George Smith's blog

This tortuous hiking adventure is amazing and inspiring

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 You have to give Jeff Ryan credit for his determination, stamina, and love of the outdoors. It took Jeff 28 years to hike the Appalachian Trail, and many of his sectional hikes were, well, not much fun. That’s my opinion, only. He loved every hike, and that love and enjoyment comes through in his book, Appalachian Odyssey, published by Down East Books.

Over the years, Jeff endured terrible weather, injuries, and more, all with an amazingly positive attitude. Here’s how he described one hike.

Unforgettable Quebec fishing adventure with my wife

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                 Mainers are often reluctant travelers. Many have not even traversed the entire state in which they live.

                My folks had never been to Baxter Park until Linda and I purchased a camp near there. Few Mainers have been to Acadia National Park, even though every year millions visit there from all over the world.

                Aroostook County is unknown to most Mainers, its rolling hills of farmland and forests unseen. And I have talked with folks from northern Maine who had never been south of Bangor.

                My grandmother Edith Searles lived almost all of her long life in Lubec, staring across 10 miles of water to Grand Manan Island. And she never set foot on it.

You won’t believe the farmyard adventures of this Maine veterinarian

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 You won’t believe the farmyard adventures of this Maine veterinarian. He was trampled, dragged, mauled, and more by farm animals, especially horses.

I have to admit, Dr. Bradford Brown’s book, While You’re Here, Doc, published by Tilbury House, was a lot more interesting than I expected. Once I began reading, I couldn’t stop, spending an afternoon and evening racing through the non-stop astonishing stories – like this one about the final of six cows he was checking for pregnancy.

“I managed to lasso the last cow without much trouble. As I’d done with all the others, I ran for the truck bumper with my end of the rope. Then, somehow, before I got there the cow managed to tangle the rope around my right thigh.  Two seconds later she crashed through the flimsy fence of the corral, sending parts of it twenty feet into the air.

Unforgettable Quebec fishing adventure with my wife

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                 Mainers are often reluctant travelers. Many have not even traversed the entire state in which they live.

                My folks had never been to Baxter Park until Linda and I purchased a camp near there. Few Mainers have been to Acadia National Park, even though every year millions visit there from all over the world.

                Aroostook County is unknown to most Mainers, its rolling hills of farmland and forests unseen. And I have talked with folks from northern Maine who had never been south of Bangor.

                My grandmother Edith Searles lived almost all of her long life in Lubec, staring across 10 miles of water to Grand Manan Island. And she never set foot on it.

Baby Bear’s NOT Hibernating by Lynn Plourde

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 Well, you know children don’t always behave. And that includes baby bears.

Lynn Plourde’s new book, Baby Bear’s NOT Hibernating, is sure to become a classic. With wonderful illustrations by Teri Weidner, it’s no surprise that Lynn has given us another great book. After all, she’s written thirty children’s books including my favorite, A Moosey Christmas, in which the reindeer take the night off and moose pull Santa’s sleigh. I’ll be reading that one, as well as Baby Bear, to my 2 ½ year old granddaughter this Christmas.

In her new book, baby bear is having too much fun with his friends, a moose, owl, and hare, to hibernate with his parents for the winter. But oh, that cold and snow is something he did not anticipate! Nor did he realize there’s nothing for him to eat in the winter.

Well, it’s a great learning experience for him, for sure! If only it was this easy with our kids.

Buen Apetito is one of our all-time favorite restaurants

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Waterville
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                 It’s easy to see why Buen Apetito is so popular: very tasty food, large portions, and low prices. We’ve been eating at Gary LaPlante’s restaurant since he first opened many years ago in a tiny place up the street. After he moved to his current location, beside Railroad Square Cinema, there was often long lines waiting in the hall to get into the restaurant.       

                Thankfully, Gary has expanded by adding a new entrance with a bar and several tables. You might still have to wait, but not nearly as long as in the past. It was surprisingly busy on a Tuesday night.

Maine breweries featured in great new book

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                 Linda and I honeymooned in Germany 38 years ago, and that’s where I discovered great beer. For years afterward, I drank only German beer. But then, finally, Mainers began to brew great beer.

                Kate Cone’s new book, What’s Brewing in New England, published by Down East Books, includes all of my favorite Maine brews and breweries. The book covers breweries in all the New England states, and I am sure to use it during my visits to our son and his family in Massachusetts.

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