Thursday, October 20, 2011
We Went to Camp
Almost two months ago I mentioned heading up to the North Woods of Maine to my husbands family camp and never got around to sharing it here. The camp was built by my husbands great grandfather (who my husband is named for) in the late 1800's and finished in 1901. He was worked in the lumber industry and shipped timbers from his home on the Maine coast to the deep, Northern woods where he built his camp on the edge of a lake. Throughout the years the camp has stayed in the family, and is now owned by my father-in-law's cousins. For the past decade the family has wanted to get up there, but schedules and the chaos of life always got in the way, until this August.
It was my first trip to camp. Stories over the years had built it up in my head as an amazing place, so I thought I knew what to expect, but it was so much more. It was magical. I have never felt so strongly attached to a place so quickly as I did here. It was everything a camp should be. There was yard games, wild blueberry picking, a picnic by the lake, and the most well-fed ducks in New England. There was a cozy night by the fireplace playing bingo, card games, and ping pong by lantern light. There were old photo albums to explore and camp registers to read [every.single.trip. to camp from the time the first timber was put into place up to our trip had been documented, it was pretty amazing. There were the names of the people and animals attending, references to dances held with the neighboring house, number and size of fish caught in the lake, animals seen, all types of weather imaginable (hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, hail), national news, family anecdotes, its all there...writing in the log was so daunting to me, knowing that those words would stay with that house forever and could be read a hundred years from now.] There was fishing and an early morning canoe trip on a fog filled lake where the silence was only broken by the chilling call of loons surrounding us. Oh, the loons. I had never been so close to loons before or heard their call in the wild. That morning, sitting still as a statue in the canoe watching the loons, listening to their call, and seeing them dive down under the water, I will never forget it. I didn't have my camera at that moment, but I'm almost glad...I was so conscious and involved in that moment that I think a camera would have taken away from it.
Our trip was cut short by Hurricane Irene, but now that we've made it up there, we're making it a priority and hope to be back next year. I hope so. That place is in my bones now.