Summer Get-a-ways

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 George

                Linda is working full time in her hoop house, raised beds, and other gardens, so I agreed to write a column about some of our favorite summer get-a-ways. Let’s begin on the coast, which for us means way down east. And we’ll focus on small inns and B&Bs in beautiful places.

                Deer Isle is a real gem. The Pilgrim’s Inn offers great rooms and some apartments and includes a wonderful restaurant. Nearby in Stonington, we enjoyed perhaps the best meal of our five years of travel writing – the tasting menu at Stonington’s Aragosta restaurant. We enjoyed both the visit to the Inn, in 2014, and the dinner at Aragosta, in 2015, with our friends Rusty and Sue Atwood, who recommended both places.

Now we know why folks love Ogunquit.

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Ogunquit
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 Linda

                Our beach escape began with a picnic at Laudholm Farm in Wells, a federal reserve with 7 miles of trails, one of which takes you to a lovely beach. Then it was on to The Meadowmere resort in Ogunquit, a town that wins many awards as a tourist destination.

                The Inn offers many amenities which keep people coming back year after year. At the outside hot tub, we met three related couples from various states who have gathered here twice each year for more than twenty years. They raved about the inn and Jonathon’s restaurant next door – making us very glad we had a reservation for dinner there that night.

Roger AuClair: a renowned and revered fisheries biologist

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 Roger AuClair should never be forgotten. I especially appreciated his relentless advocacy for our native brook trout. Along with fisheries biologist Forrest Bonney, Roger helped me to understand how important Maine’s native and wild brook trout are, and inspired me to work to protect and enhance them.

With leadership from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, especially SAM’s Fisheries Initiative Committee, we were able to convince the legislature to designate brook trout as our state’s Heritage Fish and to protect them in waters that have never been stocked.

But Roger AuClair was way ahead of us on this. Here’s something he once said, “I have never agreed to using live fish as bait, which is a danger because it can result in unwanted introductions and cause all sorts of problems. But it’s so well entrenched world-wide, you can’t even talk about it. It’s all about business.”

If you love camping, you will really love this new air mattress

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 My wife Linda and I stopped tenting years ago. We enjoy being pampered now, and our travel column gives us that opportunity from coastal inns to north woods sporting camps. But all of our children and grandchildren enjoy tenting and camping, so I arranged for son Josh to receive the SoundAsleep Camping Series air mattress, a low rise inflatable mattress.

And – as you will see in this report from Josh – he and his wife Kelly and 2-year-old daughter Ada loved it.

Josh’s Comments

These adventures of baby otters are very entertaining!

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Sammy, Swifty, and Newsome are baby otters, and their adventures – and hard lessons learned – are the subject of Otter Tales, a kid’s book written by Kathleen Morrissey.

Morrissey has written three other children’s books, Walter and Mike Get Their Own Fun Park Pool, Bunny Foodie Adventures, and The Lonely Noodle. I have not read any of those, but I’m going to get them to read to my granddaughter Ada, who will love Otter Tales.

Otter Tales is short enough to read in a single sitting or easily in two sittings. But knowing Ada, she won’t want me to stop reading!

That will be especially true when the sea lion shows up! And the story of the boys gathering and opening clam shells with a rock are very entertaining. I even learned how to find the tastiest urchins and abalone, although they may not be added to my shoreside lunch anytime soon!

Fascinating stories from the Allagash

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I’ve enjoyed Tom Caverly’s books over the years, both his books for adults and his books for kids. But I think his newest book, The Ranger and the Reporter, is my favorite.

I particularly appreciate the “New England Reads” literacy project that Tim and his wife Sue have been doing since 2015, providing 157 power point programs to almost 6,000 students. They encourage literacy and learning about our natural world, and have donated over 1500 of Tim’s book, Allagash Tail’s, to 133 New England schools.

Fish stocking depends on public access to the water

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 Maine waters are stocked with fish only when the public is able to access the water. I’ve been concerned for years that the stocking policy of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is vague, and not enforced uniformly throughout the state. So I’ve been asking some questions lately about this, and I’m hoping you can help me on this project.

My interest in this issue was raised again by a recent story in the Kennebec Journal by reporter Jessica Lowell. Here’s Jessica’s report about the town of Washington’s annual town meeting:

Town Residents took no action on expanding the boat launch just off Route 105 on the southern end of Washington Pond. “It was develop a hand-carry,” Wesley (Daniel, chair of the board of selectmen) said. The launch can accommodate boats that can be put in the water by hand – canoes and kayaks, for instance. Larger boats that require trailers aren’t allowed, he said, in part because parking is limited.

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