About My Blog

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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Skydiving - Pepperell, MA - 2010

I  recently bought another camera and have been trying to learn all the different settings, etc.  by experimenting. 

Taking skydiving pictures gives me a good opportunity to play with the settings and practice with moving subjects.

When I was taking pictures I looked up and saw this wasp nest.  I got as close as I could without getting in to trouble.

Some of the parachute canopies are very pretty.  Using a background shot I took in Pepperell I cut and paste some of the canopies I took pictures of.  It makes an interesting parachute collage.

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in "skydiving" to see other posts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"I'm totally wearing my pink camo shirt ... Don't judge me".

Kate and I went target shooting up north.  She is a good shot with a rifle and  shotguns.  She wanted to try her hand at pistols so I brought the .22 and the 9mm, targets, the .22 trap, hearing protection, etc. 

She was excited and said "I'm totally wearing my pink camo shirt ... Don't judge me".  I thought that was title worthy.

She had a great time shooting the .22 into a steel target trap and did a great job.  She progressed the the 9mm which kicked a bit more.  I didn't bring my .44 as I thought that would be a bit much this time around.  We ended up shooting 350 rounds and had a great time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Whitewater Rafting Adventure - Windfall Rafting

We left the lodge at "Moose River Outpost" and had a 30-minute drive to the rafting company. 

We checked in with Windfall Rafting and got our equipment.  Most of us wore wet suits.  All had a helmet and life jacket.  A bus was to take us to the launch area and the pickup area for our return to their headquarters. We decided to drive our vehicles 29 miles south to the pickup area on the Kennebec River so we could continue heading home from there.  We arrived and parked our vehicles.  We boarded the bus and continued to the staging area.

We split up into 2 groups, and waited in line to launch our raft.  There must have been more than 50 rafts in the staging area with 100's of people arriving.  We waited our turn and were finally told to move forward into the main line going to the river.  There is one person that is in control of who is in line and the order of departure. It reminded me of air traffic control telling when to go, stop, move left, etc. 

Once we were in line we came to the edge of the hill.  It is very steep and was a couple hundred feet to the river at the bottom of the dam.  There are stairs next to the rails.  You put the raft on the rails and walk down the steps as the raft slides along the rails. 

They had controlled water releases this weekend so it was very busy with many rafters.  There were several places with class 5 rapids.  We guessed the water was flowing at 10 - 12 mph. 

Once the raft was in the water we climbed in a pushed off.  I started out in the front of the boat with Doug M. 

The big rapids were in the first third of the trip.   Doug and I took a couple of direct hits up front.  We didn't have anyone get thrown out of the boat but several of us were tossed around.  One of the big rapids is called the Maytag which we liked the best. 

At some point, Matt and I switched places so I was in the back of the boat.  Several others switched places also.  We stopped for lunch after 1 1/2 hours or rafting.  It felt good to get out and stretch.  The rafting company had a fire going to help us warm up.  We also received a 2 person kayak raft for the remainder of our adventure.

As we continued we were able to jump in the water and float where the water was calm.  Toes up, nose up is the phrase if you are floating.  Also, take a breath at the bottom of the wave. That was fun along with the kayak. 

At one point my raft attempted a hostile takeover of the other raft in our group.  4 from the other raft were somehow pushed out or pulled into the water.  Somehow Doug M (wild man) from our boat ended up in the back of the other boat appearing to be in control of their raft.  A hat, patch, and a peg-leg is all he needed ...

I didn't bring my camera as I wasn't sure how easy it would be to keep dry.  There is a dry sack in each boat which I was unaware of.  I could have put my camera in a couple zip lock bags and into that dry sack.  I could have taken pictures in probably 60% of the trip without worrying about getting my camera dunked..  The guide on our boat had rigged a video camera mount for the front of our raft and for his helmet.  That was an added treat for our boat as it appeared we were one of the only rafts to have this.  Next time I will bring my camera ...

Once our trip ended we helped get the rafts and equipment out of the water on to trailers.  We changed out of our wet suits back at our vehicles. 

On the way to the staging area, I noticed some dirt roads I wanted to explore so Kevin and I departed to go 4-wheeling.  We spent the next 1/1/2 hours taking trails and roads through the woods.  We were on the side of a hill skirting a lake with some camps on it.  I thought the road would eventually lead us to a main road somewhere.  WRONG ... ended up at some camp at the end of the lake so we had to turn around and backtrack.

A couple more trails and we finally headed for home.  Had to stop at llBean in Freeport, ME on the way down as Kevin had never been there.  Lots of remodeling since the last time I was there buying my hunting pants.  It's much more like a Cabelas or Bass Pro now.

We continued home and arrived at 9:40PM ... Yawn ...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Moose River Outpost

Kevin and I headed out for the Moose River Outpost this weekend with a group from church.  There were 17 of us.   We were staying at the Moose River Lodge Friday night and would go white water rafting on Saturday.

Kevin and I left home around noon on Friday headed for the Moose River Outpost in Jackman, ME.  

Our plan was to arrive before dark to enjoy the area and go 4 wheeling down some of the roads and trails to look for moose and bear. 

It took us 3 hours of highway driving and 2 hours of back road driving finally arriving just after 5:00PM.  I saw this sign on the way to the lodge which is 3 miles down a dirt road from the main road.   As we emerged from the woods, we were shocked at the beauty of the lodge, the grounds, buildings, and the view.  It was fantastic.

The guys were to stay in one bunk house that had 16 beds.  The gals were to stay in a bunk house that held 14.  They were very nice.  There is a conference center, dining hall, snack shop, etc.  It's an impressive place.  I was told it was previously owned/build by Ken Olson from Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) and used for corporate retreats, etc.   Beautiful place in a beautiful area which must pop during foliage season.

Kevin and I unloaded our gear and headed for the woods.  I saw many dirt roads and trails in the area from Google Earth.  I printed out a map and had my GPS so we were off 4 wheeling down the trails in the truck.  I did some internet searching and found out they have 300 miles of ATV trails in the area.  I passed a couple trails my truck wouldn't fit down so wish we had ATV's also.  What beautiful country ...   We went about 10 miles into the woods before we decided to turn around.  It was getting dark because of the cloud cover and I wanted to get a bit closer to the road in case we had any problems.  No moose or bear sightings in the woods.

The others didn't arrive till around 9:15PM.  One group saw a moose on the drive in.  Lights out around 11:30PM.

I was up and heading for the dock at 5:25AM to watch the sunrise.  It was so quiet, no wind, beautiful.  I heard a loon sound off.  Kevin and Steven were the next to arrive. 

We had breakfast at 7:00AM.  They produce maple sugar on the property with 17,000 trees tapped.  Last season they produced 5,000 gallons of maple syrup. 

We finished packing and headed out around 7:40AM for our whitewater rafting adventure.