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 seventh 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.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

July 13, 2013

ONE DAY-TWO SWIMS

... a nice ride up to the wire bridge ... there were only a few families present, so i had a nice stretch of the river bank all to myself ... i enjoyed a long swim in the carrabassett's cool, clear waters, then relaxed for an hour reading ... when i was leaving i found this "hot rod" parked behind my bike ... clearly not a show car, it's an actual home-made street rod ... 

... another hour's ride, ending on east pond where ann and chuck invited me to join them for supper followed by a boat ride ... the wind was from the southeast so we crossed the lake and parked the boat in the lee of this little island, then enjoyed a nice swim ...

CHESTERVILLE ESKER

... yesterday i took a little wander down to mount vernon, then negotiated the winding road between parker and david ponds until i reached norcross pond in chesterville ... after passing the camps i stopped to take a picture ... seeming just another of maine's many back roads, this stretch of highway is built atop what is known as the "chesterville esker" ...

... at the peak of the last ice age, perhaps 15-25,000 years ago, this landscape was covered by a great sheet of ice over one mile thick ... the top of mount katahdyn, 5,267 feet above sea level, was completely buried beneath the glacier ... of mt. washington's 6,289 feet, only a few hundred feet at the top remained exposed ... try to imagine the pressure at the bottom of over 5,000 feet of ice ... (can't, well, how about if i do the math for you:  it comes to over one ton/square inch) ... at this pressure, and with the tremendous heat generated by the friction of the ice sheet sliding across the land, underneath the glacier huge rivers formed ... when the global climate began to warm, and the ice slowly melted away, these rivers silted up with sand and gravel which had been produced by the grinding action of the glaciers ... left wandering across the landscape after the ice had completely disappeared were long narrow ridges, 30-120 feet in height, usually oriented in a more or less a north-south direction ...

... the first inhabitants of maine, the paleo-Indians of 12,000 b.c.e., as well as the micmac and abnaki, utilized these ridges as pathways ... much later, they would serve as foundations for wagon trails, dirt roads, and, eventually, paved highways ...

... this esker drops off almost sixty feet, to the lake on the left and to a swampy bog on the right ... here's a neat drawing (from wikipedia) ...

... one mile of ice covering the land, so that 15,000 years ago central maine looked like the area in the far left of this photograph ...

... finally, a couple of points to ponder ... first:  contrary to what we taught many years ago, that ice "ages" took thousands and thousands of years to occur, we now know that from what maine is like right now to it looking like the picture can be as little as 50-100 years ... second: "global warming," as serious as it seems, may also be the "trigger" that starts up an ice age ...

... i've  had my bmw just about two months ... even with all the rain, and a week in the shop to have the kickstand switch replaced, i've managed to add almost 5,000 miles to the odometer ...