Moosehead Lake: Part Three

The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
//Robert Frost

Why hello there! Long time no see. I apologize for my lack of blogging these past few weeks. After two full weeks of working every day including the weekends, I was wiped. Being one of the the last weekends of summer, I decided to enjoy labor day weekend somewhat unplugged. But I am back now with the last and final post of our trip to Maine the from the first week of August. Saturday afternoon we had been invited over to the Watson's in celebration of Dr. Watson's 80th birthday. He is my Papa's best friend and we have known their family for a long time, having done lots together over the years. My Grandfather even bought the property in Moosehead shortly after Dr. Watson bought his because he liked it up there so much after visiting. A big clam and lobster bake was planned, with over 100 lobsters brought in from the Maine coast! All the neighbors and family friends who live on the cove were invited and we were able to get to see and chat with a lot of people we have not seen in years. There is a path through the woods from Papa's house to their house, and it's only about a 5 minute walk over. They also live in a beautiful and grand lake house somewhat similar to Papa's.

I know I sound like a total brat but we had just had lobster two nights prior and after eating a ton of hors d'oeuvres and clams I was too full and lazy to crack and pick out a lobster. Practically a sin, I know. Papa saw that I wasn't going to eat one and being the true gentleman and loving Grandfather he is, offered to pick all of the meat out of one for me :-). How could I resist an offer like that!? Thanks Papa!

Three of my favorite peeps.
Dr. Watson called everyone's attention at one point and gave a really nice thank you and speech to everyone who came. He mentioned a few fun stories from the past such as sailing with my Papa through a crazy storm off the coast of Maine, and really showed a great appreciation for everything he has and has been able to do over the years. He wrapped it up by saying that friends and family are really what it's all about, and the memories we make together become more and more priceless as you get older. He then started to recite Robert Frost's poem "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening", and his kids joined in and helped finish it out together as a family in unison. It was really a nice moment and I definitely saw some tears being wiped throughout the crowd. Afterwards, his daughter Aubrey started up the Norwegian "Oh So" chant, and I never saw someone more happy to hear it in my life than Dr. Watson at that moment. He wasn't holding a cup and practically grabbed one out of someone's hand to be able to join in on the chant. My phone was being slow and I attempted to get it on video but the "Oh So' got cut off a bit. Either way it was a cool moment and I am glad I got it on film. 

All of the people who live on the cove on the lake have long been referred to as "The Covies". They have about 8-10 huge photo/scrapbook albums filled with pages and pages of photos, articles, letters, birth announcements, obituaries and the like from years and years of friendship and time spent on the lake. They used to have awesome costume parties every year and would literally go all out. I found the below picture of my grandmother as a flapper/dancer and it just goes to show how serious they took it. Look at that head dress! She looked so beautiful, I really miss her and wish she was still around to see us grown up. They photo albums are called the "Covie Chronicles", and it really is a legacy.
Once the sun went down we went out to their dock for a few pictures before heading back to our house for a boat ride. The water gets to be so calm and glass-like during the evenings so it's the perfect time to take out the Whaler for a spin.

You can see Papa's white boat house in the distance across the cove.

Spot the OFFIE on the right ;-). Sperry club only.

Dr. Watson has a pretty sweet suit of armor in the foyer that the kids got him as a gift one year. 
Heading back to Papas on the pathway through the woods. Reminded me of the Robert Frost poem, except thankfully it wasn't snowing.
A nice warning welcome letter from Lexi once you get back to Papa's! She is a very nice and good dog, but naturally as a German Shepard she can be very protective of her turf and her owners.
We headed to the boat house and fired up the Whaler for a nice ride on the lake before dark. This was actually one of the funnest parts of our trip. It was just so fun being all together and taking turns driving and laughing hysterically at whoever had to be in the front getting bumped around. There was no one else on the lake and we had it all to ourselves.

Cruisin' under a purple sunset!


The sky was so purple! It really was amazing.
Such a fun time, I am really glad the four of us get along so well and have such a good time together. We also took a few polaroids on Lindsay's polaroid camera that came out really nice.

When we got back to the boat house we asked Papa to help us make a fire down at the dock. We were planning on making some smores and watching the sky for shooting stars. We ended up seeing a couple but not nearly as many as last year when there were meteor showers. The smore's were so good as usual and it was really nice to just sit by the fire with Papa and listen to his stories.

I love this dark grainy photo of Nick looking on and listening to one of Papa's stories.

"'Smore of what?" Sandlot lovers unite.
Papa eventually headed to bed and then it was just us kids down by the fire. We decided to use my big camera and play around with some sparklers and long exposure. We did pretty good if you ask me! Some hearts and stars and S's, they came out pretty cool.

Nick had a really good idea that we should try to spell out MOOSEHEAD with it, but unfortunately we were out of sparklers. He then had an even better idea to use his iPhone! It came out awesome and we didn't have to worry about being quick with a sparkler burning out- the lines were so thick and clear. I am eventually going to make some kind of collage/frame out of it but for now here are the raw photos that spell out MOOSEHEAD 2014. Nick was even more genius when he thought to google a picture of "Green" for a different color for the year. 
The night sky up there is unlike any sky I have ever seen. SO dark, and there are so many stars it just completely boggles your mind. You really start to feel small! I tried a couple extended exposure shots on the sky as well but it was hard without a tripod. Still, you can get an idea, and you can even see part of the milky way band in the bottom of the second photo. It's something you have to see and experience in the flesh, photos don't do it justice.

Next it was time for our tradition, and by "Tradition" I mean this is the second year we have done it but I think we plan on continuing it every year we go up. We each get a wish lantern and get to make a big wish and release it over the lake (Pipe down environmentalists- they are completely enviro-friendly and 100% biodegradable- we wouldn't do it if they weren't). Mike and Linds were up first and, sadly, Linds' wish was the only one that ended up in the water and didn't float off. We blame Mike for making her let it go too early. Hopefully she didn't wish for a billion dollars, because we really could've used that!

 RIP Linds' wish... :-(
Next up it was Nick and I. We picked our colors and decided to be extra careful about letting them go too soon so that our wishes wouldn't have the same fate as Lindsay's.

I love these next three photos. My love and I setting our wishes off into the sky! I always wonder what other people wish, but that's the specialness of it, that it's something all to yourself. And plus, if you tell it, it won't come true!

Off they go, into the sky... As Peter Pan once said, "Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning." The way to Neverland.

A few group photos from our last night on the dock...we rotated so that we each took one, apparently all besides Mike because he happens to be in all three. The sneak!

Another funny story from that night is that when we went to take a picture Nick went to lean on the railing of the dock, except he happened to lean on the only two-foot gap where there is no rail to allow people to get off of a boat if it pulls up to the dock. I literally have no idea how he saved/caught himself, but he did. I attribute it to his police man reflexes and crossfit man strength. It would've been a nice, pitch black swim with his cell phone otherwise. Also...I said it before and I'll say it again. Do not go to Moosehead if you are in any way arachnophobic. 
We woke up Sunday morning with that end-of-vacation dread looming over us, but decided to make the best of our last 6 hours at the lake. Papa and Kathy had told us that Maynard's served up good breakfast before 10am, so we decided to call my cousin Chase and ask her to meet us there so we could eat together and say goodbye to her.

Nick just loving his dry-rye. Another running joke is with Nick and what he orders.... he makes us all laugh sometimes with what he picks but it reached a boiling point in New Hampshire earlier this year when at a diner he order rye bread, and then proceeded to ask for it DRY. AS IN NO BUTTER OR JAM OR ANYTHING. Not only does he get the worst bread option there is, but he then proceeds to ask for it prepared the worst way possible. At least he makes us laugh, and I don't think we will ever let him live down the dry-rye scenario. He was over the moon at Maynard's when he heard they had crusty, dehydrating, pallate-cutting dry-rye. 
And, I kid you not, Laura was our waitress! The same waitress we had last year at Soup's On and the same girl that served us a few nights before the The Birches. She is the hardest working gal in Rockwood! We started a joke that everywhere we went from then on Laura would be working.... gas station, grocery store, fudge shop. Laura will be there.
Mike and I with our "cousin" Chase. We use the term cousin because it's far easier than explaining what our real relation is. Seconds cousin twice removed?? Something like that. Anyways, she is awesome and it was really great to get to spend time with her. She officially is a PA now and living and working in Portland Maine. I definitely have to make a weekend trip up to see her sometime so that she can take me around Portland and for dinner at Duckfat.

After a lifetime of visiting Moosehead I don't think we have ever stopped at the flying Moose for a picture, so we figured now is better than never! Our neighbors, the Dutil's, have a flying moose as the symbol for their company Manac. I'd say 15 or so years ago they had the giant flying moose statue constructed on the road side of their property, and it has been a Rockwood landmark ever since. We always see people stopped to take pictures but since we live next door we never really took the time to stop. Glad I can now check this off my Rockwood Bucket-list!

We headed back to Papa and Kathy's and waited for them to get back from church to ask Papa to bring us on a final boat ride before we left. I love their house, it's so cozy and charming with the log cabin style and tall ceilings. Papa has always been a lover of birds and has several feeders that generate quite the crowd. This day in particular it was over run with cute little yellow finches.

As I have said before, Papa is an amazing wood carver, and he carved and painted the birds you can see in this photo. So talented!
With more time to kill Nick and I took a walk down to the blue camp one last time for a swing on the swinging chair. Papa cut the trees in front of it so there is a perfect view of the lake.

We then headed down to the dock to take some photos in the same spot we did last year. It's fun to see how you change from year to year, I'll have to put them side by side at some pint.
We quickly realized I could not be on the left where there is an incline because I am taller we are the same height and it made me look like a giant.
My Step-dad always tells Nick that he bets he has had more pictures taken of him in the last year and a half then in his entire life prior. As a photographer and a blogger, it comes with the territory of being related-to or around me! And whenever he or anyone else in my family sighs, I just hand them a bucket full of grief by saying "fine, don't support my profession"... works every time!

We then decided to pack up all of our stuff and the car so that when we got back from the boat ride we could head right out. After that was done I took a last little stroll around the property to take some photos of things I had not captured yet. Here is the cabin we stayed in, which used to solely be the main cabin until the addition was put on. I love those orange flowers!

Papa said that this thing full will last one winter in the North Woods- thats a lot of choppin'!
The garage, and the bedroom camp.
The exterior/interior of the bedroom camp. It sleeps 4-5 comfortably and is a great place to house extra guests!

A little Chippy! Mike and I used to call the neighbor Roger the chipmunk man when we were younger because he was friends with them and they would crawl all over him when he fed them everyday. Roger is actually still around and doing great at 97! Papa showed us some old war photos of Roger, and he was quite the strapping young man back in the day.
The view we woke up to every morning.
A beautiful quilt of the house that my mom made about 15 years ago for Papa and Kathy. Lots of talented artists and crafters in my family.
The infamous kissing moose photo!
Next it was a little trip down the road less traveled, better known as to the Outhouse! It is tucked back in the woods down a little pathway and has been there forever- since about 1950 to be exact. Papa and Kathy restored it in 1999 and even made a little plaque for us Grandkids. 

It's filled with lots of cute outhouse art and bathroom jokes.

The plaque with the dedication to the Grandkids. It definitely sends a good message though, I do really appreciate the simple life! And a bit of humor on the right with the emergency breathing vent :-).
Time to put the "Og Sa" board back into the barn... so sad! Nick and I want to make our own sometime soon.

Just a few little details! As a second shooter for weddings, I am all about the details... it's my forte!

Papa was back from church so it was time for our final boat ride. We had tried to get the whaler going earlier but it wouldn't start. Papa came down and sure enough it started first try- I think we had flooded it. We decided to take out the new boat, The Kilo, so that we could be more comfortable and go farther.

Love these two of Nick and Linds just enjoying the ride, wind whipping through their hair! GOURMET!

Papa and Kathy's German Shepard, Lexi, came for the ride as well. 

Papa turning the wheel over to Mike....

We decided to take a ride over to the back side of Kineo, since we always mostly see the front. The back side is a really cool sheer Cliff, and the water behind it is said to be over 200ft deep. It's literally a black abyss, and although there aren't any sharks to be afraid of, it still is kind of creepy.

Pulling up to the back side! A young girl was free climbing once, and fell to her death. Also rumored that moose and/or deer have fallen off to an untimely death! Mike and I used to swim in off the boat and climb to a point about 30ft up where we would jump. If it wasn't our last day there we probably would have that day as well, it's pretty fun!

This is the ledge we used to climb up and jump off. Looks are deceiving, its pretty high!

This girl was scared to jump. We watched her for about ten minutes, who knows how long she had been there prior. All of her friends were yelling and cheering from below. Finally, she got the courage and made the leap!

I absolutely love these pictures of us with Papa! We had a great time with him out on the boat, and he looks so happy! We miss him so much throughout the year, it was bittersweet knowing that in about an hour we would be leaving.

Nick's turn to take the helm.

Goodbye Kineo! Until next year....
Loons- Papa's favorite! They sound like coyotes at night... a howl-like sound.

Papa had one last surprise for us before heading back. We headed to the mouth of the Moose River where there is a small island where- get this- bald eagle's are born! There were two new births this year and we actually got to see them perched in the trees! SO COOL! The last and only time I had ever seen one was in Yosemite in California many years ago. They weren't old enough to have their white-hats yet but it was still very cool to see nonetheless. I wish I had my zoom lens because I really couldn't get good photos with what I had. Try to spot them in the photos below!

My turn to take us home!

Nothing says the lake like a dock shed chock full of toys and supplies! Papa's sailboat, The Osprey, is on the right.

And that it folks... we were back at the house and it was time to say a tearful goodbye to Papa and Kathy before our 8 hour journey home. This is the last thing you see, just before pulling out of the driveway... a Foote paddle, worn and weathered. Goodbye Moosehead!
Passing through Greenville for the last time. Here is the school, K-12 in one building, and the Indian trading store in the town center.

We pit-stopped in Wells, Maine for the Maine Diner, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I don't like to write bad about restaurants, and especially because what I had was good. But what others had....wasn't good unfortunately. Regardless it was a fun stop but we probably won't be back except maybe to try to breakfast sometime. Wells Maine also left a bad taste in my mouth as I took over to drive the last leg and after not even 30 seconds in the car, I was pulled over. Honest to God I don't think I had even passed a speed limit sign, or if I did I didn't see it as Nick was navigating trying to get back to the highway. I was practically in tears and did not want to end such a good trip with a $200 ticket. Lindsay broke the ice when the officer was still in his car by saying "What if the cop is Laura"... Love her. She made me chuckle in a time of stress and THANK THE LORD the officer was nice and I think realized we had just pulled out of the restaurant and were from CT, so he did not give me a ticket. Those darn police officers I tell ya.... ;-)

 My seafood chowder, loaded with lots of seafood.
There you have it, Moosehead 2014! It was a great trip with lots of laughs, inside jokes, and adventures with friends and family. Thanks for following along after three lengthy posts. One day I'll get better at narrowing down, but until then, thanks for reading and I appreciate everyone who follows. I should be back to regularly scheduled posting now! I have a few more summer activity posts, we still have 20 days left!

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