I have been talking about returning to camp all winter and finally, third week of May, I arrived.
The trip north was long and boring. West Palm to Charlotte—where I almost missed my connecting flight–and then into Portland, where my buddy Ted picked me up and we drove another 3 1⁄2 hours to Danforth. On arrival at camp, Katie was waiting with dinner prepared. Hors d’oeuvres were cheese and crackers with a few red grapes – a delight. Ross, my son-in-law, and Billy, my ten-year-old grandson, had driven up from New York and were anxious to know when dinner would be served—and when we were going fishing in the morning. Greg, Katy’s partner, had a full beard—unlike the neatly trimmed beards I’m used to seeing in Palm Beach—and he was wearing Katie’s eyeglasses, which he said worked better for tying flies. Their dog was missing from its resting place in front of the stone fireplace. Sadly, he had passed away over the winter. Greg got misty talking about it. Even loggers shed tears. Dinner was from the lake and land—freshly caught salmon with a side of fiddlehead fern. Dessert was of course home- baked strawberry pie from Renee’s. Dinner and to bed were the goals after the long trip.
Sunrise woke me at 5:30am and I was eager to get on the water. After a few office catch-up calls, I headed down to the dock to take everyone out on my new-old boat for a spin around the lake. Greg pushed the starter and Whoa! –we were off. The new 15 horsepower motor cut through the waves, toward the rising sun. It was exhilarating and Billy was grinning from ear to ear. “When do we fish, Grandpa?” he asked. I turned to Greg, and he was prepared. We dropped anchor at the north end of Greenwood Cove. Greg fitted a live worm onto Billy’s spinning rod and handed the rod to Billy. After that it was “catching” not “fishing.” Good size brook trout were plentiful, with an occasional bass. The water temperature was just right for them. We looked for salmon, but the trout were the fish of the morning. Billy was showing off to his father who was visiting for the first time. It was satisfying to see father and son enjoying my camp. That was never my experience growing up. I know Ted’s father loved his camp and I learned on this trip that Ted’s dad built his camp, a next-door neighbor to my camp, only a few years before mine was built. I am fortunate to have the experience of witnessing my family enjoy the wilderness in a place that means so much to me. These will be lasting memories for Billy and, I believe for his dad, Ross. We had only been at camp for half a day and there was still so much more to do!