LINCOLN, Maine — A teardrop-shaped body of water about a mile long, Frost Street’s Stump Pond isn’t even a standout in Lincoln — which has 14 lakes and ponds in the region — never mind anywhere else, but I love the place.
Since I took up kayaking three years ago, it has become my home track, my fitness center, my minivacation. It’s the only place, besides Lincoln’s town office, where I can ruminate aloud without drawing any attention.
It’s not perfect. Stumpy (as in full of tree stumps) and sandbarred, the pond is easy to run aground in. The Penobscot River and Mattanawcook Lake are far more challenging rides, and for sheer gorgeousness, nothing beats Baxter State Park’s Upper Togue Pond.
Yet Stump is irresistibly workaday. With the pond a hair under 3 miles in circumference, I can kayak it in 45 minutes, and it’s less than five minutes from home. The bass and trout are plentiful, and I can always have a nice chat on its public access ramp with the anglers who go after them. Two families of beaver have summer homes there. They are companionable, if I keep my distance, and there’s an eagle my fiance’s son Brandon and I call Fred.
I’m a boring kayaker. I like my water flat and smooth so I can get the best workout. Last year I lost about 25 pounds, and I am hitting Stump now to lose it again. Check out the pond sometime. If you see a guy in an Old Town Predator kayak paddling hard and muttering to himself, it’s probably me.