

Bette’s new novel, DOG BONE SOUP has just been released. I’m about half way through it and I can hardly wait to finish it so I can review it. It is wonderful. She has a writing style so pure, it’s as if the story tells itself. It’s a story of coming of age in a hardscrabble world. Trials and triumph in northern New England.

72-skowhegan_04

This seemed a perfect time to remember the wonderful afternoon we all spend last October in Skowhegan. We were staying at an inn in Jackman, Maine. It’s just up the mountain — about 85 miles via route 201, from Skowhegan. In rural New England, that’s “just around the corner.”

72-skowheganGA_39

Down the mountain we drove. Around 85 miles down, same mileage back.

We met Bette Stevens, of 4 Writers and Readers. She was in the middle of a round of editing her next book, but she took a bit of time off to spend the afternoon with me and Garry.

Bette Stevens

Bette Stevens

A great lunch and Ken’s Family Restaurant, a trip to the Magaret Chase Smith Library, and a brief sojourn to see the world’s tallest Indian (statue), created by Bernard Langlais (1921-1977), a sculptor from Old Town who attended the local art school.

Marilyn and Bette

Marilyn and Bette

Garry and I were wearing our matched pair of Serendipity sweat shirts. You could hardly tell us apart!

Garry and Bette

Garry and Bette

We had great conversation at lunch, then spent some time taking picture of each other, visiting the library and admiring the statue, which is oddly located next to a Cumberland Farms.

View from the Margaret Chase Smith Library

View from the Margaret Chase Smith Library

We know each other on the Internet, yet there’s always some nervousness when finally, we meet in person. Will we really like one another?

The Margaret Chase Smith Library

The Margaret Chase Smith Library

No problem. It was love at first sight. I think we are officially best-friends-forever. I don’t know when we will be back this way, but I’m sure we will come again. Maybe next year or the year after that. But we will come back. How could we not return to so much natural beauty and great people?

World's Tallest Indian (Statue)

World’s Tallest Indian (Statue)

AUTUMN LIGHT – GLOWING TREES

72-Peacham-Monday_026

This is not a great month for photography. Although I love the absence of snow, the bare trees, hibernating flowers and gardens aren’t inspiring.

72-Peacham-Sunday_073

Of course it’s possible to find pictures any time of years, but some periods are much more photogenic than others. Meanwhile, I’m motivated to look through the folders of pictures from other months. See what pops out.

October was the bonanza month for photographs.

72-Peacham-Monday_026

The top three pictures are Vermont, near Peachum. Glorious days. The scarlet and orange leaves had passed, but the gold remained. The trees were breathtaking.

72-AtteanView-GA_016

These final two shots are in and around Jackman, Maine. You can see the difference in the advance of the seasons between Maine — slightly higher both in altitude and latitude than Vermont.

72-Friday-AtteanView_44

72-AtteanView-GA_018

72-AtteanView-GA_016

We both took a few pictures. I didn’t take as many as Marilyn, but as it happens, a few of mine came out pretty well … so let’s all enjoy autumn a little longer. The first three are of Attean Pond, taken from the scenic view on Route 201.

72-Friday-GA_06

The photograph below was taken from the Margaret Chase Smith Library grounds in Skowhegan, the day we drove down to have lunch with Bette Stevens, Maine author and a good friend.

72-skowheganGA_39

AUTUMN IN THE MOUNTAINS OF MAINE – GARRY ARMSTRONG