Sunset in the Land of Smiles and Honey

WE TOOK THE 12:30 longboat on a blisteringly hot afternoon to Koh Yao Noi off the eastern coast of Phuket. Our bags sat haphazardly among the cargo in the hold with the other passengers—island locals, an international school group, a spattering of backpackers. They sat two-by-two on worn…

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(I went far too deep with) Maine's Whoopie Pie

THE STREETS OF Dover-Foxcroft, that of Piscataquis County and that itself of Maine, are packed with people. A colorful human theatre fills East Main Street here, an undulating mass moving and swaying in response to some tidal-like force. Somewhere, a band launches into song—all swirling synths, buzzing guitars, and…

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A Fall on Big Moose Mountain

In which I recount the daring story of a man making a really dumb hiking mistake. First published in Appalachia, Winter/Spring 2019.…

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Deep in the Maine Woods, Tim Smith Teaches Others How to Live.

THE ROAD TWISTS and winds through the north Maine woods in something akin to white-knuckle chaos. It started snowing hard back in Patten. The roads are maintained here, but increasingly less so the deeper I get into "The County." They’re slick and rough, rutted, covered in mealy brown slush.…

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I Ran the 2017 Millinocket Marathon (and Survived).

Somewhere around mile eight, an angel appeared. She was manning a water station and appeared to be holding a sign. As my tired legs brought me closer, I saw she was also handing out candy bars. The sign came into full focus: “WORST PARADE EVER,” it read. I downed the…

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An Obligatory Story About Katahdin; a Beer Run; the Summit at Dawn.

Thousands of people hike Mount Katahdin in Maine each year, so much so that Baxter State Park—of which Katahdin is included—throttles admission to it in an attempt to keep it pristine. If you’re from Maine, Katahdin represents a nadir, a rite of passage, a reason to stretch…

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The Winter Summit

Mike Blanchard started hiking in junior high school. Guidance counselors there had started an outing club, and one of the excursions was a hike up Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak at 5,267 feet. The trips became a regular thing, and he liked it. After junior high Blanchard kept…

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Adventure is out there.

This first appeared as the Editor's Note in Maine Outdoors & Adventure, Fall/Winter 2017. I think it sums up my attitude toward the concept of "adventure" nicely. Since I've had a few people ask about it, it is reprinted here in its unedited form. It’s easy to get…

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Deboullie Public Reserved Land, Maine

I followed the moose in my truck for about ten minutes. I had seen a doe about five miles back, and she had ducked into the woods pretty quickly when my truck came around the corner. Not so with the moose—it stood there staring at me for a good…

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Schoodic Beach, Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land

With my wife in China and my oldest daughter staying at a friend’s camp at Duck Pond, I found myself with a (mostly) empty house. I took it as an opportunity to bring my youngest daughter camping. The forecast wasn’t great. It looked to be overcast and drizzly…

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