My eyes opened to greet the early morning rays of light breaking into my log cabin bedroom windows. I could hear something on the roof, squirrels chasing each other back and forth on the sun-warmed shingles.
Today was Saturday, the first day of the spring we have time to go fly fishing. The aroma of fresh ground coffee, drifting in from the kitchen, lifted me from my bed. The crackling pops of sizzling bacon, my father was frying in his favorite black cast iron pan, was as clear to my ears as the army bugler's early morning reveille.
I hurried, pulling on my blue jeans and denim shirt. The air still had a chill. I reached for a pair of woolen socks. Squirrels were still playing their morning game up on the roof, as I laced up my boots.
The mouth watering aroma of a log cabin breakfast was always special on the first day of fly fishing. While I washed and dried the dishes, my father packed a deliciously enticing lunch, large enough to survive a couple of days in the wilderness.
We packed the fishing gear, maps, paddles, canoe seats, an anchor and rope, carefully placing our deliciously enticing lunch. Lifting the canoe up to the roof racks on the jeep was easy. After securing the canoe to the jeep with strong nylon rope, I checked the supply of bug dope. One of the major secrets of enjoying the Maine woods, is having the correct bug dope.
We headed south, over the mountains, on route 201. The transmission of my fathers old army jeep sounded as loud as a P-47 Thunderbolt and was probably built the same year with P-47 spare parts. The air was clear on the mountain tops. You could see Mt. Katahdin 100 miles to the east. Although I enjoyed the panoramic view from these mountains, my thoughts were concentrated on brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis).
The highway leveled off at the foot of the mountains, we were at a higher elevation than Jackman. We drove along Parlin Pond. The water reflected the clear blue sky. The slowing of the jeep transmission signaled we would be turning off the highway, heading west.
The twisting dirt road looked as though it had a nice even surface. Mud puddles, filled with water from a light rain the night before, reflected the narrow sky above the dense forest. My father and I were startled, as the right front wheel of the jeep dropped several feet below the surface into a pothole filled with soft mud. My father shifted into 4-wheel drive and the transmission ploughed through deep muddy bottom potholes for several miles. We climbed to higher ground where the dirt road was constructed on ledge.
We stopped by a babbling brook and pulled buckets out of the jeep. Splashing water on the wheels, we removed the heavy mud before it dried in the wheel wells. Canadian jays landed in the branches above us, watching the show.
The melting snow, earlier in the spring, washed out many of the bridges along the way. Some bridges had the surface torn off, leaving only the two parallel...