Tonight, I need to figure out how to build a big enough fire to keep away the chill overnight without leaving so much debris in the stove that we have to worry about embers still glowing by the time we are ready to leave in the morning.
Beyond the thermal issues, overnight was rough for Evelin. Quinn woke for a small feeding around 1:15 a.m. and then Evelin couldn't get back to sleep until 4:00 a.m., which is when Quinn wanted more to eat. I stayed up with Quinn at that point and she ended up falling asleep on top of me for a little bit, but that meant I was pinned down when Celeste woke at 5:30 a.m. or so. Evelin came down and lay with her for a while in Celeste's room, but when Quinn woke up, I went and got Celeste, giving Evelin maybe an hour of sleep to herself.
This morning, we've been puttering around trying to figure out what we want to do today. We talked about maybe visiting the Children's Museum in Portland, but it's probably further than we want to go for just a little excursion, particularly as random as napping has been for the girls. Maybe we'll stop there on the way home ... Celeste is still uninterested in a boat ride, although she did like watching Evelin paddle a kayak around ... maybe this afternoon.
And it turns out we didn't have to wait that long. After Evelin's paddle about, she urged me to give the kayak a try (I haven't used a kayak more than once or twice and am more comfortable in a canoe, which is why I tried the rowboat yesterday). Since we'd already hauled it out to the water, I decided to give it a try and it wasn't too bad. I went around our end of the pond and through the channel into Hancock Pond and then circled one of the closer islands. A loon surfaced about 20 feet away from me while I was near the island, which was pretty cool.
I paddled back into Sand Pond/Walden Pond and headed for some rocks where I saw either some Blanding's turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) or eastern painted turtles (Chrysemys picta picta) and then watched a belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) swoop into a nearby tree before I headed back to the camp. Evelin, Celeste, and Quinn were watching me from the window and when I got back to shore Celeste surprised everyone (perhaps including herself) by saying she wanted to go for a ride. She put on the lifejacket and came down to the water, but started having second thoughts as soon as I pushed the kayak back into the water. We took only a short spin around the nearby rocks ducks roosted on.
In the afternoon, Evelin and I both took additional turns with the kayak. Evelin, paddled over into Hancock Pond and then I discovered I was right to mistrust kayaks; I capsized while getting into the kayak, earning a few bloodblisters on one palm when I fell on the rocks in the shallow water. Of course everyone watched this from the window and Celeste decided her mistrust of the kayak was well placed.
Before the afternoon kayak misadventure, I took a run to the dump while the girls napped and then filled up the T.R.U.C.K. with gas. On the way home, I stopped at an estate sale where I found a small stack of books for the girls, and a few other little things.
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On to Day Six