We’re back from our annual summer pilgrimage to Maine. Maybe I’m just getting older, but those two weeks seem to pass more and more quickly. Maybe that’s it: maybe it’s not me—maybe time’s speeding up! My oldest son made a similar comment.
We made good time on the way up (and pretty good time on the way back down): traffic cooperated (mostly!), and that’s something I always appreciate. I’m still not a fan of driving through D.C. or Manhattan, and I don’t think I ever will be, although we did get a good look at the Washington Monument—well, the boys did: I was driving!
We stopped by the River Fest for a while. I saw a few familiar faces (including my cousin, who lives in Greenville, SC), but we didn’t stay: Seventeen hours in the car (whether driving or riding) takes its toll, and I smelled like a New Jersey Turnpike rest room.
We made it out to “camp” a couple of times. The first, I drove out to see my cousin, who’d rented a boat. We motored up past “The Castle” toward “The Falls”…and then got destroyed by a sudden rainstorm. I think I would have been warmer if I’d just jumped in Sebec Lake and swam back. Other than the deluge, it was a beautiful summer day to be on the water.
The second, we spent a couple of nights: one in the bunkhouse, another in a hammock. Mom (Mimi to her grandchildren) goes all-out with activities for “Camp Day,” typically including tie-dyeing and painting. She added silly string and, unintentionally, temporary hair color this year. And paracord bracelets. I can’t read minds, but it always looks like the cousins really enjoy themselves on Camp Day.
(We spent an afternoon at my aunt’s house—on a different lake—earlier in the week. On my birthday, actually.)
I tricked my sister, my niece, and my oldest son into hiking Gulf Hagas with me. All right, “tricked” is a strong word, but I think that’s how they felt eleven knee-pounding miles later. Typically, one would park at the Pleasant River site, ford the river, then hike up to the Head of the Gulf. I didn’t know how high the river was, and I didn’t want potential high water to ruin the kids’ day, so we started at the Head of the Gulf and hiked down toward the Hermitage. I really wanted to see Screw Auger Falls: the first site on the way up…the last site on the way down. Yeah. But everyone made it with minimal complaining, and I got to spend a little time with my sister. (I learned later—that night—my aunt had hiked the Gulf the day before, and the water would’ve been about ankle-deep. Oof.)
Below are just a few photos from Maine, 2019:
Anyway, it’s been…well over a month since we got back to North Carolina. Summer is over, and I’ve written less than a thousand words in the last three or four weeks. Maybe a little more than a thousand, but an embarrassingly low number, regardless. I’m pretty sure I’ve said as much in the last few posts, but closing the deal with Chapter XVII is a hard sell. I’m still at it, mentally, if not, uh, typographically, but these “delays” are frustrating. I put “delays” in quotes because while I’ve slowed down since the first few chapters, and while I’d prefer to finish the thing, permitting myself a high-altitude perspective helps me ensure I’m maintaining character consistency and logical chronology. I’m choosing to believe Between the Lion and the Wolf as a whole will be better for added attention to detail.