Sunday, June 24, 2012

Moose Hunting Lottery 2012 ~ Tylor's canoe seat

The much anticipated moose lottery drawing took place in Rangley this year.  Our phone began ringing right off with rumors of who had been drawn and for which season and what zone.  The first good news came from our friend Kevin who was in attendance at the drawing and called my sister to say her son's fiance Megan had been drawn. Moments later my sister Skyped me to give me the good news my mother had been drawn too. Later Darlene called to say someone on Facebook said Leitha  (Wade's mom) has been drawn as well.  Eventually the list was posted on the web and we verified it was all true.  Three moose hunts in the family and quite a few friends like Arlo and Lorraine. The evening was spend between phone calls and skyping to talk over preliminary plans.

Wade stayed close to the phone today to be available to book guided hunts and we were fortunate to book several hunts and we are hoping for more.

We went muskie fishing this evening and as we came up over the bank on the Allagash, we saw Leitha, Tylor and Darlene all working on caning a seat for the canoe Tylor is restoring.  It's a big home made square stern, like a grand laker type.  He replaced the gunnels and thwarts and patched 2 holes and is now replacing the seats.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It takes a village ~ Part II

I don't mean to spend so much time writing about a few pigs, but so much of my time is spent discussing pigs.  Somehow our pigs have become some sort of Allagash town mascots.  Everywhere I go people want to talk pig.  People bring by their kids, relatives and even pet dogs to see them.  They bring food and treats for them and yesterday when I arrived home, Clayton had dropped off a new shelter that is more like a pig hotel.  Last year my pigs outgrew their house and they would stuff themselves half in half out to sleep.  I got quite a bit of feedback from folks until we built them a low cost addition.

When I went in for my morning coffee at the restaurant this morning Wayne was complaining because the big new shelter was blocking his view of the pigs.  He suggested I start a special "pig blog" so people could stay updated with pig news and pictures.  Darlene thought it would be nice to decorate the pig hotel and I knew immediately how it should read.  This is the phrase coined by my mother, I hope she likes it.  I do!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Little Black River Allagash Maine

My friend Nola loves to kayak and invited me to join her for a short trip.  I had purchased a kayak last summer and rented it out several times but had never been in it myself.  I intended to go but I felt somewhat intimidated to go out by myself since I have never been in a kayak.  So when she called yesterday I jumped at the chance to have my own mentor show me the ropes.  As we drove across the Little Black Bridge, Nola said "I love the Little Black."  When I asked her why ,she only replied "...because God lives there."  Well said Nola and that was good enough for me.

Nola grew up on the bank of the St John River where the Little Black dumps in. She told me how when she was she was a kid, the local swimming hole was across the river and it was common for 20 or 30 kids to be hanging out and swimming off the dock.  She said because she was lazy, instead of walking across the bridge to get there, she would swim across the river. That sounds like more work to me.   Her childhood home is gone now, first burned to the ground in the 50's, rebuilt only to be taken away by the big ice jam in 1991, but her family still  keeps the place mowed and camps out there during the summer.

We floated along effortlessly and only got held up once when we got out of the channel and stuck on bottom in shallow water.  The only excitement was when we saw the rare sight of a sheriff drive by and when Nola found a spider in her kayak.

It was hot and sunny when we started, but as we got closer to home the sky began darken up and we hurried along before the storm.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Visit to the Moir Farm on the Allagash River

My parents will be celebrating 50 years of marriage this fall.  They are my heros in so many ways.

My parents are here for a visit.  After a nice breakfast at the restaurant, we put the canoe in at Michaud Farm and motored down the river to poke around the Henry Taylor Sporting camps.  It was beautiful out, warm, sunny and breezy.  Wade had to replace two sheer pins on the way.  We hiked out to see the old Moir farm built around 1837 (  Truly amazing!!  The horse barn and chicken coop are still standing and we went in and looked around.  The second story is collapsing but still full of hay and old horse poop still covers the barn floor.  Out in the field a huge patch of rhubarb still going strong.  It's amazing that a structure built with hand tools is still standing. I can't explain the feeling to look across that field the same way a farmer did over 150 years ago. I love the history on the river and I wish there was more of it left to explore (  I think it should be preserved.
Wooded spoked wheels


Henry Taylor cabins

We made ourselves at home and had lunch on the porch.

Footpath to Moir Farm ~ enchanting!!

Moir Farm today

The barn at the Moir Farm

Inside the barn

The chicken coop


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Even dogs like pigs

Roy Gardner has a little dog that loves to see the pigs.  Roy told me his dog gets really excited when he says "Let's go see the pigs".   They drive over and watch them for a few minutes every day.

To Chamberlain

Today we drove a couple college students to Chamberlain Lake for a 7 day canoe trip.  Along the way we saw 13 moose, one with a newborn calf, 8 deer and one small bear.  We found a partridge chick in the road that was sickly.  Wade moved it out of the road into the tall grass and we hope it will live.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fire and Rain

Jake is on the left
My 24 year old son Jake is in his 5th year of wildland firefighting.  He works for the USFS on a Helitack crew called Malhuer Rappel Crew based in John Day, OR (   Rapplers are used for initial attack on wildfires in remote or steep terrain areas that would be inaccessible for ground crews to respond quickly. Currently he is working on the Whitewater Baldy fire in New Mexico ( which is now the biggest fire in NM history at over 250,000 acres.  He called me this morning and told me he has been working with the aerial ignition crew dropping  PSD's to moderate fire spread and slow the fire speed to prevent uphill runs. The PSD is a machine mounted to the rail of the helicopter that dispenses ping pong type balls charged with some type of accelerant that explodes and burns.  He stands with one foot out on the rail to drop the devices as directed by the crew boss and describes it as what it would be like to fly.  He was as excited as I've ever heard him.

Here is Jake rappelling from the helicopter

Now getting back to Maine, no fire danger here.  It's been cold and rainy, in fact southern Maine got about 6 inches of rain yesterday.  We didn't get that much but it is wet and cold enough for a fire in the wood stove.

Wade hauled some firewood from the camp to the house.  The old dump truck come in handy!

We also put up an old sign that Darlene pulled out of the tall grass to mark our landing on the St John River.