Onward from Mont-Sainte-Anne, Part 1

Considering I’ve had the entire week from Monday until today (I started writing this on Friday 6/29) to do whatever I wanted it feels like it’s been incredibly busy. I guess there was a lot I wanted to do. And some things I found I needed to do as well, unrelated to covering races.

[I realized this could be a long entry as I look back on what I’ve started to write down so I’ve split it up into a few entries…]

Let ‘er Drift summer ale

Back on Monday I was sipping coffee at Mont-Sainte-Anne and taking my time packing up. When I did head out I intended to get close to Liberty, Maine where I planned to meet Dake on Tuesday. I headed down through the Eastern Townships and into Maine at a small border crossing. Then it was onward until I found a spot to camp that satisfied me. The first couple of spots didn’t make the grade, nor did the detours I tried while looking for a primo spot. Of course after all that the right spot just appeared in front of me; the Kennebec River Brewery (and campground) just south of the Forks. I popped in and booked a site, then sat down to sample their summer ale (Let ‘er Drift). Delicious! I spent some time using the wifi there, had some food, and then headed down to the campsite to set up for the night. I had a couple of videos to edit and get online so I sat with a beer and took care of that. Then I realized I had no signal at the campground so the upload had to wait for the morning.

Tuesday was another wet morning (it had rained on and off since the previous Saturday) but there were hints of blue sky to the east and it had been quite a few years since I’d been on the Maine Atlantic coast so I ignored the GPS and made my way to Belfast. It’s a pretty spot, and as it turns out it has a great VW shop & a healthy VW camper community. It wasn’t more than a few minutes after parking that someone came up to say hi and talk Vanagonese with me.. loved it.

Parked at the Atlantic Ocean a little south of Belfast Maine

Lunch in Traci’s diner, a stroll, a little tourist time along the coast and then it was time to head back inland toward Liberty. I was now at the point where I’d been using up my onboard propane for close to two weeks so I was keeping an eye open for places to refill. I was also without my stereo and the interior power was weak so I was starting to think about how to fix the “house” power (the battery and electrical system that powers everything related to camping vs driving).

On both counts I came up empty. I did reach Liberty though and found my way to Dake’s place. To be honest it was actually an emotional moment and I felt a very deep satisfaction at having the honour. So I guess this is the time to tell the background story…

I’d never met Dake, didn’t know him and he didn’t know me. We both belong to a group that discusses Vanagons and the various things that need attending to. I had put out a question about the tiny ice cube trays they came with (mine didn’t have any) and out of the blue came an offer from a stranger to send me one. I’m not sure what words to use to describe how I felt when I laid eyes on it, “cute” certainly comes to mind. I can say it’s gotten a lot of use since then! And every time I put ice in my scotch from that little tray I have thought about what a generous gesture that was. So… I was kinda in the right area and I kinda had the time and I kinda wanted to meet this person so I definitely arranged a visit.

Dake and his lady-friend Mariah live on the edge of Steven’s Pond, in a lovely house well down near the end of the road.It suits them well I think, and I know it made for a nice spot to park my camper for the night. After introductions, handshakes, a beer (from Kennebec of course!) Dake gave me the tour of the area. It involved a kayak (Dake) and a canoe (me) and an hour or so of just paddling about. Wonderful.

Some dinner and conversation, and then some bourbon (with tiny ice cubes of course!) to celebrate the moment. I’m sitting here days later writing about it and I still have a smile on my face when I think about the evening… we talked about all sorts of things, got to know each other a little, and had a blast. I look forward to continuing the conversations and the friendship that came about that evening. All thanks to a simple, generous gesture.

Thank you Dake.

Dake pulled out some glasses from the family campground for the occasion

Well, and then it was back on the road. This was a road trip after all. More to come.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.