I’d like to say my recent visit to Voyageurs and recollections from The Summer of Love prompted my brief Fourth of July camping trip to Bridgton, Maine but in truth it had been scheduled for weeks, as my work schedule and that of my wife allowed only for a long weekend.

On Saturday, we paddled the length of Highland Lake and back. We’re pseudo-newlyweds (18 months and counting) and one of our first joint purchases was a tandem kayak. My SCA colleagues predicted it would lead to a quick divorce but at more than 17 feet, the boat offers enough space between cockpits that we can each paddle at our own pace without turning things into a duel.

I narrated the tour for Darlene, pointing out the cabin my family used to rent (let’s say it’s enjoyed a few upgrades over the years), Christmas Tree Island (great place to catch smallmouth bass), Camp Tanglewood (a “T” and parts of other letters, all made of driftwood, still hang from the face of the boathouse), and other points I’m sure she found irrelevant. If that didn’t have her running for the lawyer, nothing will.

Despite some gargantuan new homes on the lakefront or perched in overlooks, most of Highland looked as I remembered it. Modest tourist accommodations, small camps. Bridgton also seemed to be largely oblivious to the passage of time, although The Cool Moose, founded as a ’60s leather goods shop, has become a purveyor of more typical souvenir fare.

We missed all of Live Earth. It sounded as if ‘BLM was planning to broadcast the concerts but technical difficulties must got in the way. Count me among those asking “is all this really necessary and, perhaps, just a little contradictory?”

Sunday and Monday, despite promising forecasts, turned out to be cold and wet, which posed some advantages (see Let it Rain, below). We finally returned home through the White Mountains in an amazing electrical storm — the relentless lightning created a dazzling strobe effect. Just one more flashback…