vacation

AS GOOD AS IT GETS

Sparkling or Still — What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.


What day is today? I don’t mean the date. The day of the week. Because I don’t know anymore. That’s life in the slow lane … also known as “retired.”

Me and Cherrie

Unless I have a doctor appointment or errands to run, everyday is a day off. The best ones are those spent in the company of friends, laughing, remembering, sharing. Laughing over things no one else would laugh about, sharing stuff no one else knows about. Or cares.

75-CyclonePaint-3

And that’s perfect enough for me. I’m not sure there is anything that could improve on that experience … except maybe an infusion of expendable cash and a theme park with killer roller coasters.

MADAME ZTHULU, SOOTHSAYER, SUMS UP OCTOBER

In Retrospect – Yesterday you invented a new astrological sign. Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st). As if yesterday were not bad enough, now you want me to write about this soon-to-be-over month as if it hadn’t happened yet — but like […]

TRAVELING THROUGH AUTUMN GLORY

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2014 #16 We’ve been on the road a lot lately. In fact, I feel like we’ve been doing nothing but driving, though it’s not true. We just aren’t the spritely youths we used to be. We were lucky that we did all our driving in perfect weather … not too hot, […]

KILLING TRAVEL NOSTALGIA

I’ve read a lot of posts that wax nostalgic about the old days, of trips down country roads at a slower pace. Driving through little towns. Past farms, fields, woods, and streams. No super highways with their sterile rest stops and fast food outlets. Driving through the real America. Those were the days, we say. The […]

ATTEAN POND – ALMOST SUNSET — GARRY ARMSTRONG

This is one of the larger ponds along the Moose River, just west of Jackman, Maine. Attean Pond is almost 3,000 acres of water, with a 30.1 mile perimeter. It has an average depth of 15 feet and is 54 feet at its deepest point. More than 40 small islands dot its surface. We were there just before sunset […]

UP THE MOUNTAIN

 In Transit Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories? Yesterday, we drove 320 miles from south central Massachusetts to Jackman, Maine. We are high up in Maine and 17 miles from the Canadian border … not one of the major crossing, […]

READY – ON YOUR MARK – GET SET … VACATION!

Big Day Ahead

It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?


Well I’ll be darned if this isn’t downright appropriate. Today is the day before an important event. Yes indeed, tomorrow Marilyn and Garry pack everything — or nearly everything — we own, into the car. Then drive north, north, north, north until we finally finish our journey in Jackman, Maine.

jackman maine

Jackman is marked by the red thingy. Even though it doesn’t say Jackman. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Where you ask, is Jackman, Maine? I’m glad you asked that question. It isn’t on Google maps. Too small. It certainly is located near … well … nothing much, unless you count natural stuff like lakes, mountains, rivers, streams and …

Moose.

If Jackman isn’t moose central, than I don’t know what is. Last time we were there (three years ago) it was May. Not a particularly good time to see moose because they have babies with them and the weather is warming up. They aren’t especially frisky in warm weather. Moose like it cold. They aren’t comfortable until the thermometer dips into the 20s. That would be Fahrenheit. For you who live by Celsius (the world), that’s minus 7 and lower. In other words, cold.

Moose have thick hides and a goodly amount of fur. They are happiest while humans are bundled up, sitting by a fire with hot cocoa, complaining about the weather and dreaming of spring. That’s when out huge hoofed and antlered pals finally stop wishing someone would turn on the air-conditioning. Mind you, they lose a lot of weight in the winter because there’s not much to eat, but they chow down like there’s no tomorrow all through the spring, summer, and fall just so they’ll have fat to burn when the snow comes.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

October is a special month for them. November too. Their hormones rage. Moose are horny (sorry about the pun). It’s rutting time in the great north land.

Horny moose are irritable, frustrated, and moody. Especially guy moose. All they want is a big furry lady moose to snuggle up to, make a few baby moose. Instead, they have to compete with other bulls who have the same idea. Then, there are annoying people like me and my camera. Who are those aggravating naked weasels flashing lights at them?

“I think,” says Bullwinkle, “I’m going to go crush one of those annoying critters, yes I am.”

This is why, although I want very much to get some fantastic pictures of the big guys, I have to admit that I might not. Moose are nocturnal. Not much into sunshine (too warm and bright, thank you very much). They come out mostly after sunset, which makes taking their picture more difficult … unless you use a big strobe. But big strobes are annoying under the best of circumstances. Not to mention I don’t actually own a big strobe, not since I gave up wedding photography long years ago.

Regardless, if I did, would I really want to flash my equipment in the face of an already grumpy 3,000 pound bull moose? After which he might decide to pound me into Marilyn jelly? I can’t even run any more, so he’d have a high old time taking care of me. I might not even get a chance to explain how I’m a blogger and my followers want moose pictures. He might prefer not to listen.

Moose can be quite unreasonable.

So tomorrow is a big day. It’s a five-hour drive if there is no traffic. We are taking the coastal road — Route 95 to Maine — than inland via Route 201. With pit stops for nature, lunch, and groceries. It will be a long day. We should get started on errand running now, but instead, here I am, writing and there’s Garry, on his computer doing exactly the same thing. With the dogs between us. Snoring.

But it’ll be fine. Just FINE I tell you! Maybe even finer than fine.

Jackman, here we come!

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