Sunday, July 20, 2008

Chalking Up Maine

A side trip into the interior of the state of Maine found us just north of Mexico- not the country, the town- which is near Rumford. Even without a GPS you know when you are getting close to Rumford. The paper mills put out a particularly distinctive, pungent odor. It's really not that bad, and it's a smell you get used to and becomes unnoticeable in short order. Other than the tall stacks billowing white smoke it is the most prominent feature of the industry here. And the smell has the reputation, yes. But much more important are the products produced here and the jobs provided to this rural area. Rumford and Mexico are the gateway, though, to one of the most scenic areas of the state. Beautiful lakes and streams, excellent hunting and fishing are all to be found in abundance here.
And speaking of "found in abundance,", we'd heard through the grape vine that the local streams are harboring placer gold, and so this was our day to check that out. From our Cushing on the coast camp, 3 hours up, 5 hours running the dredge, then 3 hours back - all just to prove to ourselves there is gold to be found in Maine.

We worked an area just north of Coos Canyon, at the confluence of the Welch and Swift Rivers. The scenery alone was worth the long day of travel. The work, if you can call it that, was a joy in and of itself.

The small but enthusiastic Maine Chapter of the GPAA had corresponded with us leading up to their July outing, and issued up a hearty invitation to join them for the day. Following their instructions for finding the location and a few strategically placed yellow ribbons along the logging road that led us in, we arrived just in time for a briefing and the "start your engines" horn that calls their meetings to order. In too short a time to do this under most other circumstances, we made some excellent new friends, and set off to work.

Phil, here, tells us it's a rotator cup injury; but club members (me included) are thinking the guy was just panning too much with one hand and it plum wore out. As they say in Maine- makes it "wicked hard" to sleep with that thing on....

But injury or no- here's what he had to show for his efforts. many others had the same good fortune!

But would we? Would we have a banner day on the gold stream? Well. Yes and No. We did have a marvelous excursion, plenty of beautiful panoramas, fresh air, healthy exercise. But as Marilyn summed it up on the ride home.

"There IS gold in Maine....and we found ONE!"

Happy Birthday to my "gold-digger" of a wife. Life is one big gold field; always carry your pan.

1 comment:

John A said...

Just found your blog thru Geeks on Tour.Hope you dont mind my asking a couple of questions.I retired in March and sold the house in July and we are looking at buying a motorhome.I like the 2009 Dutch Star 43 footer,but have concerns about it being to long for campgrounds? How has it been finding campgrounds?
Thanks John