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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

On the Street Where I Live

Well, not exactly. Rangeley, Maine is about 30 miles north of us. It’s just about the end of the earth, as far as western Maine is concerned. After Rangeley there’s nothing but fleas, trees, and disease, as they say, and Canada, which is currently on fire. There’s a lot more Maine if you head northeast, however. Aroostook, known simply as The County, goes way, way up there.

Rangeley is a popular vacation destination. There’s lot of lakes and hiking and snowmobiling and four-wheeling and skiing and hunting and fishing and so forth. On the way to Rangeley, you pass a scenic overlook called The Height of Land. Of course height of land is a generic term that could apply to the highest point in any landscape you’re tramping over, but Mainers are an insular sort, and won’t acknowledge anyone else’s. It’s understandable. The Height of Land is a interesting place to stop and look at the nothing all around. It’s high up on a mountainside, overlooking the amusingly named Mooselookmeguntic Lake. If memory serves, that’s the local Indian name for, “Man, what are we doing here?”

The Height of Land is an eerie place. There’s a great view, all the way to the horizon, which is rarer in the Northeast than elsewhere. There are just too many trees and structures most everywhere in New England to see very far. You basically have to get out on the ocean to see the horizon.

It’s a weird kind of quiet at the Height of Land. There’s nothing for noises to bounce off and come back at you. It swallows anything you might say about the place to a companion. So you just gape at the little toy boats chugging slowly across the big lake, while you swat the giant horseflies that give you the Nosferatu treatment on the back of your neck. You can go a little further on to Rangeley proper if you’re bored or need lunch or a blood transfusion or something. According to Trip Advisor, there are things to do in Rangeley, but they all seem to involve watching water, either rushing by, or just standing there minding its own business. Some people are tempted to swim in it. It’s been nice knowing these people. I hear hypothermia is a pleasant way to go.

We can’t go to Rangeley anymore, because the first time we went there, my wife says we had an argument in the car, and so she hates Rangeley. She can’t remember what the argument was about, and I can’t remember the argument at all, but Rangeley is going to have to get along without us until we both get Alzheimers and forget the whole thing.

4 Responses

  1. In spite of yourself, I think you may be doing more for Maine tourism than VisitMaine.com, although their “Moose Watching” section is particularly enticing, and the 2023 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta (in hollowed out pumpkins!) will be heartbreaking to miss.

    I, however, must pass; the reality of wearing socks and a heavy jacket has been in my rearview mirror for a decade or more.

  2. I’ve been right there. No bad, for an Arkie. Caught wonderful fish in the lakes & rivers. Beautiful fall scenery, but was sure to clear out before a snowflake caught up with me there. The last time I saw snow, I got a sack & tried to pick it.

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