Cindy and I recently returned from a 5-day / 4-night camping trip to Mooselookmeguntic Lake, in Maine. We again stayed on Students Island, only reachable by canoe. This being our 5th trip to this amazing territory.
We had beautiful weather with only 1 minor thunderstorm for which we were totally prepared.
We still cannot get over how peaceful a setting this area offers.
Mooselookmeguntic happens to be the 4th largest lake in Maine, depending on which statistics you reference. And, for its size, there are very few carbon units (people) and boats. We believe this results from 2 things: 1) Its remoteness – It is about 2 hours from the nearest major highway (Interstate 95). 2) A good portion of the shoreline and the 2 largest islands on the lake (Students and Toothaker) totaling over 6,000 acres of land, is owned and managed by Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve. And, this land is only available for camping. You can learn more by clicking here.
There is a public boat launch on the southern end of the lake, and some homes along the shoreline, with the majority of the land remaining undeveloped.
Each time we visit we observe an abundance of wildlife. This time it again included viewing a bald eagle soaring overhead. These large birds of prey are easily identifiable with their white head and tale, as they majestically flap their wings during flight.
And, my personal favorite: the loons. As previously mentioned, I’ve never seen or heard so many loons in one place. In a typical (less remote?) lake, you may see 2-3. Here, it is not uncommon to see them fishing in packs of 7-8. Then, there is their unforgettable call, which echo’s for miles, across a large lake. Once a loon’s call is out, you will frequently hear another’s reply. The other loon(s) could be close by or miles away. When there are several loons in this calling frenzy it is absolutely incredible to listen to.
You REALLY must experience this, if you’ve not already.
To learn more about loons and the sound of their calls visit Wikipedia, by clicking here. Scroll down to “Etymology and taxonomy”, to hear the short audio recording – “Loons calling”.
As always, we did a lot of fishing and miles of paddling around the lake.
On our first day cruising the lake we were peacefully fishing a few hundred yards off the northern end of Students Island. It was a gorgeous, calm morning. The only sounds came from the loons and the voices of campers (young and old) off in the distance.
We began hearing the sound of a boat coming towards us with 2 middle-aged fishermen, who were trolling with 4 lines in the water. We could just barely make out the shape of the boat, which was well over a mile away.
How then, you might ask, did you know there were 2 middle-aged fishermen, trolling, with 4 lines in the water?
Well, it was quite simple…
You see, when trolling, the sound of the motorboat engine causes the occupants to speak loudly so that they can hear each other. And, sound travels a SIGNIFICANT distance over a calm lake.
As such, Cindy and I could CLEARLY hear every word of their conversation, which went something like this:
- Well, we’ve got 4 “F’ing” lines in the water. We ought to catch some “F’ing” fish.
- We have a “F’ing” fly on this one and some “F’ing” live bait on the other 3.
- I’ve been “F’ing” drinking so much this summer.
- What a “F’ing” beautiful day.
- You get the picture. ALMOST EVERY sentence was enhanced with an “F-bomb.”
- And, their voices were deep, with distinct Maine accents: our clue to their middle-agedness.
To be clear, our ears are not so tender that we can’t take an “F-bomb.” We’ve actually been known to utter a few ourselves 🙂
That is NOT the point.
The point is; we both cringed for the parents and their young children onshore, just behind us. Because, if we could so clearly hear these classy fishermen, then so could ALL the campers within 1-2 miles of this “scene.”
We just wanted to yell: “Please, shut up! There must be a dozen young children in earshot of you!”
We realized that these class-acts would not have been able to hear our plea over the drone of their engine. So, we just laughed it off over the next hour or so until they finally trolled out of earshot (miles away), unaware of the sizable audience to their conversation.
But, it made me think…Think (again) about how we (knowingly or unknowingly) portray ourselves – ONLINE!
Without trying, I’ve seen so many posts on Facebook that I just cringe thinking about how others (who “may” look up to these individuals) shape their opinion and even their life, based on what they witness.
I know, some may say things like:
- It is a free country. I can say what I want. Freedom of speech and all.
- I don’t have any young children, so who cares?
- My children are too young to read or use the computer, so who cares?
Have you thought of the following?
- Some day you may have kids, or grandkids (3-5 years from now)?
- Soon your little ones WILL be able to read and use the computer?
- Do you have any nieces or nephews? Might you in the future?
You see, the stuff we post online DOES NOT SIMPLY GO AWAY.
And, have you experienced the Facebook feature, which seems to have recently been implemented? You know, the one that hauls-up a post (photo, etc.) from 1, 2, 3 years ago as an “anniversary-type” reminder?
Oh, how quaint. Or, is it?
Just what might that feature dredge-up for any new, tender young eyes who we’ve “friended” since that post originally took place?
The point: Just like the traveling “F-bombs” of our classy fishermen, we may “say” something online to a perceived, limited audience, which may ultimately reach a much broader audience than we had imagined – over time.
Remember: Facebook is a place people can go to check us out. Check us out in advance of offering a job, for example.
Considering ALL of the above, how do we want to be perceived?
As a free-spirited, loose cannon, who any good manager or company owner would find risky to hire, for fear of what may be said online about them, or their company?
This is very real: there are people who have actually lost their job due to an inappropriate Facebook post. As they should have!
We must realize, our every act has immediate and potentially longer-term implications that we simply may not be able to foresee. All the more reason to carefully consider our every word and deed.
Just something I was thinking of, as we peacefully floated on the smooth surface of Mooselookmeguntic, listening to the traveling F-bombs.
We did catch some fish on this trip, none of which were the prized trout or salmon known to be in these waters. This included each of us catching our share of suckers (silvery, undesirable fish). And, I caught a good-sized small mouth bass.
Will we go there again, this summer? Very likely!
On our day of departure we spoke with the campground manager and learned that they had just experienced a fire in their office, which had pretty much burned up their charts of campsite availability. So, over the next few days she has the onerous task of reconstructing this information from reservation slips that were salvaged from the incident. As such, she couldn’t immediately share campsite availability for August or early September. So, we’ll have to call them in a few days to determine our options.
All the best!