Cobscook Bay 2020

State Parks are amazing. We need more of them, more support for them and more time for everyone to take advantage of them. Wow. Cobscook State Park in Maine is such a little gem. Of course, you need to be hardy to biting insects, like flies, etc. However, it’s an extremely special place. The tidal shift is gigantic, and the landscape changes dramatically over the course of the day, alternating from a simmable, boatable bay to a massive, sticky, mudflat. The tide changes so quickly, in fact, that you can watch the water level change over just one minute!

I love the mornings where the water and the sky are one. I paddled out into this blank white nothingness. It was silent, still, perfection.
We hiked a bit on the Cutler Trail. Here is Reid on that hike, on a shockingly steep pennisular point with scary drops on either side. Naturally, we had lunch here.
On the same Cutler Trail hike, we visited a stunning rounded-rock beach and made endless cairns and skipped a great many perfect stones.
Another view from the Cutler Trail.
But just being on Cobscook is something special all by itself. When the tide is out, you have to walk in the mud!
And fire. There’s nothing like fire.
We allowed ourselves to just hang out. Read the NY Times. Read books. Mess around on the water. Wow. I want to do this forever.
Katie demostrates the feeling, in a nutshell. Just honored to be here!

Katadhin for Katie 44!

For Katie’s birthday this year we did one of her favorite things: a family hike. This year, with Reid 10 and Liam 13, we hiked Katadhin, the highest mountain in the state. One mile up, one mile down, and 9.8 miles sideways. No biggie!

Katie Q and the kids on Pamola Peak with the Knife’s Edge, South Peak (just left of Katie’s hat) and Baxter Peak (flat with cairns to the right) in the background.
The day before our first night in the Baxter State Park. Reid explores the beautiful Roaring Brook.
Dinner the evening of July 14, 2020, the day before the hike.
July 15th, 2020, Katie’s Birthday. Liam, on the way up. Trees getting shorter. Liam getting taller.
Well above the trees on the way to Pamola.
Quirks on Pamola Peak.
Hiking the Knife’s Edge! Hard to take bad photos of this.
Liam and Daddy make Baxter peak, and the cairn that people have erected to help the peak touch 1 mile in height. At 5,269 ft, it’s just 11 feet short!
On the way back down, at the ranger’s station at Chimney Pond. Katie checked out the pond and now we want to camp there next time!
Reid was an amazing hiker, always ready to spring ahead. Although the last few miles were hard for everyone.
The next morning, some of us braved the cool waters of Roaring Brook. Okay, only one of us. It was cold but invigorating!

Happy Birthday Katie Quirk! You are the best mother and partner we could hope for! Here’s to another awesome 44 years together!

Black Lives Matter and Protesting Trump in Bangor

We missed the recent local rallies and protests in support of Black Lives Matter, and George Floyd in the last couple of weeks, so when we heard that Trump was coming to Maine for a photo op with a company that makes swabs used in COVID-19 testing, and there was a protest, we thought we should do it!

Pandemic. Snow Storm. Power Out. Heck, Yeah!

It was a beautiful morning. The snow stuck to everything, walls, trees, branches, everything.

The snow stuck to everything.
A few branches in the driveway.
Katie and I explore the brand new same old woods.
It was stunning.
Liam and Reid’s fort survived a tree fall, and kept the snow out.
White and brown stripes.
Joy.

We shoveled the drive. I used the chainsaw. I cooked bacon and eggs on the campstove for lunch. We heated tea water on the woodstove. I had cold instant coffee. We did a 4 person exercise routine. We sat around by the fire and read. And blessedly, we couldn’t do a lick of computer-based work. It was glorious!

April Fools, 2020

So, it was March 31st, and we thought we should really prank the kids this year. In the past, Katie has managed some good ones, like emerging with ketchup all over her hands and face, to terrify the boys. It worked very well.

This year, in the middle of the pandemic, we decided to “get a phone call” and tell the kids that school was back on. So, in the morning Katie walked into their room, and I called her phone, and she did the acting. The kids didn’t fall for it at all. Not even a second. It was demoralizing.

Anyway, we went to bed that night, and then awoke to the sound of Liam vomitting in the toilet downstairs. He’d been sick in the night time just a few days before, as well. Katie, bless her, went town to take care of the kid and there he was, hunched over the toilet. She got him to stand up, and he was shaky. Poor dude.

Then everything changed. He stood up, stopped shaking, and said he was joking. He felt bad for stringing us on so long. It was all an April Fool’s joke, and we bought it hook, line and sinker.

Bravo dudes! Here’s to more practial joking!