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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Window to the Woods with Rhon Bell
Posted: September 20, 2013

Canoe Trip Part #2/3 | Maine Camping | Fossils & Fire

Morning light sneaks beneath the tarp shortly after 6am. My eyes roll open and I, in sequence, roll out of my hammock. A quick glimpse of the morning sunrise is cause enough for me to run barefoot for my camera bag. The rays of a golden sun reach far above the peak of Maine’s famous Mount Katahdin. Evening dew still coats the shoreline, the water is still and the air remains chilled. Thirty minutes from the sun peaking above the Eastern horizon is my favorite part of the day. The sky is filled with brilliant colors and the Earth is just waking up.

When I think of Maine, images like this morning populate my mind. Nature truly at it’s best.


Leaning back against a campsite bench, I enjoy a Clif bar breakfast and watch as a plane shoots across the sky. From my remote vantage point, it appears as though the sun itself launched the plane overhead.


Our second day on the water is enjoyably spent exploring shorelines of Chesuncook Lake. History lies around every corner. Approaching 3,500 acre Gero Island, we spot an old stand of White Pine trees that was missed in the log drive era. Before long our canoe finds itself ashore and we are bushwhacking through thick brush, fighting our way inward.

A forty-five minute hike leads us to the absolute largest trees I’ve seen (on the East coast). Wrapping my arms as far as possible around the trunk – I barely cover 1/3 the diameter. Two hundred years old is a mere estimation. Surely one of the oldest stands of existing Pine in Maine, these beauties have stood tall against many a winter storm.
Blue skies and a slight wind help roll in a patch of cumulous clouds. The paddling is steady, but pleasant. Good for the body and good for the mind.
Fossils involve a good part of our afternoon. Our second stop of the day is a small section of beach I discovered years ago. Seashells were deposited here long before you or I walked this Earth. Whether you believe in a great flood or glaciers, one force or another brought these oceanic creatures hundreds of miles inland. Amazing to take in all the elements of God’s green Earth.
A wilderness campsite for the evening is another few miles down the lake. We load our rocks into the canoe, grab a paddle and aim for an early dinner and star gazing.
Warmth of the late afternoon. It looks best in buffalo plaid.
Kendall’s sleeping quarters is neatly tied and comfortable.
A late night wind develops and decides to blow directly inside my tarp. Half asleep, with a dim headlamp, I tie every grommet to any rock I can find. She is far from elegant and the ridge line is far from tight, but the setup keeps me warm and dry.
Hopping back into my sleeping bag, I try to catch a few more hours of shut-eye – tomorrow is another big day of explorations. Stay tuned…


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