May 24, 2018
Blogs and Columns Latest News | Poll Questions | Mark Eves | Any-Deer Permits | RCV Strategy

Bucket brigade marks the beginning of the end of summer

By Emmet Meara, Special to the BDN

All right, I am a fraud.
Once the Union Fair starts, it’s time to pull down those storm windows, or at least think about it. The party is over, chum. I assume you have a few cords drying on the front lawn because the end of summer is approaching like a hurricane and you know what that means.
Winter is coming.
When summer (almost) started, I compiled my annual Summer Bucket List to take maximum advantage of our brief, balmy visitor. I was going to bike, camp and kayak from one end of the state to the other. Vanceboro. Dover-Foxcroft. Machias.
I, of course, have done none of the above.
There are always rivers of excuses at Cobb Manor and I paddle them all. Many days it was simply too hot. If the barn temperature gauge reads over 80 degrees, I am going nowhere. You must admit, there were a lot of those this year.
Then there were the rainy days. I admit those were few and far between, but still.
The minimal plan was finally to make the arduous (maybe 5 miles) paddle on Lake Megunticook from Route 105 to Lincolnville Center, a kayak trip I have been planning for too many years. Still haven’t made it. Some morning I get up and plan to do it, but something always happens. Like the Bangor Daily News on the lawn and the Boston Globe at Fowlie’s Overpriced Emporium. They all have crossword puzzles as does the New York Times online. That will take you right up to lunchtime, and the hottest part of the day. You turn on the Military Channel, then The Sopranos, and the day is shot to pieces. Time to watch Tony Kornheiser.
Maybe tomorrow.
Forget Vanceboro and the St. Croix River, three hours away. I can’t even make the local lake, maybe two miles away.
The shakedown camping effort was supposed to be putting the tent up in my own backyard, in preparation for exploring a new camping spot, The Peaks-Kenny State Park in Dover-Foxcroft, then the Cobscook Bay State Park in Edmunds Township, last year‘s discovery. I have not gone north of Belfast all summer and that was to go to Job Lots.
Then there was the embarrassing plan to bicycle all of the 80.6 mile Sunrise Bike Trail. Well, there is still a week left in summer to accomplish that list item, but I have been on the Trek MultiTrack 750 precious few times this summer, mostly to the Post Office and the 8-mile jaunt to Blue Eye’s house. Mostly, it has been employed as a shiny clothes drying rack.
I am a fraud.
With a few summer days left, I suppose I could still pull off that 80-mile trip, with a few milkshakes from Baskin-Robbins in Machias.
Perhaps the answer is to avoid these pesky bucket lists, made at the beginning of the season when all seems possible. Perhaps the answer is to finally get off my duff and actually do some of these Herculean tasks.
I am torn.
But I promise that I will at least set up the tent in the backyard.

Send complaints and compliments to Emmet Meara at

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like