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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Maine Day D−1: The Travel Day 

It's been a while since Evelin and I have had a real vacation (sorry mom, visiting family doesn't count) ... We've done a long weekend away here and there, but the last full-bore go-away-for-a-week-or-longer trip was our week in the Highlands back in October 2002. With the kids, however, spending a week driving in a Daewoo Matiz looking for Pictish stones, family graves, and various other things, wouldn't work too well.

Originally, we talked about finding a place to rent in West Virginia or somewhere else in the nearby mountains. After the June trip up to Massachusetts, we wanted to minimize the driving, but at some point we contracted amnesia or temporary insanity or something and Evelin inquired about borrowing her first-cousin-once-removed's camp on Walden Pond in Denmark, Maine.

We found a week that worked for us and that worked for D--- and his family and made plans to head north. Originally, we figured we'd take off early Saturday morning, but as V-Day approached, I realized there was no way I'd be able to get all the deferred yardwork and other chores, much less my work, done in time for us to leave early that morning. We had some back and forth about when we would leave — I was in favor of leaving at midnight or 2:00 a.m. and driving all night, stopping for breakfast at Evelin's folk's place; Evelin wanted to leave in the afternoon so we'd spend the night with her folks and then leave for Maine after breakfast.

We ended up leaving a little after 1:00 p.m. ... and those first two hours were a lot longer than 120 minutes. There was a lot of general crankiness from both girls and from both adults, but we made pretty good time. As we approached New York City, Celeste was getting fussy, so we offered her a choice: the George Washington Bridge (our usual route) or the Lincoln Tunnel. She chose the tunnel, which was a little slow, but I think the Hudson Parkway may have been a little faster than the Deegan, and it made it easier to stop in the Bronx when Quinn needed a snack. We made it up to Evelin's folk's a bit after 9:00 p.m., which was pretty good time considering the stops for feeding and the tunnel traffic.
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On to Day One

Google Maps and other sources I could find before we left label it as Walden Pond, but Evelin's father insisted it was Sand Pond. I found a Sand Pond on Google Maps, but it was a good bit south and a little east of where I'd thought we were going (and that in itself was further south and way west from where Evelin originally said the camp was, near China, Maine). The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, however, labels the pond as "Walden Pond (Sand Pond)," so it must have had a name change at some point or something and R--- and his family must have always known it by the parenthetical name. Or maybe Camp Walden pulled some strings to have the lake officially renamed but everyone locally uses Sand Pond; the map in the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce's "2006 Area Guide" labels it "Sand Pond" (no mention of the Walden Pond name).

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