Saturday, May 19, 2012

Out for a ride

The Stopping Place, the Piscataquis River Medford Maine - click
  I went for a ride, not too far and not too close, yesterday.  I left Old Town and heading north on State Route 116.  I went through Argyle and Edinburgh (I wasn't in Scotland) and in to Howland.  From Howland I wanted to go on the road Hollie and I used to call 'the other side of the river'; it's the north side actually.
  Hollie and I always stopped in the place where the photo (above) was taken yesterday, it was just another habit.  She liked to throw rocks in the water each time we went.  Then I went to the Trestle Road and took some photos on each side of the bridge and one of the bridge itself, and continued on to Medford Center where we used to live.  I took a photo of Mount Katdahdin up by the cemetery and then one of what used to be part of our woodlot.  Next I was going to take a photo of the house where we used to live but the batteries in the camera were dead, deceased, gone.  So I went to Milo, there are no stores in Medford, to buy batteries and have breakfast for lunch.  My usual unusual lunch time is 10AM because I am up at 2 every morning - so sometimes breakfast is the only option.  I stopped at the Veterans Park and Boat Ramp in Milo for a look-see and went back to Medford via the Paddy Hill Road which is where we used to live.  In Milo the Paddy Hill Road is the Joe Raymond Road, it's off State Six.  I took a photo of our old house and one of the street sign for Paddy Hill Road because it also says "in memory of Clyde A Hichborn" who was my neighbor and friend while we lived there.  Clyde died a few years ago at age 92, he served the Town and the whole area for years and years in many ways.
  Then it was time to go almost home.  I went back to Howland to take photos of the new bridge and of the tannery buildings which are being readied to be torn down.  Once the tannery is removed the Penobscot dam will be removed and the Piscataquis dam will get a fish bypass.  I'm trying hard not to badmouth the process.
Beech Trees on Paddy Hill Road show off their new green.
This road was dirt when we lived there, it was paved the
year after we moved.
Part of the tannery.  We used to make shoes in the United States
some of them with leather from this tannery.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Riding around town

The mill wheel at Spragues Nursery
  It sometimes doesn't take much of a ride to see a lot, well that is to say, if you don't mind taking a second or tenth look at something.  Besides it's comforting to know that most things keep changing, mostly for the better.
  We took a bit of a ride around the Bangor area yesterday, everyday really, we had meetings or appointments to go to also.
  We did drop off some donated items and Linda dropped me off on a street corner when she went to a meeting.  I walked to where I was going, to the doctors appointment, it was only a mile and a half walk and I had more than plenty of time.  There isn't much to see along Broadway, the busiest street in the City, with a lot of traffic.  At least the pedestrian crossing lights work, they aren't too good in some other places.
  I made it to my appointment, it turned out like I thought it would, eat a bigger breakfast, period.
  We decided to take a peek at Kenduskeag Stream and Linda wanted to pick some Lily of the Valley at one of the large patches.  We had no idea really how big those patches are!
This patch goes from the street all the way up the hill.
There's more!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

If it's not broke..........

  Most of you know I try to walk every day, so what happens when there is a change.  On this past Monday my usual "early route" around the Airport Mall in Bangor was not walkable because of paving work.  I decided to walk down Union Street from the Mall parking area to 16th Street where Union meets the Interstate.  It turns out that the distance walked is still about 2.25 miles.  To walk that distance now takes almost an hour (embarrassing).  After the walk I'm still at McDonalds for coffee with the guys.
  But Monday something was different, or two things.  One, I ate a half banana with my cereal, two, I had a cup of coffee at Tim Hortons before walking because it was early. 
  During the walk back up Union I got the "willies".  The Willies is when I get a little confused, sweat like it's 105 degrees, and stumble a little - like walking drunk, but not horribly drunk.
  I reported the episode to the Nurse that follows my health and progress from the illness over a year ago.  She contacted my Primary Provider and they would like to see me today. 
  I did the same walk on Tuesday, minus the banana, with no ill effects except it was raining and my hands got tired with the umbrella stuff.
  At the end of the visit with the doctor today, I won't know any more about the "willies" than I do now.  If, it turns out, that there is an answer I will be totally surprised.  I have had nearly every cardiac test there is, I've had an MRI of my brain, ultra sound testing of arteries, all that stuff - there is no answer.
  I will keep you posted.
                                      The Geezer hisself

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kenduskeag ride

Ready to plant - click
  My wife and I took a short ride the other day, just east into the next town, Kenduskeag.  The Town of about 1200 people is named for the stream that splits it in two.  It's a rural community made up of farms and acts as a bedroom community for the City of Bangor.  It's well known as the "starting point" of the Kenduskeag Canoe Race.
  We just rode up the road and turned right and took the photos on today's page, or my wife took the photos, I was along for the ride.
  The Town was in the news this week because of an alert employee of the Village Variety Store.  A man pulled in just as she was closing the store.  She saw it was an elderly man (79) who wanted gas for his car.  When she asked him to pull up to the pumps he pulled in on the "wrong side" and the hose wouldn't reach.  She asked him to move the car but he just played with the knobs on the dashboard and was confused.  She asked for his credit card and called Emergency Dispatch who sent a State Trooper to the store.  The man, for New Hampshire and 245 miles from home, has just left his house to check the mail and had no idea where he was.  Taken by ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor he was reunited with his family, who had reported him missing, on Sunday.
It's apple blossom time
More trees and plowed ground.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If you ain't been, then go!

New growth is showing - click
  The Orono/Bangor Bog Walk is always an interesting place to visit, each time we have gone it's more than been worth the trip.  Going in early Spring, as we did last week, and after a day of rain it's easy to spot the differences between regular (see above) forest land and the bog.  The photo above was taken on the way to the entrance of the board walk.
  Once you reach the board walk it's evident that it's a bog, and the further you progress it's abundantly clear!  The Ombrotrophic Zone that makes up much of the board walks circle is like entering a different planet.  I will show you a photo of a "Tamarack" or Larch tree that could be 70 or 80 years old, I don't know for sure.  The moss and pitcher plants, along with the cotton grass make it obvious that you are in a much different place, it always amazes me.
  Now, I'm easily impressed so just remember "one mans trash is another mans treasure".
Undetermined age, but old.  The new needles (leaves)
are growing out.
The first part of the board walk you'll see a mixture of forest and bog.
These "fiddleheads" will soon be ferns.
A patch of Partridge Berries on the way in - click

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kenduskeag Stream

In Kenduskeag Village it's fairly calm, but fast
  Kenduskeag Stream flows leisurely along out in the country, but between the Village/Town of Kenduskeag and Bangor the landscape drops maybe 40 or 50 feet.  The Stream was ideal, years ago for making power for four mills and sawmills.  It was dammed to hold back water for ice making and it was used as a sewer along it's length.
  When the City of Bangor was first founded the Stream was of such importance in this place where the Kenduskeag Stream entered the Penobscot River, that the settlement was called Canduskeag (notice the spelling change).
  Every year for 53 years on a Saturday in early May people with canoes and kayaks invade the Village of Kenduskeag for the race to Bangor, nearly 1000 watercraft per race.  Some years the Stream is rapid and white, some years it snows.  This year the race was in a "dry period" and many people or teams had to portage a couple of parts of the course.
  It has rained a lot lately, making up for a long dry spell, and the Stream is running quickly.  My lovely wife, Linda, and I have been riding around the last couple of days, she contributes the photos for todays blog.
Water is fast at one former dam site.
Remnants of the dam still here
A penstock(?) or overflow outlet, this dam held water for ice harvesting.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More about the ride

An obvious sign of Spring - click
  There's no doubt about it; Spring is in the air.  It's one of those seasons that hold promise - and after this it had better be good.  As we rode around and walked around, the Town of Hampden was one place where we spent a little extra time looking around.  The Souadabscook River is one the source of two of our favorite spots.  We get to see it in at least 4 places and in the Spring the water is rushing.  An early canoe an kayak race is held on the "Souadie" - say sow-dee.
  Other places in Hampden worth a visual are the Shaw Hill Road area and the Main Road area north or south.  Always good peeping on all of Western Avenue (US 202).
Burnt Swamp Branch of the Souadabscook on Route 69
Some young Charlois cattle doing a "stare down" with us.
The Souadabscook rushes under the bridge on Manning Mill Road