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SURVIVING THE ELEMENTS
LEARNING HOW TO LIVE OFF THE LAND DEEP IN THE WOODS MAINE COMPANY REINVENTS
PLAN YOUR SUMMER VACATION AT A MAINE
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It was a beautiful but windy day recently in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. When I drove out there alone that morning, I didn’t expect I’d have
Too cold to smile. Matt on New Hampshire's Franconia Ridge recently.
to help someone down off a summit.
PRINT SALES MANAGER
The winds were expected to reach 55 miles per hour at the peak with below-zero
temps. That meant a two-mile trek along the ridge in potentially dangerous
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conditions. I had packed the necessary gear the night before.
Contact Jeff Orcutt | firstname.lastname@example.org 207-990-8036
In the parking area, I met a fellow hiker who asked if he could join me. He seemed fit, and though he seemed lightly dressed he told me he was prepared. I believed him. Things went well until we reached the first summit. The other hiker developed a charlie horse that increasingly hobbled him as we made our way across the ridge. It became clear that what I thought would be a 4-5 hour hike was going to take much longer. When I realized he didn’t have a headlamp or heavier clothing, I began to worry. The winds were high, it was frigid, and the sun was setting. If we stopped, I feared, one of us might get hypothermia. Together we slowly made our way down the mountain, using my lone headlamp. Eventually, after a nine-hour journey, we made it to the base safely, well after dark. Among my outdoor friends, stories abound of people leaving their snowshoes or headlamps behind, only to realize that one crucial piece of equipment could have made the difference when conditions turned for the worst. This situation reminded me of the importance of preparation. I’ve started carrying a spare headlamp, and I’ve resupplied my safety kit as well. Hopefully I’ll never need these things. They add some extra ounces to my pack, but in the end, I’d rather be prepared if things don’t turn out as planned.
PUBLISHER Richard Warren Matt Chabe
the Whites. It’s about nine miles round trip, including some mild ice scrambling.
Bangor Daily News
SENIOR EDITOR, SPECIAL SECTIONS
I planned a solo traverse of Franconia Ridge, one of the more popular routes in
THIS PUBLICATION WAS PRODUCED BY
Big Maine Adventures are not just for the elite Check out these awesome kid and family-friendly adventures.
CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Michele Dwyer
Amy Allen, Marcie Coombs, Coralie Cross, Ben Cyr, Callie Picard, Carolina Rave
ABOUT THE COVER
BY MAINE OUTDOORS & ADVENTURE | SPONSORED BY ACADIA MOUNTAIN GUIDES
A student of a Jack Mountain Bushcraft & Guide Service survival skills course stands on the shore of the Aroostook River in Masardis recently. PHOTO COURTESY TIM SMITH
© 2018 Bangor Daily News. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without express written consent. Requests for permission to copy, reprint, or duplicate any content should be directed to email@example.com
Stay safe out there — MATT CHABE, EDITOR
ock climbing and mountaineering fantasies
Young Explorers Climbing and Adventure Camps
often call to mind hardy, grizzled adventurers
With both day and overnight options, this is the best bet for
and athletes at the peak of fitness.
budding adventurers-to-be. The rock climbing camp features
But while advanced outdoors adventures
five days of vertical fun, challenge, and learning. In this
might take advanced skills, that doesn’t mean they’re
focused climbing camp, campers get a lot of time on the rock
inaccessible. Maine-based organizations like Acadia
and learn important rope skills like knots, belaying, and
Mountain Guides in Orono provide many opportunities for
rappelling. Not a climbing enthusiast? The adventure camp
kids and families to get the instruction they need to enjoy
affords the opportunity to touch starfish, crawl inside the
big adventures all year ‘round.
earth, hike, learn map skills, and more. It’s a new adventure
Check out these four opportunities (and a bonus one)
every day as campers discover the Maine outdoors and learn
for kids and families to get active in the outdoors this
about outdoor safety, discover nature, and meet new friends.
summer and beyond.
RockPro Teen Climbing Camps
Family Adventures Try something new and exciting that will build family trust
For high schoolers who love to climb and want to bring
and create lasting memories. Acadia Mountain Guides
their skills to the next level. Whether you’ve never climbed
enjoys climbing with families to provide unique experiences
before or already have experience, this is the course for you.
for children and parents alike. From a lower-angled
Divided into focus-specific sections (from fundamentals to
climb to a mountaintop to a seaside vertical playground
multi-pitch climbing), the course is led by PCIA or AMGA-
overlooking Frenchman's Bay, these adventures involve
certified instructors who provide individual instruction
the whole family in the sport of climbing. All courses are
to help you learn and improve your technique at your
tailored to your family and take place in locations like
own pace. In camp, everyone shares in the necessary set-
Acadia National Park, Camden, Clifton, New Hampshire,
up and cooking. Evening is a time to take in a naturalist’s
and along the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers.
program, swim, walk on the beach, or simply relax in camp with new friends. PHOTO: COURTESY ACADIA MOUNTAIN GUIDES
MultiSport Teen Adventure Camps
Bonus: Winter Courses For true adventure, set your sites on Acadia Mountain Guides’ full suite of winter excursions. From avalanche
Also for high school-aged students, these “adventure
courses and ice climbing instruction to backcountry
week” programs introduce students to the demands
skiing and tall peak ascents, there’s no shortage of winter
and joys of participating in an outdoor expedition
activities. Acadia Mountain Guides is Maine’s only full-
while encouraging the importance of cooperation and
service year-round climbing school.
teamwork. Each seven day camp session takes place in a different location and includes different adventure
For more information on these and many other year-round
activities like rock climbing, hiking, sea kayaking,
adventure opportunities, visit acadiamountainguides.com.
mountain biking, and more. You can also combine camps
For all your gear needs, check out their retail outlet, Alpenglow
or choose a multi-week program by linking into the
Adventure Sports, in Orono and Bar Harbor or online at
Tim Smith, owner of Jack Mountain Bushcraft & Guide Service in Masardis, Maine, demonstrates how to light a fire bundle during a winter course recently. PHOTO BY MATT CHABE
TIM SMITH STANDS on the shore of the
the north Maine woods, not in any
Aroostook River with two other guys, Sam
pastoral sense, but in a way
and Dave, eyeing the frozen span. He’s
evocative of white knuckle chaos. It
explaining ice, how to tell if it’s safe and,
started snowing hard back in Patten. The
more importantly, why. To an outsider, it
roads are maintained, but increasingly less so
could easily be three seasoned outdoorsmen
and rough, rutted, covered in mealy brown slush. I make a hard left onto a side road, and immediately wonder how anyone driving anything less than a truck gets around here. For most people, this is a place where Only Four Wheel Drive Will Save You. But for guys like Tim Smith and his crew out here, all it takes to survive is your bare hands. SMITH FARM ROAD. He told me his camp was
Deep in the north Maine woods, Tim Smith teaches others to survive in the wild. BY MATT CHABE
he road twists and winds through
the deeper I get into The County. They’re slick
down Smith Farm Road. But when I pull up to
wild. Ten of it’s been in Maine, here in the sleepy town of Masardis, pop. 250-ish. He doesn’t like that word: “survivalist.” It suggests paranoia, he says, with images of guys burying guns in the yard. He says the terms change every ten years or so—in the ‘70s it
UP AHEAD TIM LEADS THE PACK, STOPPING EVERY SO OFTEN TO POINT OUT EDIBLE ALDER CATKINS (YOU CAN MIX THEM WITH YOUR OATS), THE CHAGA FUNGUS (MAKES GOOD TEA), AND VARIOUS ANIMAL TRACKS (DETERMINE ANIMAL SIZE BY MEASURING ITS STRIDE).
the place the road’s supposed to be, all I find PHOTO: COURTESY TIM SMITH
is a small turnout with an empty toboggan
shooting the bull deep in the Maine woods.
stuck in the bank. Faint snowshoe tracks lead
But it’s not: Sam and Dave, relative strangers,
down through an empty field into the forest.
paid good money and travelled a long way to
The snowfall I left behind a town or two ago is
spend the week with Tim.
starting to catch up to me. I strain my eyes. I
That’s because Tim’s kind of a big deal in survivalist circles. For twenty years he’s been teaching people how to survive in the
can make out a road. Sure I can. I strap on my snowshoes and start hiking.
was “survival”; in the ‘80s, “primitive skills”; in the ‘90s, “back to the land,” and so on. I ask him what he prefers. Officially, Jack Mountain Bushcraft and Guide Service, of which Tim is the owner, is a “bushcraft, guide training, and wilderness expeditions school.” And that’s what he prefers.
LIKE TIM, Dave’s been an outdoorsman for a long time. He spends about half his time in a cabin that he owns in the Allegheny National Forest in northwest Pennsylvania. The rest of the time he’s at home, just on the outskirts. Also like Tim, Dave composts his own feces. (Later in the day, they have an in depth conversation about this which is alternately fascinating and horrifying.)
“All this time, I’ve been doing things my way,” says Dave, looking over his shoulder as we snowshoe through new snow. “I wanted to learn things Tim’s way. Your skills and beliefs get set in. I wanted Tim to challenge them.” Up ahead Tim leads the pack, stopping every so often to point out edible alder catkins (you can mix them with your oats), the chaga fungus (makes good tea), and various animal tracks (determine animal size by measuring its stride). He’s a big guy, but he floats along the snow with the effortless grace of someone who’s been doing this for A Long Time. Which is true. He moved his business to Masardis ten years ago when he found this
(Above) The Jack Mountain Wilderness Canoe Expedition semester is a 4-week course where students learn traditional canoe technique, camp setup, planning, and river reading. (Below) A student prepares a meal at a Jack Mountain bushcraft course. PHOTOS COURTESY TIM SMITH
Spring/Summer 2018 61 acres of land abutting the Aroostook River and decided it was the perfect spot to continue his growing business. At first, his scant neighbors didn't really know what to think. Rumors swirled of hippie training grounds and assassin training schools. It’s a small town, he says. Then, when the name of the business got out, “people thought that it was topiaries, that I was gonna give them a couple of bushes shaped like Mickey Mouse or something.” He spends six to eight months of the year here in his small cabin off the grid. Officially, he lives in New Hampshire with his wife, his six-year-old daughter, and his 13-year-old son. When he’s in the field, he gets back home to see them about once a month. Sometimes they come to visit him. Lately he’s been making YouTube videos with his son, humorous riffs on macho survivalist tropes. I ask him if his kids are into this lifestyle—the living off the land, surviving on know-how, even just simple nature hikes. “No,” he says. “Not really.” WHEN TIM WAS three or four, his father brought him to the local natural history museum. He was fascinated by an old dugout canoe on display there. As the story goes, some kids at a boy scout camp in the ‘50s found what they believed to be an old log at the bottom of a nearby lake. When they dove down to investigate, they discovered what was in fact a canoe loaded down with rocks. Tim says Native Americans would build dugout canoes, sink them each winter to preserve them, then release them when spring arrived. Here was one they left behind.
It stoked his imagination, and he started consuming books about mountains, adventure, and survival; stories from Alaska and beyond. He learned to camp, fish, and take care of himself in the wild. He wondered, he said, about what was around the metaphorical bend in the river, but the bend kept getting further away. He was hooked. Years later, after living in Alaska in a 12foot trailer for a year, he returned to the lower 48 to get a masters degree in education. He was going to teach school, he said, but instead studied with survival legend Mors Kochanski and lived among the Cree people in northern Quebec. He started Jack Mountain Bushcraft in 1999, moving it from New Hampshire to
Maine in 2008. In that time, he’s become a nationally-recognized bushcraft expert, published author, magazine writer, soughtafter speaker, television consultant, and a member of MENSA, among other things. “I was like, guys like Mors and [Maine Guide Raymond Reitze, another of his mentors] were able to make a career out of doing this,” said Tim. “And I wondered if I could. So I figured, hey, I’m unmarried, no kids, I'll do this for a year and see what happens. It was 20 years ago and every year it gets a little bigger.”
Jack Mountain Bushcraft offers yearround courses in expedition leadership, bushcraft, primitive living skills, field ecology, and more. Courses are collegeaccredited and GI Bill approved. For more information, visit jackmtn.com. PHOTO COURTESY TIM SMITH
SAM’S HAVING TROUBLE lighting his fire. The group has wrapped bundles of twigs around tufts of birch bark, and Dave and Tim have achieved flame without incident. Sam, a New Zealander whose job recently transplanted him and his pregnant wife to Rhode Island, is struggling.
“It’s wetter today than it was yesterday,” says Tim. “The only remedy for bad fuel and bad weather is a bigger, hotter fire. Let’s self diagnose.” “I don’t think I have enough birch bark,” says Sam. “I think he’s not holding his mouth right,” quips Dave. Everyone chuckles. We’re out here in the cold woods with ten feet of snow pack, and still there’s jokes. Sam and Tim make another bundle together. The second time, the smoke turns to flame. Sam’s never seen winter. He’s never been on snowshoes. He doesn’t have the outdoor experience that Dave has, but he has a little. He told his wife he wanted to get back outdoors, and found Jack Mountain Bushcraft online. He’s just looking for some backcountry skills in his new surroundings, really. As his wife reminded him, “You’re not going to go out there and kill a bear.” I ask Tim what sort of student he typically gets here. Are they looking for professional training, or personal experience? “It’s probably 50/50,” he says. “Some people just want to have that experience of living in the woods off the grid for two months. Some have a lot of outdoor experience and want to transition from the office to running their own outdoor-based business. We do most of our marketing online, so we throw a big net and sometimes you never know what you’re going to catch.” He tells me about some students he had
last fall, two women from New York. Complete strangers. One of them had been on a weeklong backpacking trip, and the other had never been camping in her life. She taught kindergarten and “she was just one of the coolest women I’ve ever met,” he said. “Her spirit was just like... she was going to go and get it and do it, no matter what. Ironically, you’ve got tough musclebound tattooed guys who are like, ‘Oh, this is so hard’ after a few days of bad bugs.” Next week, he’s setting off for a twoweek snowshoe expedition around Scopan Lake with eight students. They’ll be building their own shelters and learning to care for themselves in extended harsh conditions. He doesn’t know much about the students yet. “WHEN YOU’RE IN charge of people, you keep your eye on them.” It makes sense. Then Tim tells me about an article he read
once. The writer of the article had gone to a Maine Guide school in the ‘70s. He thought that being a Maine Guide would be a life of adventure. Instead, he found it to be more like “Home Ec in the woods.” It involves a lot of resource management.
Tim agrees. His life is undoubtedly one of adventure, and he’s in the business of passing down that sense of adventure to others. But one of the first, most important skills you can learn, he says, is preparation. To be prepared is to succeed and to enjoy. I ask him if there’s anything new he’d like to learn. “So much of what we do here is soft skills, people skills, how to guide people into making better decisions in the outdoors and in life,” he said. “People skills, leadership skills, they can always be upgraded, even on a daily basis.” He pauses and looks out the window, out to the great white field beyond. In the cor-
ner, the woodstove throws off serious heat. “As far as hard skills, I don’t know. There are always more rivers that I want to go run. There are always more snowshoe trips I want to do.” He pauses again. “The downside to getting a little older is that the blank spots on the map get fewer and fewer.” ON THE DRIVE home I stop at Debbie’s Diner in Patten, a place Tim recommended, to grab a bite. It’s small and rustic as local diners in northern Maine often are. A few locals sit at wobbly tables at the other end of the room. I’ve only spent a day in the woods with Tim and his students, but the suddenness of civilization, the pervasive background noise of convenience that we so often ignore, is jarring. I squirt ketchup from a plastic bottle onto a burger cooked the way I like it on an electric grill in a well-lit room, and I think about something Tim said. I had asked
him if it was hard coming out to the woods, living off the grid with waves of students each year, after the comforts of home and family.
No, he said. The transition’s harder the other way around. The woods are comfortable. There’s nothing extraneous. There’s nothing you don’t need. How many weeks of the year, he said, do you have to work in order to pay for something that you don’t need or want? “You think about how many things can go wrong if the heat goes off in the winter and your pipes freeze at home. You know, I spend half a year here and there’s nothing to break. When I go home for the season, I’ll just shut the door and go. I’m happier here. Mentally, there’s less to maintain, less to keep track of. Plus, I get one of my two favorite channels: the ‘fire channel.’” Sam chimed in. “I like the ‘star channel,’ too.” Everyone chuckles.
Spring/Summer 2018 PHOTO: TAYLER AUBIN
Good To-Go foods have been on adventures big and small, from those close to home to those around the world. PHOTO: JAY KOLSCH
Head chef and co-founder Jennifer Scism in the kitchen: “Our meals are basically my favorite foods.”
Trail mix A Maine-based entrant in the outdoor food market looks to reinvigorate the old standbys. This isn’t your dad’s trail food. BY MATT CHABE
ear us now: gone are the days of dull camp food, of stale granola bars,
dinners. We deserve something better, we say. We demand options on the trail. And now, at long last, it seems one trail food
business co-founder, David Koorits. Together, they make portable meals to suit all diets, including gluten-free, low sodium, vegan, vegetarian, and preservative-free options. Maine Outdoors & Adventure had an opportunity to chat with Scism recently about new recipes and celebrity fans.
manufacturer has heard the call.
Good To-Go, an “on-the-go” foods company based in Kittery, is raising industry standards by offering quick, healthy, and interesting options like Indian vegetable korma, bibimbap, and pad thai for outdoor adventures. Each meal is light, packable, and dehydrated for a long shelf life. The company’s head chef and co-founder, Jennifer Scism, is no stranger to good food: she earned her chops as the co-owner of Annisa, a nationally-recognized restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village. She’s also cooked at multiple 4-star restaurants and even beaten the Iron Chef himself, Mario Batali, as part of a team on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” program. Scism developed Good To-Go after moving to Maine and meeting her now-husband and
YOUR BACKGROUND IS IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY. HOW DID YOU GET INTO MAKING DEHYDRATED MEALS FOR OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS? In the beginning, I was just doing it [on a small scale] for us. Then friends started trying our meals. Eventually, friends started saying, “You know, you should try and sell this.” We spent 2013 basically on a fact finding mission to see if there was a market for this. From there, we went on to develop a brand, which took about a year. We only had two or three meals at that time. But you know, we were just kind of rolling with it. My husband and I never do anything easy. We were like, “Oh, this will be super fun,” and it has been. It’s been a wild ride. We’ve grown from just a little cape house in
Kittery, and now we’ve built a barn and are developing another addition for a packing room. We’re moving into meat products— we’re doing a chicken gumbo that we’re expecting to release [in March]. HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR RECIPES? As a chef, I love to see what works and what doesn’t work. A lot of things don’t work. [laughs] And you know, hopefully you learn that before your batches get too big or your idea gets too far. I’m getting better at it now. HAVE YOU TRIED ANY RECIPES THAT YOU THOUGHT WERE REALLY GOING TO WORK, AND JUST DIDN’T? We’ve definitely had failures. Even looking back at our first few meals, we’ve had to redo the process on them as they grow. In the beginning, doing a batch of 60 units is fine. But dial it up to 5,000, the process wasn’t working. It’s good to just see what doesn’t work, and then change it up. And there are recipes that I want to do that I know wouldn’t work. Like, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could do Chinese dumplings?
WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST PLACE YOU’VE EVER HEARD THAT YOUR FOOD’S BEEN EATEN? Well, [Good To-Go] has been to Antarctica. About 3 months ago, David answered the phone, and he came running into my office afterwards. And he’s like, “Conrad Anker just called me. He’s going to Antarctica, and he wants only our food.” And of course, I’m a chef. I know things like Michelin stars. So I’m like, “Who’s Conrad Anker?” And David’s like, “He’s the greatest climber in the world!” We were actually at an outdoor industry retailer show recently and we got to meet him. It was great. I got to ask him things like, “How do you [prepare the food] at altitude?” HOW DOES GOOD TO-GO SET ITSELF APART FROM SIMILAR COMPANIES LIKE MOUNTAIN HOUSE? We were actually at an outdoor retailer show last July, and [representatives from] Mountain House came over and introduced themselves. It was super friendly. We were all talking, and I was like, “You can pretty much feel secure that I’m not going to be doing a beef stroganoff.” And they looked at
our products and said, “Yeah, we’re not going to be doing bi… bibi…” and I told them how to say it: bibimbap. For a company like Mountain House, they’ve been around for over 40 years. They’re freeze dried, so their process is different than ours [Good To-Go uses dehydration—Ed.]. And they seem to be aiming for more mainstream appetites. Our meals are basically my favorite foods. I lived in New York City for 23 years...and took a year off in 1998 to travel the world and basically eat. My palate is different than, say, Mountain House’s, and I think we’re both in agreement. There are other companies out there that are doing the same thing. And that’s part of the stress. We’ve got to come up with more products and try to be amazing. WHAT’S YOUR OWN FAVORITE MEAL? I have to say, everybody’s favorite is the thai curry, and I really do like that. But my go-to is the pad thai. I’m a noodle person. Other people are like, what can you not live without your entire life? What could you not give up? For me, it’s noodles.
For high adventure (with little sacrifice), check out Maine sporting camps. PHOTOS: COURTESY WEATHERBY’S
Maine’s sporting camps and wilderness lodges are a historic tradition reaching back to the mid-1800s, when wealthy businessmen rode the then-new train from Boston to the remote Maine woods to hunt and fish. Today, Maine’s lodges offer rustic accommodations to sportsmen of all walks of life: fishermen and hunters; paddlers and hikers; friends, couples, and families. Most Maine sporting camps are family owned and are renowned for their warm hospitality. Some are rustic, without electricity or running water, while others offer modern conveniences. Some are nestled on lake fronts or rivers, some are tucked in the woods, and some are close to town. Many offer the traditional American plan, where sports are treated to three home-cooked meals per day, while others offer self-catering accommodations, known as the housekeeping plan.
t’s no secret that the Maine woods are really big. For a lot of people, it can be hard to know how to start exploring them. Fortunately, the storied woods of Maine are dotted with sporting camps with ample opportunities to “get away” — sometimes without sacrificing modern comforts.
The experiences to be had at Maine sporting camps are as varied as they are similar. Whether
your interest is hunting, fishing, or just plain relaxing, there’s a camp for you. Check out some of the fine camps, and start planning your next Maine woods adventure!
What will you do on your sporting camp vacation? Fishing Ice fishing Hiking Paddling Swimming Boating
Cross-country skiing Snowmobiling Bird hunting Bear hunting Moose hunting Deer hunting
Bird watching Wildlife watching Biking Photography
Learn more at mainesportingcamps.com.
Enjoy summer on the water at Chandler Lake Camps.
Take the “Upta Camp Challenge” at Red River Camps.
re you up for a challenge?
our summer adventure awaits at Chandler Lodge!
the wildest parts of Maine
paddling, and R&R — a true
or are curious about what
Maine wilderness experience.
lies at the very end of the
Chandler Lake Camps, a traditional Maine
road less traveled, the
sporting camp since 1902, is located just north
of Baxter State Park between the Allagash
Association invites you to
and Aroostook rivers.
bird watching includes moose, deer, bald
take an epic statewide road
Fishing (fly or spin) and upland hunting
eagles, and plenty of resident loons. Fabulous
trip this summer with
are our passion. Wild brook trout, arctic
night sky viewing. We are pet-friendly with
charr, and landlocked salmon are some of the
outside cookouts and bonfires.
We cater to small groups, families, and
cards can be picked up at
We offer single and multi-day trips on
corporate outings. July and August are
the Aroostook and Allagash rivers and five
family vacation months. All youth under
miles of state public reserve land where
comfortable and inviting shorefront log cabins
16 years old stay free with a paid adult. No
mainesportingcamps.com. Just like your
mountains and waters wait to be explored.
with private baths and modern amenities. We
minimum stays. No detail is overlooked. You
favorite coffee place punch card, enough visits
While you’re in the area, hike to the Deboullie
have the only camps on the lake!
choose how connected you want to be with
will earn rewards. But unlike the coffee place,
rock slide, take in a roadside waterfall, or pull
Wi-Fi and telephone in the lodge.
Packages include waterfront cabins with
each leg of your unique Upta Camp challenge
out your fly rod and try to land an arctic
is also a reward in itself. If you have your card
charr. Join your fellow adventurers this
validated at the Red River Camps in northern
summer and rediscover Maine’s sporting
and fuel. Swim, hike, learn to shoot or (fly/
packages available with our partners at
Aroostook, for instance, you’ll find yourself in
camp tradition. The Maine Upta Camp
spin) fish with a Maine guide. Wildlife and
Katahdin Air Service in Millinocket.
the wilds of the Deboullie Township, 49 square
Challenge makes it easy—you make it epic!
three great home cooked meals each day,
canoes, kayaks, and fishing boats with motor
Matagamon Wilderness offers four-season fun.
Discover great food and fishing at Whisperwood Lodge and Cottages on the Belgrade Lakes.
along the East Branch of the
seasons. We are located on beautiful
Penobscot River and at the outlet of Grand
Salmon Lake in the Belgrade Lakes area of
Lake Matagamon. We are a four-season
Maine. Come and enjoy activities for all
has been hosting sportsmen and women
business, with six cozy cabins, wilderness
members of the family in a rustic country
from around the globe since the late 1800s
mayflies and caddis late May and June.
campsites, and Momma Bears’ Kitchen to
setting. Nature awaits with a 20-slip
and provides access to dozens of lakes and
Simultaneously, our smallmouth fishing
but haven’t yet learned? We offer fly fishing
powered dock and a separate swimming
streams for landlocked salmon, brook trout,
takes off with the spawn beginning mid-May
school, as well as a spring bear hunt on
area complemented by some of the best
lake trout, smallmouth bass, pickerel and
through June. Fly fish or spin casting, our
Penobscot Indian territory.
small and large-mouth bass fishing in the
perch from May 1—October 20 and offers
smallmouth fishery is one of the finest you
snowmobiling with ITS85 right outside our
sporting camp that has
T6-R8 is a family owned and
fulfill all your needs.
excellent food, and family fun for over 90
service Maine fishing and hunting lodging,
service, and ORVIS fly shop. Weatherby’s
door. Ice fishing on Grand Lake Matagamon
Our area is great for hiking as we are
region. Three meals a day in our central
first-rate upland hunting for wild grouse
will find anywhere. Mid-summer finds us
is great for all ages (if you get too cold, we
surrounded by many hiking trails. If you get
dining room will give you the energy to
and woodcock during October. Our cabins
fishing on the lakes and St. Croix River for
have heated ice fishing shacks for rent). Enjoy
too hot, jump on a tube a float down the river.
enjoy all that Whisperwood Lodge and
are rustic yet comfortable with private
trophy smallmouth, perch and pickerel.
skiing? Come try some of our local ski trails.
In the fall we provide a variety of guided
Cottages has to offer. We also offer kosher
baths, electricity and a fireplace to relax by
Great fun for first timers and kids alike with
Shuttle service is available upon request.
hunts including black bear, white-tailed deer,
and pareve foods and provide alternate
after a day in the field. We teach fly fishing
lots of fish catching action. We end the
moose, partridge, and coyote.
dinnerware. Whisperwood is a second-
to novice anglers and we spin fish with kids.
season late September and October with
In the spring and fall, the river is excellent
Design your own fishing experience at Weatherby’s.
operated business, nestled
for fishing native brook trout and landlock
At Matagamon, we strive to make your
generation owned and operated family
We can design an experience that fits your
fantastic fall run salmon fishing again on
salmon, and in the lake you can also fish
stay with us an unforgettable experience.
business. Our tradition of hospitality,
schedule and expectations. Early season
Grand Lake Stream. Fall foliage, cool nights,
for lake trout. We provide guided fishing
When you leave us, we hope you feel like
quality, and comfort are sure to continue.
provides excellent fly casting for our native
and often a bit of frost in the morning. Give
trips and boat, canoe, and kayak rentals and
you’re “part of our family.” Come make
The McCafferty family looks forward to
salmon and brook trout, beginning with
us a call to see what we can do for you at 877-
pontoon boat tours. Interested in fly fishing
memories with us!
streamers and nymphs and progressing to
796-5558 or visit us at weatherbys.com.
P.O. Box 6013, 2717 Route 2 Hermon, ME 04402 Phone: 207-848-5576 Fax: 866-271-7195 www.aquaticdevpools.com
A Man for
many seasons Barry Dana recently ran Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness in less than two days (and lived to tell the tale). BY CARLENE CONEY JANZEN
(Above) Barry Dana (right) and friend Roger Johnstone on a section of the Appalachian Trail’s “100-Mile Wilderness” in Maine last October. PHOTO: BARBARA DAGGETT
he idea to run the 100-Mile
moose to kill it, for there was honor in doing
Wilderness section of Maine’s
so. It was a very spiritual experience, and they
to pierce the dark, he said
With a headlamp in place
Appalachian Trail in under 48
kept fit to go at any time, any distance.”
he started to feel “done in”
hours didn’t come about because of
With that background behind him, he knew
any contest. It was not a contest. For Barry
that changes he had made since a “heart
around mile 62. At the designated meeting point, his crew was waiting
Dana, it was a test of his own journey to push
incident” about six years ago could benefit
for him with a fire, food, warm clothes, and
to the edge of his own limits and grow by it,
him in this new challenge. He and his wife,
encouraging words. Tired and soaked from
“I was falling asleep on my feet, and the cliff
attaining the goal or not.
Lori, had changed their diet to incorporate
rain, Dana rested and ate butter-fried eggs and
had an over 200-foot drop in places,” he said.
The 59-year-old Dana first heard of the
more natural foods and had eliminated refined
moose sausage while Lori went to work on his
“Not a good place to fall asleep! I felt a slight
challenge through a southern Maine trail
foods, unhealthy sugars and carbs. He began
panic as I stepped out onto a rock face that
running group, the Trail Monsters. Dana read about it on their website years ago, and it had nagged at his conscience since. This past October, Dana successfully met his goal, completing the remote section of the AT in 45 hours, 35 minutes. For reference, it takes many AT thru-hikers over a week to
“[It] was to be one of the most challenging events of physical , mental , and spiritual awareness. It would make or break me. It could test me, but also, at any given point, take my life.” —Barry Dana
hike this section of the trail. “My daily mantra is, ‘Be prepared at any given moment to do any given thing,’” said
to gain new strength and found that his heart
Dana. “If you want to do something, get up
had returned to a healthy place.
and go do it. Don’t just think on it, be in the right shape and frame of mind to do it.”
He was assisted on the trail by Lori and
“She drove her knuckles right into it and nearly rolled my eyes back in my head,” he said, “but it was the right fix.”
two friends, Barbara Daggett and Roger
Dana pushed ahead. With the miles beginning to blend together, sleep deprivation
distance runners who knew the route. The
started setting in.
events. He’s a regular participant in the
two ran segments of the trail when he needed
their company and strength to keep going.
a branch and went into the tree area and told myself, ‘I got this.’” At Pollywog Bridge, Daggett rejoined him for the last few miles of the trip. She kept just
hard forward. “The blisters on my feet were bringing waves of tremendous pain, and I could barely move,”
Johnstone, both accomplished hikers and long
to my prayer, it began to rain as I grabbed for
holding them together, helping him to push
Dana, the former chief of the Penobscot
but a long drop, straight down. As if in answer
ahead of Dana as if an invisible tether were
Indian Nation, is no stranger to endurance 100,
was slick as ice and to my right was nothing
he said. “All I could think was ‘move, move.’” The two ended at Abol Bridge where Lori and Johnstone were waiting for them, just
“I tried to be one with the trail and fight off the
over 45 hours after Dana had began the trail.
need to sleep,” he said. “These boulders and rocks
For his accomplishment, the Trail Monsters
American spiritual event involving a 100-
Dana began his journey around 9 p.m. in
were moving. At one point I thought I got turned
presented Dana with their logo belt buckle
mile trek by canoe, bike, and foot to Mount
Monson, knowing he’d have to hike through
around and it freaked me out. I backtracked
that carries the words, “Maine 100-Mile
Katahdin. And just last September, he
two nights of darkness to complete his quest.
and said okay, I’m where I should be. The night
Wilderness Run.” When asked if he would
completed a hike from Mt. Washington to Mt.
“When we came to Barren-Chairback
was breaking dawn, but the moon and sun were
do the arduous journey again, Dana was
Katahdin, an eight-day, 261-mile journey to
Range, we were in the dark,” said Dana. “On
casting shadows and I knew I saw a wolf, but it
reflective but positive.
honor his late uncle, Cliff Phillips.
the map, the range shows Barren, Fourth,
was a stump. The shadows turned into lean-tos. I
“It was not easy, but even my lows were
“I had heard so many stories growing up, of
Third, Columbus, and Chairback mountains,
saw two beautiful moose near sunrise, only— [he
not that bad. I was so peaceful. I can live
how our elders would snowshoe from Indian
all more than 2,000 feet above sea level with
laughed]—they weren’t there.”
with having done it once, and I’m okay with
Island to Lincoln Island before supper,” he
the trail traveling over each one. In the dark,
said. “How they would run down a deer or
any wrong move could mean death.”
it. Talking about it, it’s like reliving those feelings all over again.”
Tips for an RV
5 tips to start your own RV adventure.
COURTESY FAMILY FEATURES
f you’re looking for a way to get away
from place to place. Many are designed to
the other end. More than 460 national chain
One way to get the scoop and gather tips
without the hassle of planes, hotels and
be lightweight, so even family vehicles like
outlets and local RV dealerships rent RVs,
from experienced owners is to stay at a local
an exorbitant travel budget, a recreation
minivans or SUVs can tow them.
campground and talk to your neighbors about
units. A growing number of campgrounds
their RVs. Ask questions about the space, key
offer on-site RV rentals, as well.
features, expenses, tricks they’ve learned and
vehicle (commonly known as an RV)
may be just the answer.
Whether you’re traveling with family,
Take time to plan ahead
Beyond the type of RV you need, think about
so on. Also be sure to ask about any problems
your significant other, or several generations
how you’ll use it to understand what features
housekeeping packages (dishes, pots, pans,
they’ve encountered or any decisions they’d
of family and friends, these tips from world-
you’ll want. What types of trips will you
bed linens, etc.) for a fee, or you can bring
make differently if they could.
renowned auto travel expert Alan Taylor can
take? Who will be traveling with you? What’s
your own. Even if you’re driving or towing
get you on your way to an unforgettable RV
your budget? There are hundreds of models,
an RV for the first time, features like
so how you answer these questions will guide
automatic transmissions, power steering,
large external mirrors, and rear view
of life, when the vacation is over and the real
cameras make it easy for inexperienced
world beckons, you’ll have to do something
drivers to adjust to the difference in size,
with the RV. Before you buy, be sure you
height and weight.
have plans for storage, be it a campground,
Put style first
The first step to planning an RV getaway is deciding what works best for you: a
Try it before you buy it
There’s no better way to try before you buy
motorhome or trailer. Motorhomes are built
than by renting an RV. Many people rent
on a motorized chassis and are designed
RVs simply for a change of pace by taking
as temporary living quarters for camping,
a trip to a special event or destination. You
travel, or seasonal use. Towable RVs or trailer RVs are towed by another vehicle to be moved
Do your research
Unless you’re planning to make RVing a way
in your garage, or at a storage facility. Learn what’s involved in safely storing your
You’ll find plenty of information online, but
investment while it’s not in use and take
can rent near home and journey to your final
another source of knowledge is any person
those needs into account when considering
destination or fly and pick up your RV at
who owns an RV or regularly rents one.
what type of RV you’d like to own.
Taking a chance on the
2018 Maine Moose Lottery to be held in Skowhegan. BY MAINE OUTDOORS & ADVENTURE
hat’s more fun than a parade of
Kristina Cannon, the executive director of
elephants? A party of jays? A
Main Street Skowhegan, the organization
consortium of crabs?
planning the event, said Skowhegan is making
It’s the 2018 Maine Moose
Lottery, set this year for June 9 in Skowhegan.
a weekend of it, with events like wild game dinners and live music acts.
And while there’s no guarantee you’ll see a
“We’re really excited about the potential
herd of these giants of the Maine woods, it’s
for new people to come in and visit our town
sure to be a great time nonetheless.
and see all that we have to offer,” she said.
For the uninitiated, the annual Maine
“Hopefully [the events] will bring people in on
Moose Lottery is held to determine which
Friday night and keep them around through
lucky hunters get to pursue Maine’s version
Sunday, stay and eat in our restaurants, stay
of big game—the venerable moose. According
in our hotels or campgrounds, and really get a
to Commissioner Chandler Woodcock of the
chance to explore Skowhegan.”
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and
Cannon said Main Street Skowhegan’s
Wildlife, about 55,000 people, residents and
mission is to revitalize the town’s economy,
non-residents alike, apply for a moose permit
help the community, and boost tourism.
each year. Of those, only about 2,100 receive
She said the organization has recently been
one. The number of permits available is based
promoting Skowhegan’s natural resources,
on various factors and is managed carefully.
outdoor recreation, and the food scene—
For many, winning the lottery represents a nadir in their chosen pastime.
“We’ve got a pretty big local food movement happening here.”
For the past several years, the lottery has
Skowhegan’s 2018 Maine Moose Lottery
been hosted in various Maine communities
celebration runs June 8-10, with many events
[2017’s lottery was held in Caribou—Ed.].
planned. See back page for the current schedule. PHOTO: ANDREA PELLETIER/THINKSTOCK
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2018 Skowhegan June 8-10, 2018 Skowhegan Fairgrounds
moose festival & Lottery Tentative Schedule
Friday, June 8 • 2 to 8 p.m.
• Hunting and fishing demonstrations and seminars with Registered Maine Guides and sporting experts, including Big Woods Bucks
• Vendors including Operation Game Thief, Registered Maine Guides, outdoor retailers, food trucks, and more
• Moose Maine-iah Monster Truck Rides
• Raffles for major prizes, including Cabela's gear, a hand-crafted dog sled and more
• Face painting and antler-making
• Hunting and fishing demonstrations and seminars
• Live music
• Moose Maine-iah Monster Truck Rides
• Climbing wall, exploratory activities for children • Archery range • Primitive skills demonstration
Sunday, June 10 • 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Maple Breakfast (Constitution Hall, 7-10 a.m.) • Activities kick off at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds at 9 a.m. • Vendors, including Operation Game Thief, guide services, outdoor retailers, food trucks, and more • Raffles for major prizes, including Cabela's gear, a hand-crafted dog sled, and more
• Fly casting demo and competition
• Hunting and fishing demonstrations and seminars with Registered Maine Guides and sporting experts
• Axe Women Loggers of Maine (four shows)
• Moose Maine-iah Monster Truck Rides
• Live music
• Retriever field and drill demonstrations with Cabela's Pro Staff
• Exploratory activities for children
• Wild Game and Craft Beer Pairing & Tasting (Constitution Hall, 5-8 p.m.)
• Chainsaw carving demonstration
• Live music
• Exploratory activities for children • Archery range • K-9 field demonstration
Saturday, June 9 • 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Vendors, including Operation Game Thief, guide services, outdoor retailers, food trucks, and more • Raffles for major prizes, including Cabela's gear, a hand-crafted dog sled, and more
• Meet & greet with Maine’s Game Wardens
• Moose calling competition for adults and kids (Grandstand, noon-1:30 p.m.) • Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Moose Permit Lottery Drawing (Grandstand, 2-6 p.m.) • Country music concert with headliner Phil Vassar and opening act Bryan White (Grandstand, 7-10 p.m.)
• Archery range
Note: This tentative schedule is not comprehensive; more activities will be added. Times and specific locations will be determined as the date nears. The Skowhegan Moose Festival is proudly sponsored by Cabela’s and Hight Family of Dealerships.