Monday, August 31, 2015

A Pahty-boat ride with a couple of old Mainahs!

Yesterday was about as perfect as a day can be, made especially so by some very nice neighbors. We were asked if we wanted to go for a ride in a pahty boat by a couple of retired Mainahs! Although this is our fourth visit to this lake, previously we have only explored it via kayak. But, thanks to our kind new friends, we got to see the entire lake...all five miles of its length. We had no idea how massive and grand this place is. Meguntecook meanders for miles in all directions and features hidden inlets, and several large, oddly shaped islands, some inhabited, some not. We saw a half a dozen loons on our boat ride and heard their magnificent song up close. The couple that was so nice to include us were the quintessential Maine couple. The man looked to be in his mid 70's, a lifelong Mainer who grew up in Belfast, right up the road. He had a twinkle in his eyes when he laughed that reminded me of someone I know but just couldn't place. The wife was a cantankerous busybody type who seemed to know everything about every homeowner on the entire lake. When we asked her to tell us the best restaurant in Maine, without hesitation she blurted out, "There arhh no good restaurants in Camden!" She was delightful!

Where our cabin sits, the lake is at its most narrow spot, probably only a thousand feet across from a public boat landing. I was up at 5:30 this morning and the lake was slick and silent. I made my coffee, then settled down to read the news on my iPad. At exactly 6:00, I heard voices from across the way, the calm water amplifying the spoken word so clearly I could hear every word. It was several people and they were all joking and laughing and terribly excited about something. Then I heard someone say, "OK, here we go!" Eight fully grown men and women then jumped in the water and began swimming in a slow, flowing line north, along the edge of the lake. It made me want to put on a parka just looking at them! A full forty five minutes later they returned, one by one, until all eight of them were standing on the dock laughing and talking like they had just gotten back from grocery shopping or something. 

Mainers are tough!

The happiest that my wife ever gets in life is probably when she is in a kayak on this lake. I can't even describe what it does to her. She is transformed in some bizarre almost mystical way. It energizes her, animates her conversation, brightens her. I enjoy kayaking, I really do, but not in the way that Pam does. It's her happy place. Both of us are going out in a minute for a morning jaunt in our bright red rented kayaks. Pam will be the one beaming...