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!

Holiday Hullabaloo

We had the Warings out for a week during the holidays and Christmas this year, Marie, Toph, Sarah, Paul, and Orion. It was a joyously full house. I did a terrible job of documenting Sarah and Paul’s presence, apparently!

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Dad goes out to shovel on Christmas day.

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Snow accumulates quickly.

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Everything is covered.

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Orion fishes for blocks.

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The next day, two cousins help with shoveling the driveway.

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Orion and Topher.

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Marie and Orion.

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Reid plays the new Melodica.

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Katie repairs some mittens.

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We host a bonfire, mulled cider, and hot buttered rum party.

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The kids hold an epic snowball fight. I *think* it was mostly civil?

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Dad meets Alex Tyutyunyk.

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The three cousins.

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Liam plays piano.

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Liam up close.