Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Day in the City (Maine Style)

For his birthday, E got a gold pan, and has been dying to use it. I promised to take him to a place I knew about in Augusta, where the hiking trails lead to a sandy-bottomed stream just right for gold-panning.

It took a whole month, but finally we came to a weekend not occupied with baseball or rainstorms or sick kids, and so Saturday afternoon we drove up past the airport, behind the cemetery and began our hike.

The trails wind their way past the two enormous storage tanks that hold the city's water, and allow for a glimpse of where the public works trucks are stored, but other than that, and a bit of traffic noise, you'd never know this spot was sandwiched between Augusta's main drag, with the airport and armory, and the Civic Center area, with its big-box stores.

It turns out none of us knew how to pan for gold, so C looked up some videos on youtube. What on earth did the '49ers do without smart phones?

Z had been wanting to go fishing as badly as E had been wanting to pan for gold, and I suppose the stream loomed larger in my imagination and/or memory that it really was, because I suggested to him that it would be a good place to fish. He came prepared in his fishing t-shirt, fishing vest, fishing pants, fishing hat, and fishing bug net, and brought his fully loaded tackle box, and of course, his rod. He wasn't terribly disappointed when the stream turned out to be only a few inches deep, especially when I promised him we could go fishing in the Kennebec later.

After dinner at the airport Thai restaurant, we went down to the boat launch in Hallowell.

Z didn't want to cast at first, afraid he might accidentally catch a giant sturgeon (and lose a lure). It took me a while to convince him that he didn't have to worry too much about that. We did see a few of them jump out of the water, and they really are huge. I was hoping to catch one on camera, but most of the time you don't see them until after they've landed.

A heron, not a sturgeon.

I had to laugh, thinking that we went to the city to go hiking, gold-panning and fishing, but I guess that's one advantage of living here.

P.S. Don't forget to enter my zine giveaway.

P.P.S. I almost forgot to mention, check out my LiteraryMama book review of two books by dads who hang out with their kids in nature.

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