Category Archives: Outdoors

Acadia National Park considering purchase of iconic MDI lighthouse | Bangor Daily News

Ownership of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse on Mount Desert Island could be changing hands if officials at Acadia National Park choose to accept the picturesque landmark from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Christie Anastasia, public affairs specialist at Acadia, said many visitors to the lighthouse already assume it’s part of the park since it is surrounded by federal land and frequently pictured in advertisements featuring the park.

Read the rest of the story.

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A Perfect Weekend Away in Southern Maine | Vogue

Ellen Leduc

When most people think of Maine, the first things that come to mind are the foods with which the state is practically synonymous: lobster and blueberries. Then the mind might wander a bit to visions of quaint coastal towns, rolling Atlantic waves, and dense forests with their heady scent of pine mixed with fresh sea air. And while Maine is certainly these things, it has so much more to offer, especially in Portland and its surrounding towns. Portland was once thought to simply be a small, weather-worn costal city playing second fiddle to big shots like Boston, but this has thankfully changed. This gem of a city is now a major destination for those looking for incredible food, small-batch breweries with cult followings, and amazing independent shops that will tempt you to blow your weekend budget in a ten-minute period. And if Portland isn’t enough, the rest of southern Maine presents ample attractions like cute costal towns and hikes offering vistas that make breaking a sweat very worthwhile.

Read the rest of the story.

Higgins Beach, Maine: Surfer’s Paradise In New England | offMetro.com

[NOTE: I’ve lived in California longer than I’ve lived in Maine, but the Pine Tree State runs like pine sap in my veins. And in all that time living in California, I’ve never learned to surf. Scared of the sharks, I suppose, or being driven into the ocean floor by a wave. But there’s surfing in Maine, too.]

Higgins Beach is just a few miles from Portland, but the surfer vibe is straight out of a Beach Boys song. Welcome to a laid-back coastal community loaded with yesteryear charm. Kids ride their bikes around town, surfers catch waves until night falls and the tides are a constant source of conversation. It’s an easy-breezy, ocean-studded getaway and an idyllic spot for a last summer hurrah or an autumn weekend by the Atlantic. This pocket-sized town is perfect for carefree, car-free travels.

Read the rest of the story and view a video.

Cruise Portland Harbor and learn its history on water taxi tours | Maine Today

By Ray Routhier

Dave Cote sat between a couple from Connecticut and talked nonstop for an hour about the history of Portland Harbor.

Cote, a 38-year-old major in the Marine reserves, detailed the histories of seven lighthouses, several forts and a shipwreck, and provided insights on local bakeries and beaches. He was particularly animated in explaining South Portland’s history as a shipbuilding center during World War II.

“I know Rosie the Riveter is iconic, but here in South Portland when they built the Liberty Ships (WWII cargo vessels), they found that welding was better,” said Cote. “So here in South Portland, Maine, we celebrate Wendy the Welder.”

Most days this summer, Cote can be found giving animated history talks during the one-hour historic harbor tours being offered by Portland Harbor Water Taxi. Besides historic harbor tours for $15 offered most days, the water taxi service also offers a regular sunset lighthouse cruise for $20 and a Friday night-star gazing cruise for $30. The latter is narrated by Ed Gleason from the University of Southern Maine’s Southworth Planetarium.

The service was started last year by Maine Maritime Academy graduate Ben Graffius, who spent several years captaining an old drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico before returning to Maine.

Read the rest of this story.

I’m a scientist and a Mainer. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration | The Washington Post via Bangor Daily News

By Joel Clement

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.

Nearly seven years ago, I came to work for the Interior Department, where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

I am not an accountant — but you don’t have to be one to see that the administration’s excuse for a reassignment such as mine doesn’t add up. A few days after my reassignment, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testified before Congress that the department would use reassignments as part of its effort to eliminate employees; the only reasonable inference from that testimony is that he expects people to quit in response to undesirable transfers. Some of my colleagues are being relocated across the country, at taxpayer expense, to serve in equally ill-fitting jobs.

Read more of this powerful commentary by Joel Clement.

An ominous warning about a regional icon | The Boston Globe

This is unfortunate. Something must be done to protect and restore the loon.maine-loon-wildlife-tour-neoc

 

They come with FAA-issued tail numbers

Photo of moose cow, calf wins Aroostook County Tourism contest | Bangor Daily News

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Paul Pierce of Mars Hill has been chosen as the overall winner of the Aroostook County Tourism summer photo contest for his picture of a moose cow and calf.

Other category winners include Tracey Ackerson of Woodland for the scenic views category, Johnnie Cancelarich of Presque Isle for outdoor recreation, Fred Grant of Houlton for cities and towns and Lori Prosser of Houlton for festivals and events.

All winning entries are available to view on the website at www.visitaroostook.com and the Aroostook County Tourism Facebook page.

Click to read more on the story in the Bangor Daily News on the photo contest.

Moose welcome to visit anytime | Bangor Daily News

Wouldn’t you know. A moose walks into my front yard and I can’t find my camera.

The little case is empty. Where did I put it?

I gaze at the huge animal munching on the leaves of the apple trees outside my kitchen window. I guess I will just have to enjoy watching it.

No. I will use my big single-lens reflex camera that has been idle so long the battery is probably dead. I fish the camera out of its bag and turn it on.

“No card.”

I dig a memory card out of the bag, plug it in and move to the dining room window for a better view. The moose slides her mouth along one branch after the other, munching on the leaves that don’t fall to the ground.

Click to read more of this commentary by Kathryn Olmstead, former University of Maine associate dean and associate professor of journalism living in Aroostook County, published in The Bangor Daily News.

Half a foot of snow expected in Maine this weekend | Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — A weekend storm could bring plenty of chills to the state this Halloween weekend, as the National Weather Service said Friday that more than six inches of snow is expected in many parts of Maine.

A winter storm watch has been posted throughout the state, according to Mal Walker of the National Weather Service in Caribou.

The advisory calls for 4-8 inches of snow in Penobscot, Hancock and Washington counties and includes Greater Bangor, Ellsworth, Mount Desert Island, Machias and Eastport. The advisory notes heavy, wet snow and 15-25 mph winds with gusts up to 35 mph will create hazardous traveling conditions.

Click to read more of this story in the Bangor Daily News.

 

Women find niche in woodsman’s competition | Bangor Daily News

FRYEBURG, Maine — Laurette Russell decided after showing horses for 20 years, she needed something else to fuel her competitive fire. So she started entering woodsman’s competitions.

“Throwing an axe at a bull’s-eye and chopping a piece of wood is very satisfying,” said Russell of New Gloucester. “There’s no cookie-cutter type of person to do it. It’s not like when you’re an ice skater, you’re a tiny little ballerina. Anyone of any size, of any age, can do this sport.”

Russell was one of 39 women in a field of 193 people at this year’s Woodsman’s Field Day held at Fryeburg Fair. The daylong event attracted more than 6,000 spectators.

Click to read the rest of the story and see photos by Robert F. Bukaty  in the Bangor Daily News.

LePage to help dedicate Aroostook County trail to fallen Marine | Bangor Daily News

[I missed this story earlier in the week. Every kid I grew up with and I used to climb this trail every year or so. It won’t bring the young man back to his family, but they now have a place to honor his life and his duty to this country. – KM]

AUGUSTA, Maine — On Friday, Gov. Paul LePage will help dedicate a summit trail on Haystack Mountain in Castle Hill in honor of a Presque Isle native who was killed in Iraq five years ago.

The Dustin J. Libby Trail will be dedicated at 8:30 a.m. in memory of Marine Cpl. Libby of Castle Hill, who was 22 when he was killed in action on Dec. 6, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned as a squad leader to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Libby was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq at the time of his death. He had served in the country previously in 2004. Between his two Iraq tours, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

The trail was renamed through legislation sponsored by state Rep. Alexander Willette, R-Mapleton, and passed by the Legislature last March.

Click for the rest of the story in the Bangor Daily News.

Black bear killed in Portland | Portland Press Herald

Black bear killed in Portland | Portland Press Herald

Ashland police chief, second victim in moose accident remain hospitalized | Bangor Daily News

EAGLE LAKE, Maine — Two men who suffered serious injuries in a moose crash on Wednesday morning remain in a Bangor hospital, one in critical condition.

Cyr Martin, 46, one of the victims and also the chief of the Ashland Police Department, is in fair condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Melford Bouchard, 70, of Newburgh, is in critical condition at the hospital, a spokesperson said Friday afternoon.

Click to read more of the story by Jen Lynds in the Bangor Daily News.

25 things to do this fall — festivals, foliage and fun | Bangor Daily News

As you bid goodbye to summer — so long flip flops, air conditioner and iced beverages on the patio — you say hello to an even more fleetingly beautiful part of the year. The crispness in the air arrived last week, and the leaves have just barely begun to change color.

Summer may look pretty fantastic after four months of winter, but autumn feels just lovely after four months of summer. Enjoy it while you can by trying any of the 25 things to do this fall that we’ve assembled for you.

Click for more on the story by Emily Burnham in the Bangor Daily News.

Will write for food! … Or walk your dog!

Hey there! Hey there! I’m still trying to line up a freelance gig or two for the coming weeks. Please let me know if you are in need or know someone in need of a writer-editor-blogger-dog walker-house-sitter-dishwasher. Cheers!

U.S. Olympics Committee: Redneck Olympics disrespects athletes | Lewiston Sun Journal

HEBRON, Maine — The Redneck Olympics “is disrespectful” to U.S. Olympic athletes, according to a letter from the United States Olympic Committee to Redneck Olympics organizer Harold Brooks of Hebron.

On Saturday, Brooks received a letter from the USOC asking him not to use the name “Olympics” if he intends to hold the Redneck Olympics in the future. The committee doesn’t seek damages for the word’s use in the Aug. 5-7 event.

Citing the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the letter said there is “no question” that Brooks violated federal law by selling tickets to the Redneck Olympics, which cost $15 to $20 for the weekend, including camping. The act gives the USOC all rights to the word “Olympics” in the United States.

“We believe using the name ‘Redneck Olympics’ for a competition that involves toilet-seat horseshoes and bobbing for pigs’ feet tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games,” the letter reads.

Brooks objected to that characterization. “How can the people, the average person, in their activities, degrade anything?”

Brooks said the letter hasn’t changed his mind on holding another Redneck Olympics, a move that could spur a lawsuit from the USOC, who have filed suits in other instances of people using the word “Olympics.”

“They don’t scare me,” Brooks said Monday.

Click for the rest of the story by Tony Reaves in the Lewiston Sun Journal.

USOC letter

USOC letter

 

USOC letter Page 2.

USOC letter Page 2.


 

Keep your eyes to the ground

I re-learned a lesson over the weekend – when hiking in Northern California in warmer weather, it’s always good to keep your eyes to the ground around you.

I was hiking with a friend in Lagoon Valley Regional Park south of Vacaville just off Interstate 80 and we had climbed the hill overlooking the park and the freeway. We followed a trail on the ridge to a marker there remembering early settlers of the area.

We had just moved beyond the marker and were on the ridge trail as I gazed at a vulture gliding on the warm air above the park. As I turned to resume the hike, I glanced down and very nearly stepped on a fairly young rattlesnake – just four or five rattles and perhaps 16 inches long. They say the venom from younger snakes is more potent than that of older snakes, but I had no intension of finding out.

I just barely kept from stepping forward – and onto the snake – and was able to step back to give it a bit more room. It glided across the trail and into the tall grass on the other side.

It was the first time my friend had seen a rattlesnake in the wild and it startled her a bit. And the last time I had seen one in the wild was while firefighting during my college years; it was a threat to my crew and the snake was dispatched with the sharpened end of a shovel.

We continued the hike, warning another group of hikers that we had seen a rattlesnake and that they should keep a sharp eye out. Well, we warned them and then let them walk on the trial in front of us. … Hey, we warned ’em.

Lagoon Valley Regional Park is a lovely multi-use green area between Vacaville and Fairfield along Interstate 80. There is hiking, running, biking, picnicking, birding, archery, model aircrafts, fishing and more. It is not far from the Pena Adobe, the restored home of one of the founding settlers.

And the rattlesnake was not the only bit of wildlife we spotted along the rest of the hike – birds, horses, turtles and a beaver. Actually, the beaver had succumbed to some illness or attacker so wildlife is not exactly accurate.

But it was a very lovely day, despite the startling encounter with the rattlesnake. And a lesson learned. Again.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

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Expedition full of surprises for College of the Atlantic senior | Bangor Daily News

Expedition full of surprises for College of the Atlantic senior | Bangor Daily News

Huge surge in offshore wind expected | SustainableBusiness.com

Huge surge in offshore wind expected | SustainableBusiness.com