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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: April 26, 2013

Fly-in Spring Camping Trip

Back country camping offers the real sense of adventure often lost today. Booking a bush plane is more affordable than you may imagine – that’s excluding the intangible benefit of unbridled explorations. Vibrant greens and blues fill the landscape below as we taxi off Acadian Seaplanes in Rangeley, Maine. Our Cessna stashed with three days of needed – wool shirts, a tent, and grub.
Aviation headsets quickly tune to XM radio. Hank Jr’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” sounds best three hundred feet above the pines. A last minute plan, and first mission before landing, was to see a Moose. In a marsh, off our third lake, twenty minutes into our trip, we spot a large bull in his natural habitat. Two passes are made over a full-grown male feasting on lake vegetation before we coast in for a quiet landing.
From a distance, we observe the beauty of the mammoth Maine creature. After what feels like an hour passes, we take back to the air. A distant body of water comes into view beyond a old growth of white pines, high above the canopy below. Lower Richardson Lake will be our home for the following days. This is one of the largest in the state and home to only a historic guiding camp. A secluded sand beach awaits the floats of our plane. No time is wasted setting up camp and wading into the lake for a few evening casts. Each of us experience success before dusk by hauling in a glimmering salmon. The enjoyment is quickly shared before release, but the memories will surely last.
The night sky is soon filled with billions of blinking stars shining so brightly that mirrored reflections are present on the peaceful lake. A certain calm is brought to this world that is hours away from the nearest house or honking horn. This is a place I could call home. A cold beverage of choice and good company make for an entirely perfect camping experience.
Afternoons are spent exploring the wilds of a place rather untouched by man. The only part of landing at camp I look forward to is grilling thick steaks over the flames of a fire where the wood was chopped by my own hand. The crackling of an evening fire fills the only void that reading a quiet book leaves behind. My first bush plane camping experience is one for the books. Heading home can wait a few days…


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