My Book!!

One opportunity that the blog has brought me is the co-authoring of a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine! It is something in which I take a lot of pride! My writing partner, Sandy Moore, and I have created a book with 54 amazing trips that are within about an hour of Portland! Our motto as we wrote the book was wanting to 'get people to spend the day on the water and not in their cars!'

If you want more information on our book please visit www.paddlingsouthernmaine.com. Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at mainekayakgirl@gmail.com for more information!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Thank you to all of the followers the blog is #30 in Maine!

Hello!  This is a quick post to say THANK YOU to everyone who visits this blog!  

I LOVE hearing from you and learning about the adventures you are taking using the blog (and/or our book, Paddling Southern Maine) as your guide!  I love it even more when I get to meet you which most often happens when we are out paddling and our paths cross.  

It can take a lot of time and effort to put posts together to share with you, but it is worth it.  The blog started as a way for me to document my trips so that I could find places I wanted to revisit.  It has grown into a resource for people looking for places to paddle, people who had the same frustrations I did, seeing a launch symbol on a map and then struggling to find the launch!  
It has given me many gifts including friendships (with incredible people!), opportunities, and more confidence and passion for the sport of kayaking.  

I truly appreciate the support you offer to me.  It motivates me to keep finding new places and sharing them with you.  

What I did not realize is that there are people out there who monitor and measure blog posts and traffic.  A couple of weeks ago I received an email notifying me that my blog, Recreational Kayaking in Maine,  the top 50 blogs in Maine... #30 to be exact!!!! 

How cool is that?  It is exciting AND humbling. 


There are other amazing blogs out there in Maine.  For a list of the other 49 of the top 50 blogs in Maine, please click here for the article.  (Below is a preview of the page.)

 

Thank you to Anuj Agarwal, foudner of Feedspot for taking time to review so many blogs and for recognizing me and the blog.   His email included this: 
"I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world."
 
That statement, to me, was pretty powerful... 'contribution to this world...'  For some reason that resonates.  I hope I am a person that contributes, in a positive way, to our world.  

Without getting political... the world we live in is pretty messed up right now.  I worry A LOT about our leadership and our current and future state of affairs.  Kayaking is a way for me to escape that stress/fear and be in the moment.  While I know it is crucial for us all to be aware and involved in what is happening... I also truly believe we all need to find ways to re-energize, to fill our cups, so to speak.  

So, having found something that is so incredibly powerful in my life, kayaking- connecting with nature and water, I know I am fortunate.  I am also grateful that sharing it with others has enabled other people to find and enjoy beautiful parts of Maine.  

I know paddling people are good people... and I challenge you to, for a moment, take inventory... how are you contributing positively to the world.  (This does not mean earning awards/recognition... it is the small things that add up and I know MANY of you who follow the blog add much to our world.)  
I would LOVE to have people comment here on what they do that positively contributes to the world! Thank you in advance! 

THANK YOU TO MY BLOG FOLLOWERS 
AND FELLOW PADDLERS!

Kingdom Bog, Liberty

Waterbody: Kingdom Bog (Dave's Pond or Lilly Pond) [Maine Gazetteer Map 14  B1]

Directions:From  Portland, Take I -95 north to Exit 113, towards Augusta/Belfast.  Keep Right at the fork to be on Rt. 3 East for 30 miles, slow down. At the bottom of a hill, take the left after the guardrail onto Sewell Rd. Then take an immediate left onto Kingdom Bog Road (dirt road).  (Some maps list it as Hidden Valley Rd.) drive for about a quarter of a mile and you will see a very narrow road off to the right.  (There is no signs) follow this road for about 0.2 miles to the dam area.
*Please know if people are already parked here you may have to back out of the road... make sure you have good back up skills!!

The 'road' on the right goes to the dam. 


 The 'road' to the dam is very narrow and tree branches hang down and out over the road.  

Parking: Next to the dam, 2 vehicles max.
(sorry I did not get a photo of this area.  I thought I did!  The road extends a bit and then off to the right is enough of an area to turn around and park. ) 


Launch: Gradual rocky/grassy slope to the water.  The bottom of the pond is dark brown, almost mulch like when you step in it. 









Bathroom: No

Wildlife: Loons, ducks, turtles, dragonflies, fish... I would guess deer come here  too!

Notes:
I LOVE this place!!! 
Apparently this bog is also known as Dave's Pond or Lilly's Pond... (maine.gov) 

I thought that I was probably one of the few people who have discovered this beautiful spot, but... after doing some googling I found an article about it and I must say the article does a great job capturing this pond and helped me learn about this area including that the dam has changed this from a bog to a pond.  I had wondered about that as I paddled because it seems less boggy and more pondy! 

I had not researched this area because I had not planned on being in this region, but as it worked out I spent time camping at Lake St. George State Park.  (click on that link for more info about that adventure!)

Since I didn't have google at my disposal I went old school and had gotten out my Maine Gazetteer.  I had found Kingdom Bog on the map and liked that it seemed to be protected and that the launch was a hand carry place.... my kind of spot.  So I went exploring to see if I could find the launch.  (Which can be pretty tricky!)  I followed Kingdom Bog Rd.  (Which gave me hope I was on the right track!)  and then I saw a VERY narrow road or possible driveway on the right.  It was pretty overgrown but I decided I trusted my backing up skills enough that I could, if need be, back out of there.  The road was a little longer than I thought, probably a quarter of a mile, probably a bit less.  At the end of the road was a little open area, probably could fit 2 vehicles there, next to a dam.  On some trees to the left as I faced the bog, I saw No Trespassing signs that had someone's name and number on them.  I hoped that the land on that side was private but that the dam was public... I was not planning to paddle in that moment, this was strictly a scouting mission... Please remember to respect landowners.  If there is a sign posted please do your due diligence to contact the landowner and get permission and/or to see if part of the launch is public.  I sent a text message to the number listed on the no trespassing signs.  I said I was hoping to kayak the bog but did not want to trespass and asked if the dam was public.  Fortunately the person replied and said that the dam area is public and that I should feel free to launch there.  I was SO excited to get that text because this looked like a place I would really love.  (I was right!)  I would say this is one of my new favorite places. 



Gladys and I got to the pond/bog around 7:45 in the morning.  I had hoped to get out a bit earlier, but I forgot to set an alarm!  As I was unloading the kayak I saw something off in the distance.  I thought it was a loon, but wasn't certain.  But then, the loon came closer as if it was welcoming us to the bog! 


And almost saying, "C'mon... I'll show you the way."  It kept looking back at us and slowing down as it it was telling us to keep up.  It was a cool encounter.  

The weather was humid while we were camping and the morning had some fog and it stayed hazy for a while.  But once the sun came out it was HOT!  I was glad I had remembered sunscreen because I am pretty sure I would have been fried.  

The water was SO calm. 


Since this was Gladys's third paddling adventure in as many days I didn't know how well she would sustain her calmness, but  she did REALLY well!


There were so many of these micro lily pads.  

Much of the water was covered, but there were also areas of open water.  



There were a lot of dragon flies in here.  They were dancing around us.  


It was such a peaceful place.  Not a house in sight! The only signs I saw of other people were a couple of bottles/cans at different places and one place that seemed to be a place where someone had a fire.  

I think these are cardinal flowers...

This was one of the islands in the bog.  It was beautiful.  



Gladys took a nap. I made sure to keep her hydrated because it was hot!  

The loon stayed fairly close to us... and eventually I realized there were two of them.  


The dragonflies kept landing on the kayak.  Gladys was curious.  She had caught a couple of horseflies and eaten them, but she had not caught a dragonfly.. and I hoped she wouldn't!  Here you can see her giving this dragonfly the side eye.  

Most of the pond was quite shallow, but paddle-able.  There was one area that got a little too shallow and I had to change my route, but overall I could access the entire pond.  


Some areas the pickerel weeds were pretty thick! 

This is the area where we got stuck and had to do the scoot your booty to back up!  

I really loved this place.  



Gladys seemed to like watching the loons.  She didn't seem to want to chase them or try to get to them like she had done with the turtle in Trues Pond, which I thought was pretty cool.  






Along the back of the pond I saw these little trees... and Bob Ross's voice was in my head... "...happy little trees..."


As we turned to head back to the dam I saw something in the water... I thought it was a baby loon but it was by itself and so I thought maybe it was a duck, but as we got closer and I zoomed in, it was clearly a loon.  I was surprised its parents had given it so much independence! I did see it with one of the parents at one point.   





I think that is Haystack hill...

We did see quite a few turtles, but they were camera shy and quick to get in the water when we were in the vicinity! 


As we were paddling I noticed this and was lucky enough to get this shot! 

Oh Kingdom Bog/Pond... You are spectacular.  You have a vibe that is so peaceful and immediately made me feel relaxed.  Thank you! 


Coming back to the dam. (parking is off to the right of this picture.)

Oh... after I had gotten off the water I went to rinse my feet off in the water...and saw a HUGE leech... probably 5 inches long... I was pretty creeped out.  It's good I didn't see that as I Was getting out I think I would have fallen in! Yuck!