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April 14, 2020

Near By Activities


Peter Fisher

GMOT Member and summer resident on Jr. Lake

Critters - All the wild animals of Maine are here: white tail deer, black bear, moose, bobcats, raccoons, skunks, Canada lynx, fishers, pine martins, mink, otters, ermine, muskrats, beaver, painted and snapping turtles, gray and red squirrels, chipmunks, flying squirrels. Large birds present are bald eagles, seagulls, terns, turkey vultures, turkeys, several species of owls and hawks and osprey.

There are no poisonous snakes in Maine. You do not need to fear going out in the dark or daylight. None of these animals will hurt you. They generally run away before you see them unless, perhaps, you exit camp readily and surprise a skunk. But most often, they’ll make a run for it.

If you are lucky enough to see a moose, you can slowly approach it for photos. However, if they raise the hair on their back, they are getting nervous and you should back away, particularly in the October/November “rutting” season, when the males are having hormonal issues and can be a bit more aggressive.

From late afternoon through the night, you can hear the peepers and tree frogs starting in early spring. Later the deep croaking bull frogs will croak to signal their stretch of the shoreline.

Sky - The lack of ambient lighting allows for great star watching. The milky way stretches from the far side of the lake to the rear of the camp. The Perseids meteor shower peaks in early August, and if the moon is not shining, many great shooting stars can be seen.

The Northern Lights can occasionally be seen as well. From the shore, the northern view is to your far left. There are websites that predict the chances of seeing them. Sometimes, they are a dull green glow. Sometimes, what appears to be giant flood light beams will dance across the northern horizon.

During the season, the moon starts to rise directly across from camp and slowly moves to the south (right) as the summer progresses. Boating to the open area of the lake will allow you to see the sun set and the full moon rise.

Walking, Jogging, Snowshoeing, Biking (hybrid, fat tire or mountain recommended) - The camp roads are great for all these. However, on corners, keep to your right due to surprise vehicle traffic. There are shorter walks that dead end down Deer Run and Pine Cone roads. Harvey Way is a private drive.  The “T” is the sharp 90 degree turn a bit more than a mile from the camp driveway, headed out. There are a variety of distances you can go if you travel straight across the T. The road is very rough for vehicles, but fine for other travel. It eventually gets to the paved Bottle Lake or Duck Lake Roads. These roads are seldomly traveled by vehicles.

In the winter, doing these activities or cross-country skiing on the frozen lake is really nice. Caution regarding ice. It can get to be 2 feet thick, but don’t venture out unless you know it’s safe. You’ll eventually see ice fishing shacks and snowmobiles out there. As well, be aware of your dogs. It's common for them to venture on the early thin ice and break through. If you spend time in the winter, as you lay in bed, you may hear the moaning of the ice as it expands and contracts. It sometimes sounds like elephants.

Festivals/Fairs/Holidays - Picking up the latest weekly Lincoln News at Smiths store or almost anywhere, will allow you a good read for at least 10 minutes, but will have information on current events.

Fourth of July - For years, the Gibson clan living on the point have put on an amazing display of fireworks. Not always on the 4th, word gets around when it will happen.  The clan signals the start as they all sing the Star-Spangled Banner prior. In recent years, other displays can be seen on our lake and above several others, as far away as West Grand.

Grand Lake Stream Folk Arts Festival  - The Grand Lake Stream Folk Arts Festival is held during the last weekend in July on the ballfield in "downtown" Grand Lake Stream. More than 50 high end artisans display—and often demonstrate—their hand-crafted works under tents; there's continuous folk, Celtic, and bluegrass music; special displays include quilts and Grand Laker canoes, and educational exhibits; plentiful food and fun. Kids have room to run across the grassy fields; (leashed) dogs have room to roll. 

There is an historic fish hatchery in the center of town that often has tours. GLS has the highest per capita number of registered fishing and hunting guides in the state. Many residents make their livelihood from trapping, guiding, building the famous Grand Laker canoes and whatever they can do throughout the long winters.

The Grand Lake Stream Guides Association sponsors a lakeside lobster feed on Friday night and a chicken barbecue on Saturday evening, which is followed by either a festival-sponsored concert or contra dance.


Springfield Fair Labor Day Weekend-

The fair has been going on for 170 years! In recent years, the economy and costs of the fair has caused its size to vary from year to year. They attempt to have a midway with rides and games as well as the traditional sewing and canning competitions. The mop throwing, skillet tossing and watermelon seed spitting contest for ladies is a fun time. The demolition derby is a unique fun activity to watch. You’ll see the big banner opposite the Springfield post office.

Lincoln Loon Festival and River Drivers' Supper - The Loon Festival is held around the 2nd weekend of July. Until recently, referred to as Homecoming Week, it features food, music, artisans/crafters, train rides, beach events, and activities for the kids! Featured events include: The Redneck Regatta, Annual River Drivers’ Supper, 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament,  G Force Laser Tag, Live Music and Fireworks at Cobb Field and much more!


River Drivers Supper -

The Annual River Drivers' Supper happens at Ludden Field in mid July from 4-6 pm. There will be bean hole beans, reflector oven biscuits, coleslaw, hot dogs, chips, coffee, punch and water and desserts by the riverside. Sponsored by the First Congo Church Men’s Club and Pilgrim Daughters. This is on Rt. 2, just north of the center of Lincoln. It is a traditional feed, made for centuries for the men who floated the winter’s tree harvest down the river to the Bangor waterfront, once the world’s largest exporter of timber.

GolfFor those who enjoy golfing, there are 2 courses in the area. Barnes Brook is in West Enfield. Travel through Lincoln, as if you were headed to the interstate, but continue south on RT.2 and you will see it. It's a 9 hole, farm field type course. It has a driving range and a lunch bar. Also very inexpensive. Mainers pack bug spray in their bag for black flies.

The much nicer course and still relatively inexpensive is Jato Highlands., located on the ridge between RT 2 and 6. As you head to Lincoln, take Frost Rd to the right. Continue to RT 2 and turn right. Travel to Town Farm Rd. and take a right. It is a gorgeous 18 hole course with views to the east and west. Much more challenging than Barnes Brook.


April 22, 2020

Lincoln Highlights


Mary Jane Fisher

GMOT Member and summer resident on Jr. Lake

Lincoln is the shopping hub for many regional small towns. Billed as the town with 13 lakes.

Groceries - Hannafords, on West Broadway is the largest. You will find nearly everything you need there. If you need some unusual ingredient, you may want to bring it with you. You can also buy wine, beer and spirits here.

Steaks and Stuff, behind Main Street, (behind Possibilities) is smaller. If you can’t find it at Hannafords you may find it here. They sell wine and beer.


RestaurantsGillmors Restaurant is on West Broadway near Walmart. It is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday. It is probably your best option in Lincoln. They have a full bar. Trip Advisor ranked it as good as it gets in Lincoln.

The Forester Pub is also located on West Broadway. It is a pub atmosphere with pub food and a full bar. The food is acceptable and the place is clean.

Timber House is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and resembles a diner.  It is on the corner of West Broadway and Fleming Street. It is popular with the locals for breakfast and lunch.


Wing Wah is the Chinese restaurant in Lincoln. It is located on Main Street. If you like good Chinese food, don’t go there. The food is loaded with MSG. It is known for its strong drinks. 


Pat’s Pizza is located a short way north on Route 2. It’s good for take out pizza (thin crust). You can eat Italian food there too. The pizza is made to order and based on the recipes of Pat who began a pizza place in Orono.


There are also chain food places on West Broadway: McDonalds, Dunkins (take out) and Subway. Other pizza places: JJ’s pizza on Route 2, Lincoln and House of Pizza on Main Street.

Restaurants outside of Lincoln - Closer to camp, you will find a couple of options for food.

LeeRaymond’s, which is attached to a gas station and quick pick. They serve breakfast, (quite good), lunch, and dinner. It is very popular with the local crowd. It closes early!

Harris Family Take Out is also on Route 6 in the center of Lee. It is a trailer parked on the lawn of a house. It serves fried seafood and sandwiches. Very popular with the locals.


Opposite, located in the Grange Hall is Post DD-214 Meals Ready to Eat, a small restaurant (order at the inside window and wait for your food). There are tables. The pizza is good. They also have some sandwiches and barbecue. Open for lunch and dinner. Days open vary. They pride themselves on not having a fryer!

Far afield - Two hours from Junior Lake

Millinocket - The River Drivers: If you go to Baxter State Park in Millinocket or raft the Penobscot, a great place to eat is the The River Drivers Restaurant. They are located on Millinocket Lake and serve lunch and dinner. The atmosphere and views are great and the food is high quality. Part of New England Outdoor Center.

Fredricka’s Big Moose Inn. Also located on Millinocket Lake. There is a pub and a restaurant. In downtown Millinocket you will find the Schootic Inn. Very popular with the locals, they serve a variety of lunch and dinner options. There are a variety of other places in Millinocket. 

Grand Lake StreamAn hour and a half from Junior Lake is the Town of Grand Lake Stream. There are lodges here and if you are lucky you might be able to eat at Leen’s Lodge. An old fishing lodge, you can call ahead and find out if they can accommodate you. Call as much as a week ahead of time. They offer one dinner choice, so ask what they will be serving. Friday night has always been lobster night. They serve appetizers which you can take out on the deck overlooking West Grand Lake, then a full meal in the dining room followed by homemade dessert. Don’t count on getting in there in August (but you can always try). If you bring a crowd (we’ve had up to 14) they may allow you to choose the main protein.  BYOB. Coffee and soft drinks provided. Watch for moose and deer in the road on the return!


The Pine Tree Store, also located in GLS, is a general store with a lunch counter and picnic tables on the deck. They serve great sandwiches and pizza for lunch.


Stores In Lincoln - Possibilities and Gatherings for the Home are gift shops located on Main Street. Both carry a variety of gift items. If you want to browse for a nice gift these two places are great.

Mardens, whose motto is “I should have bought it, when I saw it, at Mardens” has a variety of discounted items from kitchen to clothing. Downstairs there are tools, flooring (which they are known for all over the state), and garden items. Don’t go there looking for something in particular, they probably won’t have it, but you never know.


May 18, 2020

Canoeing on Jr Lake


Dick Wainwright

GMOT Founder

Yes, you are right, the above two African dugout canoes are not ours but I spent time today paddling a similar dugout canoe with Native guides on the Napo River which flows into the Amazon. I brought back a couple hand hewn spade paddles and they will be hung in the Waboos entry cabin. 

Although dugout canoes are not as maneuverable as our canvas, fiber glass or abs canoes these hollowed tree trunks are fine for rivers - not for big lakes where strong winds can make paddling toward home a real challenge. A dugout canoe, or simply dugout boat, is made from a hollowed tree trunk. Dugouts are the oldest boat type archaeologists have found, dating back about 8,000 years to the Neolithic Stone Age. This is probably because they are made of massive pieces of wood which preserves better than bark canoes. Along with bark canoes and hide kayaks, dugout boats were also used by indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Large dugout canoes with a sail and with two outriggers were capable of handling the ocean - the outriggers are mounted on either side of the hull.

Although canoeing is now considered a sport, canoes were used for transportation throughout history. In North America, the very first canoes were used by the indigenous people of the Caribbean to travel between the islands.

Throughout history -- even over the last century -- the canoe has evolved. The birch bark canoe was used by Native Americans, explorers, missionaries and trappers. Since it could haul huge loads of cargo in all sorts of conditions-from quiet waters to angry lakes, quickly-moving rivers and coastal waters-it was the perfect boat to navigate North American waterways.

As soon as European explorers came to North America, they found canoes handy and started using them. In fact, the Europeans were amazed with the advanced engineering skills that the Native Americans used to design sophisticated canoes. Instead of hollowed out logs, these canoes were framed and constructed of multiple types of wood and held together with glue made from trees. In 1603, Samuel de Champlain was the first explorer to record the dimensions of Native American canoes. He wrote that they measured up to 23 feet (7 meter), to a 50 inch (1.27 meter) beam, and carried as much as 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms) of cargo. The French used the canoe to establish the fur trade and further explore what we now call Canada and the mainland United States.

 I spent four years at a wilderness canoeing camp where we used wooden framed, canvas covered 17’ canoes. The thwarts, ribs and gunwales of the canoes were all bent wood that needed yearly coats of urethane and if shooting rapids or an unseen rock would tear the canvas it would mean getting to the shore quickly and taking out our canvas patching kit.

At the Oneness Lodge our two 15' Old Town canoes are made from Royalex which is a composite material with an outer layer of vinyl and an inner lay of ABS foam bonded by heat treatment. They are lighter and more forgiving when bumping against rocks (not recommended).



Many people think that canoes will tip over easily - not so - but if one is careless either getting in the canoe, paddling on the same side as your partner, standing up, or reaching way over the side to retrieve something in the water - then yes, it could be tip over time. If this happens (of course, you should have YOUR LIFE VEST ON)  hold onto the canoe which will float. STAY WITH THE CANOE. Holding on to the canoe, slowly swim towards the nearest shore. TRY TO KEEP THE PADDLES IN THE CANOE.


Launching a Canoe from the Shore


2. Assuming the bow is the end of the canoe furthest into the lake, the bow person should lay his/her paddle across the gunwales, step into the middle of the canoe and slide the paddle beyond the bow seat and kneel in front of the bow seat or sit on the bow seat. Hold the paddle with both hands and rest on the gunwales to help keep the balance as the stern person pushes off and steps into the middle of the canoe in front of the stern seat.

3. The bow person should steady the gunwales as the stern person steps into the canoe which should be in at least six inches of water. 

How to Forward Paddle a Canoe

Seemingly the simplest maneuver in canoeing, the forward paddle can take years to truly master. These simple instructions offer guidelines to the most essential aspect of canoeing.


1. Kneel or sit in the canoe facing forward at either the stern or the bow. If you’re canoeing solo, sit or kneel in the middle.

2. Hold the paddle with your inside hand on top and your water-side hand 2 to 3 feet down (wherever feels most comfortable) with knuckles facing out.

3. Insert the blade of the paddle completely into the water, at least 2 feet in front of you, or as far forward as you can reach without lunging your body forward.

4. Push your top hand forward and pull your bottom hand back, drawing the blade through the water. Keep the top of the paddle handles lower than eye level.

5. Pivot your shoulder to draw the blade straight back. Don’t follow the curve of the canoe.

6. Pull the blade back through the water as far as your hip.

7. Lift the blade out of the water and turn the blade parallel to the water (this is especially important on windy days) to carry it forward to the starting position.



How to Back Paddle a Canoe

Turn in your seat, and paddle in the opposite direction to put your canoe in reverse. This paddling technique is especially useful for getting out of navigational mishaps.


1. Kneeling in your canoe, turn your shoulders 90 degrees toward your paddling side.

2. Look toward the back of the canoe.
Reach your paddle back, and insert the blade into the water a foot or two behind you.


3. Push with your top hand and pull with your bottom hand to draw water toward the front of the canoe. 


To paddle a canoe in a straight line, there are a number of techniques.


You can power forward and then change sides every time the boat begins to veer slightly away from your paddling side.

Then, there's the process of twisting the paddle blade toward the canoe after completing each forward stroke, treating the paddle somewhat like a ship's rudder. But this has been labeled the Stern Pry rudder or stroke, or the "Goon Stroke," and for good reason; every time you twist inward you put on the brakes. 


Next is the J-stroke, which is the ultimate steering stroke. You twist the paddle outwards (opposite of the goony) to form the letter "J," which forces the canoe back on course while still keeping your forward motion.



Put on your life jacket, make sure it fits and tighten the straps.

The more experienced canoeist should be the stern person and should hold the canoe between his/her knees and hands on the gunwales as the bow person gets in the canoe.

AGAIN BOTH CANOEISTS SHOULD NEVER PADDLE ON THE SAME SIDE unless near a dock and using the ferry stroke.

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