Leaving Cold River campground we drove down through Old Town then rambled along old back country single lane roads for an hour or so until we hooked up with the I-95 north. The 95 here is nothing like its distant cousins to the south. An empty two lane highway with nary a car in sight. Driving in Maine is a breeze with its light traffic, beautiful scenery, mellow drivers and hardly a tailgater to be seen. We parked up at a rest stop about halfway on the trip and PJ hit the nearby store while Cali and I helped out some Québécois who were having a problem with their trailer’s door lock. I got it working for them and he asked my name then told me in a thick French accent that if he ever had another child he would name him Michael, then they were off.
Before long, we were off of the 95 and back on pretty country roads winding through potato country. This area is where tons of Swedish immigrants landed back in the day including all of PJ’s ancestors. Potato farming was their thing and still is today. Her dad Pete grew up harvesting potatoes on the family farm. Roadside stands on highway one boasted of fresh picked new potatoes along with a variety of other produce. The side streets all have names like New Sweden and Stockholm.
We turned down the gravel road leading out to the lake where PJ’s cousins Lance and Laura have their “camp”. The GPS declared we had arrived and we were sitting outside of a set of log cabin looking structures. I was pondering which one to knock on when suddenly Lance appeared on his quad and waved us on a few more yards down the road to their house. It was pure luck he was on his way past. Now, I have to explain that here in the northeast, a camp is another name for a summer cottage and has no relation to actual camping. Many are rustic cabins and others like Laura’s are far from rustic. They have a beautiful home right on the lake shore. They had us park up on the grass on the waterfront and we caught up on things and I got to meet Lance for the first time. Awesome guy, totally laid back and easy going.
He took the quad to get gas and PJ and I walked with Laura down the road to some other cabins they have near the small canal that connects Mud Lake to Cross Lake where we are. Lots of projects and repairs to keep them busy. Cali meandered along with us happy to be off leash and finally on solid ground after her long ride. It must seem to her like everyday there is an earthquake in her little world for 3 or 4 hours then it stops and she can walk around again.
I had to get the paddle board into the water, so I did a quick paddle on the lake while the rest of the crew sat on the beach chatting. I got about 3/4 of the way across than turned around and let the wind drive me back to the house. The water was in the seventies and the afternoon was sunny. We sat on the shore talking and taking in the beautiful view then Lance fired up the barbecue. They had picked up the world’s largest ever zucchini and they grilled it up with fish, potato salad, and scallions. We sat down to eat as the sun set over the water.
Lance stoked up a bonfire on the beach and we sat near the flames and enjoyed our dinner and good conversation. The moon came up as a falling star streaked across the sky reflected on the surface of the lake. We talked into the night creeping closer to the fire as the night grew colder. Thanks so much for the warm welcome 🙏.