Summer continues to fly by. Last week began with Fourth of July and some of my family in town for a cookout and “chillin’” in the lake. The next morning, my older daughter Barb and I went out for my annual July 5th, post-fireworks, cleanup cruise.
Every year I try to troll slowly just downwind from where the fireworks were launched the night before, with (typically) over fifty small boats watching the festivities. I usually collect about a garbage bag full of empty bottles, fireworks debris, lost floating toys, and assorted other flotsam and jetsam.
This year seemed to be a relatively well-behaved crowd and I only got about a half bag of garbage and a couple of big chunks of wood that could have ruined a water skier or careless boater’s day. We were further rewarded with hooking up with a nice, roughly 16″ red, white, and blue rainbow trout that hit a small fluorescent orange “weeping willow” spoon trolled about 20 feet down at the base of the thermocline. In honor of its Independence Day patriotic colors and spirit, I unhooked it carefully without taking it out of the water and granted it its independence. Hopefully we’ll meet again next year after the fish gains another 3″ or 4″.
Later in the week I spent some time foraging berries and hiking. The woods are still too dry for most mushrooms, but I found a few nice chanterelles in some wet areas, as well as some blueberries and red raspberries. One day I hiked the 7 Lakes Alliance Mountain Trail, where I met a moose a couple of weeks ago.
This time, I met a couple of families out hiking. Hannah Meuse of Farmington was hiking with her children Maddie, 3, and William, 5. She had discovered the 7 Lakes trails online at “Trail Finder” and in the past week had already hiked French Mountain and Mount Phillip with the kids. When I met them, they had just finished the Long Pond Loop and the Outer Loop trails.
I also met the White family from Lisbon Falls, home of the Moxie Festival. Caitlin White and her children, Cadence and Tucker, were visiting friends in Sidney, including new high school graduate, Livi Johnson, who was leading them to some of the local attractions. After their hike, they planned to go swimming in Ward Pond in Sidney where Livi’s family had a camp, possibly with a detour along the way to pick blueberries at Bluebery Hill State Park.
There seem to be more out-of-state visitors in town this year than last, a sign of progress, I think. The Tiberi family from Los Angeles, CA, was staying on Long Pond for a while and hired my friend Mike Guarino to take them out fishing on a hot windy day. They still managed to find some nice Long Pond smallmouth bass.
Take advantage of the rest of the summer and get out on the lakes or hike or bike in the hills. And take a kid along. Or a parent or grandparent. You will be creating memories that will last. The 7 Lakes Alliance is hosting many interesting events, which are in the Community Calendar elsewhere in this paper. More info is available at the 7LA website. Pick up a map of the local trails from the 7 Lakes Alliance at the Maine Lakes Resource Center. Individual trail maps for most of the trails can be downloaded from their website.
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