Tuesday, May 06, 2008

100 Yards Off Main Street

I finally snapped a recent, freshly baked photo of one of the rides in my quiver. One of the few and far between stop and smell the roses moments I have had during daylight hours in a month or so. This quiet moment was particularly appreciated. Taken at around 9:30 AM this morning after 3 1/2 hours of full tilt boogie as soon as my eyes opened.

My wife and I are headed to North Carolina on Thursday to watch my little girl walk for her Graduate Degree at UNC on Sunday. My wife does not like surprises. My wife likes to have things well planned and organized. Naturally we disagree. I prefer the last minute approach. Never do anything before it absolutely cannot wait another moment. After 27 years of marital bliss, I learned my way meant the highway. So here I was getting instructions and recriminations at 6:45 AM about me dropping my end of the ball for our upcoming trip. A complication with some bank/financial madness we have going on added even more stress.

"Call D at the Bank, don't forget the PM appointment for the truck. And for God's sake get it inspected, it's 2 months out. I will be late tonight. Feed the critters. Get your clothes for the trip together. And pick up dinner, I'm not cooking, I have way too much work to do."

Her words were blurs and settled all jumbled in my cranial void. I tried to focus. I really tried to keep it all straight. But I knew by 7:00 AM I would forget something. So I just tried to keep the schedule and be where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to. Maybe the kindness of strangers would kick in and someone would have my day figured out for me. And I had to jam a day at the shop into all this. I was screwed.

I hit the bike shop and threw my bike in the back. Dropped the truck at Miller Ford and biked back up Main St towards the shop. I was going to just go to work. Plenty of fires needed some attention.

Maybe it was my anticipation index or something just snapped. When I got to the shop, instead of picking up wrenches or the pending Quality order, I grabbed the camp saw and pruners. Re-mounted my bike and struck out on Main St again. I figured I could afford an hour of calming and soul cleansing trail work. "Besides", I rationalized, "I had promised a piece of myself to the Mousam Way Trail Committee too. A few minutes breaking new trail might just get my day back on track. And I wouldn't feel guilty for not getting that new trail started."

Finding the orange tape 3 of us had tied on whatever was close last Sunday, I began to prune branches and kick dead fall to the side. An hour later and 150 yards into it, I took a moment to look around. The pictures don't do it justice, but they almost bring back the moment for me.

100 yards from Main St, where trucks, cars, bikes scurried on their way to the rest of their day, I sat on mossy rocks sucking in a small slice of a glorious Maine Spring morning while black flies busily tried to figure out how to make me crazy.

100 yards off Main St. I escaped for a minute. 100 yards off Main St. one of the many reasons I love Maine was right in front of me. 100 yards off Main St. Nature is busy doing what it does without or in spite of our best effort to screw it up. 100 yards off Main St was all it took to find the center again.

New Feature!

The Officially licensed and sanctioned Lost in the Bozone Compilation of mostly useful but never useless tricks and hints that might just make your day if you try them.

Hint #1 - Have to start with something. Might as well do it with....

Clean Hands and recycling all at the same time

Concsiously choosing a life of blue collar toil to earn my way through this life, I have had to deal with dirty hands most days. Often dirt and grease so deeply injected, store bought cleansers with sandy bits of volcanic rock don't make a dent. They just make me bleed. I resigned myself to a life of scarred, calloused and grease embedded digits.

A few weeks ago I was wincing and whining as I laid pumice laced hand cleaner onto my tortured palms. I thought there had to be a better way. On the back of the sink a sad almost worn out piece of a green nylon scubby sat. One that should have been tossed but had not been yet.

I grabbed it and squirted a generous dollop of Dawn detergent on it and gently began to wipe my hands. Wow! It did not hurt and my hands had not gotten so clean so quickly ever I think.

I figured if a worn out scrubby was this good, a new one would kick butt. I was wrong. A new one felt like Lava on steroids. Use a worn out one, like an old pair of jeans, they feel the best.

This knee jerk post pounded out to the sounds of the Chili Peppers, Paul Simon, Dire Straits, Joan Armatrading, Metallica, Dave Mathews, Sublime, Hendrix, Zepplin, and last but not least by a long shot, Bowie's "Under Pressure".


toklas23 said...

oh mr. macrum, you have just waxed poetic about one of my favorite spots in your neck of the woods. i grew up on back road in shapleigh, and we would bike the 5 or 6 miles down to the mousam river bridge and lose an entire day just exploring the river, jumping off a few well-positioned rocks into the river (we used to call that particular spot 'indian's last leap'). what wonderful memories your post brought back to me.

i love snowshoeing there...especially if it's soon enough after a decent storm that you are the first one to hit the trail. it really is a little slice of heaven...walking on top of a couple feet of snow and hearing the river running along with you. just lovely.

i'll be in shapleigh for a few days next week helping my mom recover from some pretty serious surgery. and i'll be making a pit stop and taking a hike. thanks for reminding me about that spot.

MRMacrum said...

toklas23 - This spot is close to Indian's Last Leap. About a half mile by trail. The stream in the picture actually feeds the Mousam River from a culvert under Main St about 75 yards from Black Bear Auto (Back Rd and 109). Odd little section not even the town knew existed and neither did I until I poked my head in there.

As a matter of fact, the new trail we are putting in will be a meandering one that will eventually dump onto the trail to Indian's Last Leap. It is to be a hiking/biking/snow shoeing trail.

Apertome said...

Beautiful photos. If I were there I'd definitely have to check out the trail you're building. It sure goes by some beautiful scenery.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful! The Rockies are a great place to live, but we lack the lush greenery you have there. I miss it sometimes.

GJG said...

I came across a comment you had made on 5/3 post on Scribbit, and read YOUR blog----and HELLO, have to say we are much alike in our outlook and opinion of life. Course I am some 14-15 years older, but hey---one day at a time right? I hope ya don't mind but have added your blog link on my own page, if this is not to your liking, let me know and I will take it off----. Keep up the blog, like your style.

Julie said...

I have been trying to locate Indian's Leap this summer. I know where Black Bear Auto is. Is there a marked trail to get there? I have tried going in through Holdsworth Park and over behind the schools. Am I in the right vicinity? I'd love to get over there and check out this beautiful place in person.

MRMacrum said...

julie - You can get to Indian's Last leap from Holdsworth park. Take the trail that runs off of the pavillion and stay right when it forks. Stay on the trail that hugs the river. It is about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the pavillion or swimming area.

You can also get to it on the other side. Go right at Black Bear (Back Road or Butler Cnr Road, take your pick). About 1/4 mile on right is an electrical substation on the right. Pull in there and park. Follow main trail 2-300 yards and look for a small trail on right. 50 yards in and you are there.

Any more questions? Call the shop (207) 490-3220 - CRUM Cycles.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for the directions! i'm definitely going to try and find it this weekend!

Julie said...

Thanks so much for the great directions! We went there 3 times this past weekend. what a beautiful spot. Can't wait to hike it in the fall. Thanks again!