Stone's North Woods Adventures (SNWA)

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by Stone, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Friday, Feb 17, 2017.

    Taking motivation from my buddy @Bushman5 (see Chronicles of the Bushman), I'm starting this thread to be a collection of stories, photos, and videos about my life here in ... mid-Maine, but really northern Maine, since I'm on the southern edge of northern Maine, 50 mi SSW of Mt Katahdin. I intend to explore north -- where the truly wild places are -- not south. I'm creating this in "Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel" because it will be mostly about those topics, even though I'm starting with pics of my studio/base camp.

    {I've already produced one video of my walk at the tail end of last Monday's nor'easter (= blizzard for those who do not live on the northern US coast). I've also shot footage from several walks in my "backyard", the 50 acre woodland behind my studio. I'll post those here at a later time; could be weeks.}

    But let's start with a few images of my home -- my studio where I live and work (professional stuff; home office) -- but also my base camp, my bushcraft studio, where I experiment with the best gear for what I like to do, for what I want to do, how to pack it, etc.

    It's also an art studio. In addition to hiking, backpacking, wilderness exploration, I'm a biologist/ecologist (and professional educator -- more on that another time), but I have a couple of toes in the world of art: painting, pen and ink, photography, music (mostly percussion), dance, and most recently, video production (color me novice with the latter).

    Now, you have to understand from the gitgo that this studio is very special to me. It's the first place of my own with ALL of my own stuff (some of it from childhood and teen years, most in storage in another state until recently), a kitchen and bath of my own, that I've lived in in almost 7 years, since arriving in my new home state while trying to extract a large dagger from my heart (metaphorical: a relationship here that didn't work out, but I stayed because I love the region).

    This is also the 30th place I've lived in during that time in about 12 cities in three states on two coasts. I didn't plan it that way. It just happened. Life sucks sometimes, and that did.

    But this is the antithesis of "suck". This is valhalla, nirvana, heaven ... what ever one would call the place you most want to live -- apartment, area, town, region. And I want to share it with friends on this forum.

    OK, so welcome. Beer is in the fridge. Food on the kitchen counter. Enjoy. :)
    _______ _____ ___

    The map wall.

    Eberlestock Halftrack and extra gear just beyond. Boots ready.

    Arrow indicates Katahdin's position on the map.
    Its eastern flanks are my destination next summer,
    hopefully with some of you (and other friends).

    1A1-Studio-DSC03228.JPG

    Map of the northern half of Maine jutting up into Quebec (W & N) and New Brunswick (E).

    1A2- MapDSC03208.JPG

    Close up of Katahdin region.

    IMO, there is no more rugged piece of wilderness east of the Miss'ssippi River
    in terms of terrain, ecology and climate.

    1B-Map-DSC03196.JPG

    Just south of the image above where the AT is meandering north toward Katahdin.

    Rugged, beautiful country. I've backpacked in TN, FL, AR, TX, NM, AZ, UT, CO, NV, OR, WA and ME.

    Yet nothing I've seen elsewhere exceeds this in ruggedness and beauty,
    and most don't come close.

    1C-Map - PC AT.JPG

    More of the studio.

    The table in the middle is a piece of 4' x 8' birch, cut to the golden rectangle dimensions (the other 18" piece is a computer workstation in a later image), sanded, oiled, and finished with a sealer, sitting on concrete blocks. It looks somewhat different everyday depending on what projects are taking priority.

    5A1-Studio-DSC03229.JPG

    What's out the window?

    50 acres of woods where I try to walk most days.
    Hard right now because of a 3' base of snow, and I have no snowshoes.
    Can you say, "post hole"?

    Oh, and this is looking south, towards town.
    On the north side, there are hundreds of acres of forest,
    all accessible by the public. Going north on trails, crossing two roads,
    one can be on the south shore of Sebec Lake in about 7 miles.

    5A2-Studio-DSC03240.JPG

    On the window sill: mementoes from childhood into my 20's.

    The elephant and tree were my mom's. The elephant was given to her by a family friend, a vet returning from 'Nam. The piece on the far right was painted for me by a favorite gf back then. Other objects are things I picked up along the way, mostly stones of various kinds, including (on the far right) a fossil of some marine mollusc, and (on the far left) a stone ostensibly used to smooth arrows by natives; picked that up in trans-Pecos TX.

    5A3-Studio-DSC03237.JPG

    An ... art piece and biology demo project I'm working on.

    It's a piece of rough cut eastern white pine with interesting knots -- as a biologist, I try to see how the rings and limbs are laid down in 3-space -- adorned with some objects from my past: feathers from Oregon and a figurine carved several years ago in Maine.

    5A4-Studio-DSC03213.JPG

    All my blades.

    They aren't always arranged this way. The most used ones -- RB3, Izula, TDI -- are usually elsewhere on the table, the wall, or on me. This is just a family photo with stick projects up behind them.

    On the wall behind them is my favorite mountaineering/backpacking tent -- a 20-year old Garuda (no longer in business; bought out by a larger competitor) in which I slept in numerous beautiful mountains and deserts in NM, CO, OR, and ME. I'll post some pics of it later.

    Why a wall hanging tent?

    Two reasons: One, I've learned the hard way that storing synthetic fabric gear in a stuff sack in a closet in a humid environment does said gear no good, and can cause mildew that destroys fabric, but at least smells bad. So I keep it hanging out. (My Warbonnet Blackbird hammock hangs from the ceiling just to its right, just off cam. Pics to come.).

    Two: that was my home in some of the wildest, most beautiful, life-changing places I ever visited and lived for a short time. It helps me remember those times.

    5B1-Steel kit w 9.JPG

    A close up of the steel and stick kit.

    At least some of the sticks; there are more.

    If you've read much of what I've posted on this forum for years,
    you'll know what most of those blades (and the pistol) are.

    5B2-Steel kit w 9.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  2. Stone

    Stone Member

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    One more for now -- these wouldn't fit in the OP (limit 10 images per post).

    These tools play an important role in this story ...

    5C-Steel kit - GBWH + RB3.JPG

    Looking from the bushcraft, map, art studio into the recording studio.

    That's the rain fly of my Blackbird hanging from the ceiling (upper right).

    At least one pull up is required when passing through this portal.

    Kifaru Woobie draped over the door. Used for sleep at night but in the pack during walks.

    8F-Studio-DSC03226.JPG

    View from the sleeping space.

    Tapestry is from an earlier life in a different time and place.

    Yellow bag: North Face, 20F. Hanging on the south side of the wall.
    Purple bag: Marmot, -20F. Hanging on the north side of the wall.

    Red wool blanket is from northern NV on the way to Burning Man '99.
    My fav wool blanket is underneath it, from Colima MX, circa '76.

    8G-Studio-DSC03222.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  3. koolaidnd

    koolaidnd Member

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    Very cool.
     
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  4. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    Nice, It's very spartan. But I wonder...with all those streams and waterways on the map, where are you hiding the kayak?! :D
     
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  5. Wolfman Zack

    Wolfman Zack Member

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    Your new place looks great @Stone !!!!!
     
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  6. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Thanks, guys.

    Looking forward to a visit by you all. :cool:

    I'm storing my kayak -- actually a kayak/canoe hybrid -- at Old Town Canoe until I pay for it. :D

    But my bicycle is in the vestibule. I haven't showed that to you, yet. ;)
     
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  7. Wolfman Zack

    Wolfman Zack Member

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    What canoe/kayak is that?? The Next???
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Yep. I put in a link to it ... maybe after you read that post ..

    . but I'll take mine in that traditional Old Town bluegreen.

    If I lived in Bangor, orange would work.

    But up here ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  9. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Actually, fashioned more after viking than spartan. :D
     
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  10. Wolfman Zack

    Wolfman Zack Member

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    I hope you're getting the orange one.
    I have paddled one, and found it very comfortable, and with great gear hauling potential.
    Not ideal for portaging though, so that's one thing to keep in mind.
     
  11. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I keep editing after you read my post ... :D

    From above: "I'll take mine in that traditional Old Town bluegreen.

    If I lived in Bangor, orange would work. But up here ... "

    .. I need more stealth ...
     
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  12. ManOfSteel

    ManOfSteel Member

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    I dig it man.
     
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  13. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Here's that Garuda tent circa '96, southern Colorado, just west of the continental divide which my friends and I packed over from the trailhead on the headwaters of Rio Grande west of Creede. On this trip -- one of eight trips in as many years -- we were in for 16 days. I was carrying 72 lbs on this trip (heavy pre-digital camera gear plus tripod). Llamas brought in the 2nd week's food.

    This was camp 3, four days in, up around 11,000'. We stayed there for several days. Beyond-awesome high country. There's a big cirque lake just to the left of my tent about 150m.

    Camp 4 was on the flanks of the peak in the background, "The Guardian", eastern-most peak of the Grenadier Range in the Weminuche Wilderness. I'll post some pics of the north face of the Guardian later. I was solo during that portion of the trip.

    Where I live now in Maine is 400 - 500' above sea level. Yet I can walk 300 m from my back door and be in the same basic ecosystem and climate I walked in in Colorado at 10,500'.

    Gaurdian from Rock Lake w tent 2.jpg .
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  14. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Over the last few hours, I've spent my Friday evening (pleasurably) combing out typos from my OP, adding additional information, and some links -- like this one to an image of Sebec Lake, 7 mi north of here. If you read the OP before this time stamp, and are so inclined, please consider some recursion and reread the OP.

    If not, no sweat at all. More to come ... :cool:
     
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  15. james gormley

    james gormley Member

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    Cool
     
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  16. Stone

    Stone Member

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    11:30 pm. Winding down for this day. I have a very important working weekend coming up. Trying to be moderate.

    In the map of the third image of my OP, you'll see the word "Monument". I wrote that word on the map after tracing the boundaries of the "monument" onto the map -- because so far, it's not on many existing maps, especially those printed before fall of last year.

    "Monument" is the newest national monument --
    one step from national park -- in the US:
    Katahdin Woods and Waters.

    Some critics claimed there was nothing special there, that there should be no monument.

    I claim, horse hockey. I haven't been there yet, but I have walked a bit south of there. It's spectacular.

    Those who can't see the beauty, ruggedness, wildness of that place don't --
    and probably can't -- think like Leopold, Muir, Marshall, Thoreau and Abbey.

    This is a little piece of boreal forest, aka taiga, right here in the US.

    It deserves monument status ... at least.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  17. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    checking in, ironically I just cracked open a German Grapefruit Wheat Beer , in an ORANGE can...

    [​IMG]

    great looking place Nem...
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  18. Stone

    Stone Member

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    <laughing with a big smile>

    Gotta get me some o' that German grapefruit beer in an orange can.
     
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  19. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Ok, back to home again. That 50 acres out back, to the south.

    Here are a few images of it. There are really three parts.

    1: the highland hardwoods seen from my windows. Cut w/in the last 50 years. Mostly ash, beech, birch, and oak.

    2: a ravine 300 m south dominated by eastern hemlock and birch (3 sp), with a few big pines and ash.

    3: to the east of both -- and by far the biggest, oldest piece of woods on the south side of SR 6 in my 'hood -- a dense woodland, not cut for over 75 years (maybe 100) dominated by hemlock, eastern pine, and birch. Some of the biggest pine in the area.

    I have images so far of areas 1 and 2, but not 3.

    Captions:

    1: tarp training in deep snow

    2: halftrack hanging on a hemlock with a climbing sling + glove on a stick

    3: small hemlocks on the edge of the ravine; huge one just above

    Tarp.JPG

    Over the edge.JPG

    NVA ravine.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  20. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    Mine was this color when I cut the plastic off.

    [​IMG]
     

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