Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

October 16, 2016

WANDERING "THE COUNTY"

... saturday morning roger and i left waterville at 10:15am, 45°f ... 263 miles later we arrived in fort kent just before 6:00pm, 45°f ... we'd driven route 11 the entire way, and, while the temperature only rose to 50°f for a short time in mid-afternoon, we thoroughly enjoyed our ride through the absolutely stunning display of autumn colour provided by the northern maine forest ... subway sandwiches and in for the night ... tomorrow we venture even further towards the north pole ...

... in fort kent across the street from our motel, the northern door inn (which i highly recommend), is the northern terminus of america's first highway, us route 1 ... years ago there was a simple sign here, now there's a most appealing monument ... having lived at the other end of the road in key west, florida, i thought we should stop to record our visit ...

... when it came time for roger to snap a picture of me, however, there was a bit of a problem ... "roger, just put the little green square over my head" ... "don't cut off my feet" ... "the little square, roger, right over my head" ... "arghhhhhhh" ...

... there was a young couple walking by ... i said to roger, "a stranger can take a better picture of me" ... the young man heard me ... "i'm no stranger" ...

... "yes, you are" ...

... "no, i'm not ... you're mister groleau" ...

... for a brief moment i thought to myself, "well, with canada just across the river only a few hundred yards away, there's a chance he thinks i'm one of my french-canadian relatives" ...

... "who are you," i asked ...

... "zach, mister groleau," he chuckled, "you were my teacher" ...

... off to the side roger was laughing so hard i thought he was going to p*ss himself ...

... "what year did you graduate," i asked ...

... "2012" ...

... it turned out that zach, and his girlfriend, jenna, were visiting fort kent to attend a friend's wedding ...

... and, it seems, zach knows how to take pictures—or, at least, he can keep track of the little green square ...

... we chatted for awhile, long enough for me to learn that zach has grown up to be a very nice young man ... as we drove away from the monument i thought to myself, "how wonderfully small the world can sometimes be" ...

... in madawaska we stopped to visit the "four corners" park ... i think that st. david, a few miles down the road, should get this honor, but it seems there's a certain amount of discrimination when it comes to "unorganized" towns ...

... in 2013 roger did the "four corners tour," driving to all four corners of the forty-eight contiguous states in only sixteen days ... he did it on his super-cruiser honda st1300, which was basically a street legal rocket ship ... 

... we explored an almost completely abandoned loring air force base ... in the spring of 1973 my sergeant said to me, "drive out to the flightline and pick up an empty weapons trailer" ... young, inexperienced, and, as i would later lament, rather untrained, i somehow managed to walk across a faint red line that was on the asphalt to the right of this "alert bird" hardstand ... on this very spot i ended up face down with the muzzle of a fully-automatic m-16 carbine stuck in my ear ... then it was handcuffs and a quick ride to the lock-up, said m-16 against my ear for the entire trip ... i was strip-searched and thrown in a cell, the guard remaining just outside the bars, m-16 never wavering from my direction ...

... it was, as we called it, a "helping hand," a procedural violation involving special weapons ... on the flightline i'd crossed into the footprint of a loaded b-52 ... i'll leave it to you to guess what was hanging inside its cavernous bomb bay ... locked in the cell i was completely unaware that the base telephone exchange had reported that the squadron phone number i'd given them was "non-existent" (that turned out to be one of those "loose wire" things) ...

... twenty-eight minutes from the time i kissed the pavement sergeant murphy came flying into the security force's parking lot on his b.s.a. motorcycle ... just in time, for at thirty minutes the entire united states air force would've been posturing to deal with a "covered wagon," which was not a good thing ... no, indeed, not a good thing ...

... now is just the wind ... and me, for some very strange reason, driving away feeling an empty melancholy i still cannot explain ...

... at my alma mater, the university of maine at presque isle, "umpee," we searched for the giant model of the sun ... near the computer lab i found a mirror hallway ...

... from the university science building, where an arch of the sun stands several stories tall, to the south along route 1 the planets are arranged scaled to both size and distance ... it's fascinating, how while from the earth we could almost see the campus it took almost a half-hour's drive to reach saturn ...

... supper at the irving station, now is to enjoy listening to the rain and hope that accurate is the forecast for clearing in the morning ...

... what a wonderful day ...