After reading an article in the outdoors section of the Kennebec Journal I decided to go out to Jamies Pond, a 100-acre pond somewhere north of Hallowell, Maine. I had a little trouble finding the pond because I didn't have a map. At one point I wound up at the dead end of a road where a woman named Cynthia, who lives at the dead end, was putting some mail in her mailbox.
"You don't get many people coming down this road I guess," I said, pointing to the end of the road about 20 feet ahead of me.
"No," said Cynthia.
I asked her for directions to Jamies Pond and we talked for about 20 minutes, the whole time standing in the middle of the dead end road. She told me the pond used to be called Jimmie Pond before the Maine Land Trust took it over and secured it as a conservation and park area. I told her if you google "Jamies Pond, Maine" a road comes up "Jamies Pond Road" that leads to Jimmie Pond. She said people call it both because their speech is lazy and it changes through word of mouth.
Cynthia gave me directions, and I drew a map on a newspaper.
At Jamies Pond I met Dan Albert, a Maine guide who rents kayaks and canoes. I started talking to him about the pond. He said not many people take advantage of it, but today some day-shifters from town were taking in some nature via lunchtime canoing. I asked him about all the different names for the pond. He agreed that it was a 'word of mouth' thing that left this place with multiple names, but it is now officially recognized as Jamies Pond (except Google). Albert told me of another pond on the other side of the Kennebec River that is called Joy, Joy's, and Joyce Pond. You strange, strange 'word of mouth,' you.
When I finally started down the hiking trail I found that it was conveniently marked so that both stone-stacking Neanderthals and spray-painting Urbanites can easily find their way.
The paths are perfect for dignitaries like me, as the Kennebec Journal article said Steve Staples, a local fishing guide said, "I'm standing out there, and it's like I'm out here all by myself. That's the great thing especially with the capital so close. Who knows? Maybe a governor wants to entertain another governor from somewhere, and the governor likes to do a little hiking. What better place than that one that is so close?"
So if any governors want to come and visit this gov, and walk around in nature eating organic things out of plastic containers, let me know. And I found no plastic containers, and hardly any litter at all except a glass bottle. (Which I picked up to carry with me, but set down to take a picture, and then forgot about.)
On the way back to my truck (with new lobster license plates), I was jumping from rock to rock. I was careful not to damage the moss or sidewalk-crack/pioneer plants sprouting out of the rocks. Being observant, I noticed little burrows between the rocks; little holes in the ground. I thought they must belong to beavers or muskrats ... or snakes. Then I started thinking about bears. And about the skunk I saw in the Kennebec Journal parking lot a couple days ago. And the dead porcupine on the road. And I started thinking about Badgers. And that me, plus these beautiful woods, probably equals a badger or wolverine. So I left thinking happier thoughts of Joy Pond.
I took Dan Albert's general directions, then asked someone working in their garage off the highway where I could find the pond. From those combined directions I found five different ponds in the same area. One of these is Joy, Joy's, or Joyce Pond.
p.s. according to the shower situation this morning- he's ba-aack!