This morning was a lovely replay of Wednesday’s fun on Sabattus, with even more boats and skaters in bright-then-hazy sun and slightly more wind than before. (but still not much!) I hope Lloyd or Bill will post the news and pictures. The Press was there again.
but at 1pm, i took off to follow a tip from Lee Spiller, that keenest of bird dogs. He had sent me this picture with the simple caption, “perfection”:
so what’s a poor guy to do?…..but blindly follow….i spotted Androscoggin Lake about a half-hour north of Sabattus, but couldn’t find a way to get on it….there are a number of shabby, almost-abandoned towns around Leeds, Maine, but no roads led to the lake, which looked fabulous in the afternoon sun to the East of the road…..finally, I pulled into Stinchfeld Beach Rd, and after walking across a little snow, found indeed the Holy Grail! the quality and extent of the ice seemed to go beyond anything I had experienced… here is the map:
i was already pretty sore from the morning, but it seemed like a simple question of how many Advil one had to take at bedtime, so i strapped on the skates, chopped thru 5 inches of monolithic black ice, and skated south for a mile until i reached snow ice….then i turned north and tried to do an end run on a pressure ridge running fully across this arm of the lake…at the East end was the unusual estuary which feeds the lake…and has open water…so i ate humble pie, skated back to the launch, took off my skates, walked the woods and re-entered the Northern plate…this too, was absolutely skater’s heaven…I then worked over to the islands, which were blocked by pressure ridges…then, while picnicking, I was surprised to hear human voices, carried by the gentle SW wind, and saw two specks in the hazy sun-path skating my way. They turned out to be two new friends from Sabattus, Mark Brandhorst and his friend. Refusing my food, they easily navigated the island pressure ridge, and disappeared into the darkening eastern horizon….Lee had reported that that Eastern arm of the lake was where the 10+++ ice lay…..Hells bells!….what pizaz those skaters had!….just when i was just feeling Ratty’s longing for his cozy sandbank….or was it Mole?
So I blasted after them, trying to follow their scratches across the pressure ridge and….feeling my meager pizaz leaking away…. alas… headed for the launch….soooo….let’s watch what this ‘mixed aggrivation’ has in store for us, and then sail when it cools again….Our season started late, but….jimminy….what an amazing one….