Note: Much Ado has been around since the late 1970s. While life remains topsy-turvy these days, we thought perhaps a ‘vintage’ column would bring a memory to your mind and a smile to your face. Today’s column, written in 1980-something, is the second part of a tale recounting a trip to Maine.
Back in June, the statements “when the paved road ends” and “back 20 miles of dirt road” could be ignored for the most part. Everyone’s been on dirt roads before and survived, yours truly included.
But as the time to actually make the trip edged closer, those statements came back to me with increased frequency.
And then we were there. We stopped in the last “real” town before the camps, probably a good 15 miles before the pavement turns to dirt. What makes it a real town is that it has a small supermarket, shops, restaurants, lodging establishments, sporting goods, etc. There, we bought postcards, a fishing license for Hubby and a map of the lake.
Those paved miles went quickly and before long, as promised, we were on dirt. Not just any dirt road, understand, but a dirt highway owned by a paper company that is actively logging the area. Translation: Loaded log trucks on the loose!
The lane featured washboard-like ridges along with boulders the size of basketballs.
Then we turned off that miserable thoroughfare onto a bad one. It boasted deeper ridges, bigger ruts, and boulders the size of refrigerators. It was so narrow, bushes scraped the sides of the car. “If we meet a log truck on this, I guess we have to back out,” Hubby cheerfully mentioned. (Was he enjoying this?) I did not reply, being too busy trying to keep my head from banging on the side window as we rocked over stones and ruts.
I wanted to suggest that we turn around and go back, that no matter what awaited us, it could not be worth the effort. But no; I persevered. I did not like it, however.
Parts of the car started to rattle loose. Nuts, bolts, fuses, little pieces of nondescript plastic fell from under the dash and hit my feet. I watched the gas gauge arrow move steadily to the left. “Will we have enough gas to get out once we’re there?” I wanted to know the answer, yet couldn’t ask lest the panic be evident in my voice.
Bridges on this delightful boulevard consisted of a couple of logs, piled with some stones and dirt. Occasionally, a board was thrown over a damaged spot. Otherwise, the holes were a foot deep in places. We came upon a puddle that covered the road from edge to edge. Would we drive into it and sink to the bottom? Would we get halfway in and get stuck? Miraculously we got through, only to be faced with a few similar ponds not much farther ahead.
As we inched closer to our destination, water from the lake lapped up at the edges of the pathway. Finally, the gate! We were there; only half a mile to go!
“We’re staying here for the entire week and we’re not going back out on that so-called road until we absolutely must!” I declared.
Truth is, I was wondering if there was any possible way to get out again without having to traverse the route. Could a helicopter find this place and airlift us out?
I would find out soon enough.
To be continued...