Alice's Blog

Thoughts and updates from Alice.

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Recent blog posts
If the ice is out and snow is just flakes is winter over?

Yesterday I looked through my windshield as I was driving home. I noticed that the ledge about a 1/3 of mile away from my house was covered with seals - maybe. I couldn't park the car fast enough to run back outside with a pair of binoculars. Yes, there were 12 harbor seals on the ledge as the tide was beginning to go out. Harbor seals in February the day after Valentines Day! That hasn't happened in my lifetime. Yes they sometimes show up in March, but not February. I've kept records.  

I remember Groundhog's Day and the prediction from Pennsylvania was six more weeks of winter. Well that seemed right when the next week we got walloped with Blizzard Nemo. Preparing for the blizzard meant putting wood on the porch, getting jugs filled with water for the toilets, boiling water and putting it into thermos style containers, getting lanterns and flashlights ready, and of course the shovels and snowblower. We had 6 pairs of Northern Cardinals at our feeders during the storm. Not bad when all fall and early winter we had 4. 

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Even Islands Change in the Fall

Fall is a special time anywhere. I love the fall changing the few decidious tree leaves into their beautiful yellows, golds, and browns. 

More importantly are the subtle changes that happen such as the poison ivy turning red.

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Lightning is unpredictable and deadly to paddlers and hikers

WWAD  or What Would Alice Do?

I received an email this morning from a past client. I can truthfully state that the three days of paddling with this client and his friends was wonderful, exciting, and memorable. His group had paddled extensively throughout the US but had never hired a guide to give them local insights and tips. When in Maine for their trip, the hiring proved to be a good decision.

The question: ”The weather forecast was widely scattered thundershowers. I checked the radar just before we got on the water & saw one line of storms that looked like it might hit us. We were paddling down a deep river valley. At lunch we noticed a storm coming up behind us but off to our left with clearing skies behind. When we got back on the water the storm was past us but we could hear thunder & saw 1 lightning bolt.

One of our paddlers immediately headed to shore got out & went under a tree. The rest of us stayed in our boats. We wanted to keep paddling but waited till the on shore paddler felt comfortable to continue with us. She was prepared to basically walk out rather than get back on the water which none of us felt was a good idea. After about an hour she got back on the water & we continued on. We did get rain a few times before we reached the takeout, but nothing major.

So what is the proper procedure in a thunder storm? Is it safer on the water (where you’re lower) under a tree or just keep paddling?

Ok, that's more than "A" question & every situation is different,  but what is the best way to handle this? (we often find ourselves asking WWAD? What Would Alice Do?)”

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Everyone should be brave enough to learn a new skill

Wednesday was a monmental day for me. I got an email. Ok, we all get emails, but did you get one from L.L. Bean telling you that you had just won in their 100th Anniversary Get Out(fitted) Gear Giveaway?  I did.

As a child I fished in Casco Bay with my Dad using a wooden drop line with a lead weight and some smashed blue mussels that I had collected on the shore. I would catch flounder and sometimes a dogfish. I would go out alone and fish off the local dock or in our rowboat. 

I dreamed of fishing with equipment that I saw others use, but my Dad wasn't a fisherman and didn't teach me. I kept that dream inside me until January. I have debated with myself about learning yet another skill. I'm sure that many of my guests have the same debate. I thought that flyfishing would be better than spincasting because the rod was lighter and the dream of doing it was strong.

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Maine Tourism Award for 2012 Commitment to Customer Service to the Registered Maine Guide

Attending the 2012 Governor's Conference on Tourism in Bethel, ME at Sunday River was an all day event. Workshops in the morning and afternoon teaching us how to best use social media, provide outstanding customer service to our customers, and a review of how Maine is proceeding to attracting tourism customers from within and outside our borders.

For me, the highlight of the event, was being part of the group of Registered Maine Guides that were present with the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Commissioner Chandler Woodcock to receive the Commitment to Customer Service. What follows is the presentation speech.

"Registered Maine Guide – A title that is highly respected and rigorously attained - Those three words carry a prestige and allure that is synonymous with the long and storied tradition of Maine’s sporting heritage.

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