Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
6Trip End Aug 19, 2007
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Our destination is the most remote wilderness I have ever found in my 15 years of wilderness exploration in Maine. We will spend the next three days camping on land owned by the Penobscot Indian Nation. Officially we are no longer in the USA. We are guests of the Penobscot Nation in their sacred hunting and fishing grounds.
This is wild bass country, home to some of the largest bass that can be found in Maine. Only Sysladobsis Lake, a three hour paddle to our north, has larger bass. Sysladobsis can only be fished with special permission from the tribe, and you pretty much have to be Dances with Wolves to get permission.
I will bring all the fishing poles we will need and a large assortment of lures and flies. And I will teach you how to clean, scale, filet and cook fish on a campfire.
We are camping in a very sacred wilderness called Machias. In the Penobscot Indian language the full name of this area is "Machias Nicatous Sysladobsis Mepang Webabsus". This means, "God Resting Quiet Water Dancing Loons".
As we approach our secluded island campsite in the middle of 3rd Machias Lake we are embraced by a profound sense of calm and we understand the Penobscot Indian meaning of Machias, "God Resting".
We will continue to see the Perseids meteor shower throughout our week of wilderness camping. The blacker-than-black deep darkness of a moonless night sky at 3rd Machias Lake will be sliced by the brilliance of celestial flares falling to earth against the background of the Milky Way.
In the most remote northern wilderness of Maine, the Milky Way Galaxy is the most brilliant carpet of celestial luminescence that you have ever imagined. You have never seen so many stars.
We gaze into the 100,000 light-year breadth of the Milky Way filled with its thick storm of suns. From our campsite we are drawn into a rapturous understanding of our small place in the universe. We are overwhelmed by the vast perspective of deep space and light years and we understand that our massive sun is merely a tiny dust particle at the outer edge of this immeasurably vast cloud of suns. Only the orbiting Hubbell Telescope can offer clearer images of star clusters so thick and bright.
The brilliant belt of the Milky Way is so crisp and bright that you will clearly see your sharp shadow under its tightly banded light of 400 billion suns. Without a flashlight or lantern you will easily read small print beneath the crescent of light pouring down from above.
Depending on sunspot activity there is always a possibility that we might see a waving curtain of aurora borealis lights sheeting across the sky.
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