We’ve got a nearby lake that’s considered by some to be the crown jewel of the entire area. It’s called Clearwater Lake (sometimes called Clearwater Pond) and it’s located in Industry, Maine. Laura and I live only a few miles from this lake and we pass it often in our car. We’ve stopped by to enjoy it on a number of occasions. It never really gets old. Please enjoy the photos and commentary in the posts below. And if you’d like to share your own thoughts, please be sure to leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Clearwater Lake in Industry, Maine
June 23, 2014
I’m not a big lake guy. I used to be when I was growing up, but after I left home to go to college, I haven’t found myself visiting and swimming in lakes like I used to when I was a kid. The lake I swam in when I was a kid was basically the thing to do. I can remember getting out of bed every morning during the summer, hopping on my bike and riding down to the lake. All my friends met me there and we spent weeks and weeks and weeks boating, turtle hunting and every other activity the water down the road offered. But since I moved away from my home town and as my friends got older, those types of activities just faded away. But sometimes, when I just lay around thinking, I find myself wishing those “summer” days would somehow return.
I didn’t expect Maine to feel much like summer. Before we arrived, most of my focus was on how we’d get through the winters. Summer was an afterthought. As it turns out though, summer is really what people come to Maine for. We’ve got a wide temperature range up here. It’s mostly mid-70s during the day and high 40s at night. It’s that range and the cool nighttime temperatures that remind me of those camping trips my family used to bring me on long ago. Pulling a sweatshirt over my head as soon as the day cooled off was something I never paid much attention to, but now those thoughts cause all sorts of memories to flood my mind each time I do it. It’s weird and somewhat of a challenge to sort things like this out. I’ll get used to it though, because it’s truly a rewarding feeling. Searching and searching for those old summer days, only to find them someplace I never thought they’d be – odd and satisfying at the same time.
I think Clearwater Lake has the potential to be the lake for us. People around these parts truly value the area and every time I pass by the lake, I see kids climbing on the rocks and varied individuals fishing and boating. Some of them swim, but the water is still chilly, so I think I have to wait a while to glimpse more of them jumping in for a dip.
While Seth was up visiting, we passed by Clearwater Lake on our way to Farmington. I stopped and we took some pictures. I just filtered through mine and will post them below. After that, I’ll post a few of Seth’s. It’ll be fun to see the different angles and subjects between the two of us.
Here are the three I’ve got:
Clearwater Lake with Tractor Supply, Ron’s & Renys in Farmington, Maine
January 19, 2017
Laura and I had a fun filled, action packed day. We had to run around Farmington to get some chores done and since it snowed last night and everything looked so good outside, I decided to bring along my little spy camera. I bought this camera way back in 2008 and I have to say, it’s still pretty awesome. It’s over 13 megapixels and fits right in my inside coat pocket. Virtually no one can see me as I’m sneaking pictures of this and that. As you’ll see below, we visited many places and I took photos in a casual way that would have otherwise been awkward. Well, the one of me in the ATV was awkward no matter what, but we were laughing the whole time, so that’s okay.
Anyway, I tried to grab a photo right after we pulled out on the road and began to climb the hill. Of the few that I managed to get, this one was the best. What is it a photo of? The snow, of course. Also, I just wanted to show you what our closest “real” road looks like.
Today’s weather was perfect. I believe the temperature rose all the way to 37 degrees and much of the day was sunny. These types of days have always been my favorite because there’s a lot of slush everywhere and it feels like spring.
I decided to stop at our local lake for a few pictures of the ice fishers. First, I took one of a small bakery called Dovey’s Kitchen. Laura and I stop by every so often to buy a cookie or two. They have very large and very good cookies. We really shouldn’t do that, but we are weak willed folk.
Just to the left of Dovey’s Kitchen is Clearwater Lake. This is one of the two most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. The other one is over in Wilton, Maine and I’m not sure which one is better, but I’m telling you, they’re incredible to look at.
Today, there were a few guys out on the ice doing some fishing.
Every single time we go to Tractor Supply, I walk over to look at the trailers. I’m not sure why I do this because Tractor Supply has got to have the most overpriced trailers on the planet. Today, I especially shook my head because just this weekend, I looked up the price of a double-axle 16 foot Sure Trac trailer and it cost around $2500. Now, if you’re not familiar, Sure Trac is one of the best trailer companies on the planet. I used to own one, so I know first hand. I’ve been through trailers for a good long time now and Sure Trac kicks some serious ass. Their trailers are solid and they’re powder coated.
The reason I mention this is because I saw a comparably sized, really low quality, trailer at Tractor Supply for $3240 today. I was shocked. Take a look.
The price is at the upper left part of the gate.
I do like the fact that this outfit has a lot of trailers, but they really need to get away from the lower end stuff. Either that, or reduce their prices so they’re in line with reality.
Thinking of that price makes me shiver. Okay, enough of that.
After looking at the trailers, Laura and I went into the store, which is always a good time.
Every time we enter this store, we’re greeted by some stuff on sale. I always like to look through the bins because sometimes there’s some good deals on tools. Today though, the both of us became fascinated by the toys.
Here’s a photo of some small toy cars.
This next one was Laura’s favorite. It’s a Jeep Rubicon that has movable doors and hood. She even set it all up for you.
And right next to the toy cars were the little toy animals. I see these things all over the place. I guess they must be popular because they’re set up in the hardware store we go to, the lumber place we go to and, of course, both Tractor Supplys.
They’re pretty neat. I bet the kids love them.
If you don’t have a Tractor Supply near you or if you’ve never been in one, this is your lucky day. I took a lot of pictures of my favorite stuff. I only had to stop after feeling weird because I knew I was on camera. I did manage to get some boots though. Tractor Supply has a good selection of very durable and realistically tough boots.
The real reason we had to go to this store in the first place was to get cat food. We used to feed our cats Science Diet, but discovered that the Tractor Supply brand was actually better. It’s also less expensive, which is a bonus. Our one cat stopped eating the Science Diet, so we were forced to switch. Now, both of them love the Tractor Supply stuff. One nice side-effect is that our over-sized fat cat is down about two pounds because of the modified diet. I’m not sure what was in that Science Diet food, but whatever it was, it was making our cat extra fat.
This is a random picture of some cat food on one of the shelves. This isn’t what we bought, but I liked the looks of the cats on the bags. They look just like our orange cat.
One of the things I really try to stay away from is the bird feeders. Laura loves them and I seem to get sucked into looking through them and imagining ourselves hanging one up at home. Today, I didn’t stick to the plan of running away from the feeders and I got suckered into getting one. It wasn’t that expensive and it looks nice outside. Laura also likes it, so it’s okay.
Here are some photos of the bird feeders they had on the shelves today. The first photo is of regular bird feeders and the second one is of hummingbird feeders. Trust me, there were more, but I stayed away.
Okay, enough of this home decor. Let’s get over to the good section. The winches and the trailer mounts.
For some reason, I want to buy every winch in the store and just hide them someplace. I’m not sure if this type of feeling floats through every guy’s head, but is certainly does mine. I simply can’t get enough of padlocks, cables, winches, trailer axles and all other things made of steel.
Here is a photo of some truck winches.
I mean seriously, who doesn’t want one of these things? Here are some Reese ball mounts. A little blurry, but that’s okay.
See? I knew I could do some damage with my spy camera.
I saved the best pictures for last. This is a Massimo UTV that we’ve been seeing quite a bit of. Before today, I haven’t sat in one. Just to see if I fit, I gave it a shot. I fit just fine. There’s actually quite a bit of leg room.
And this shot is just a tad further away. The cashier was just as entertained as we were because she was watching the whole fiasco.
Sitting in this UTV got me all revved up. Now, I want one, but not this brand. I’d like a Can-Am. Those rock.
As you can see though, they cost just a dollar under $12,000, so it’ll be a while before I get anything like this.
The Tractor Supply part of this post is officially over. Next, we’ll move onto Ron’s in Farmington.
Ron’s Market is world famous. People from different states know about it because they have such an extensive assortment of micro brew beers.
To show you just a small sample, I took a few pictures of the inside. It’s sort of like a deli – but a deli with hundreds of brands of beer. It’s a very important pillar of our community.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have what we wanted. Out of all the brands they carry, they didn’t have the Lion Stout I ordered over a month ago. I guess I’ll have to go without again. Oh well.
I was a little hurt because I really wanted that beer. It’s one of the best stouts I ever had and I did order a case. I think what happened was that I waited too long. They probably put it out on the shelves and sold it on me. I’ve got to figure out a better way.
Next, we’ll move onto the SugarWood Gallery right in downtown Farmington. This is a really great gallery that sells all sorts of nice stuff. From photographs to postcards to furniture, there isn’t anything that’s low quality. Local artisans create what’s for sale and show it off right in this establishment. And really, it’s not that expensive. Perhaps for the average person who’s looking for something temporary, but if you wanted, say, a piece of furniture that you would keep forever, you could go with something from SugarWood.
This caught my attention as we were walking to the entrance.
And there were more inside.
I thought these birdhouses were really neat.
The next few photos will show you what’s in this great little gallery. Perhaps if you’re ever in the area, you can stop by to pick up a souvenir.
First off, there are tons of paintings and photographs for sale. Right after we walked into the gallery, we bumped into these.
And further into the store were a wall full of paintings. These were very bright and exciting, and interestingly enough, all sold.
The furniture is what really stands out at this gallery. Much of it is made from reclaimed wood. I saw a few pieces that used the edge, with a bit of tree bark leftover, as an accent. I can’t afford this type of furniture, but if I ever won the lottery, this is what I would get. Every piece has a story.
Finally for the SugarWood Gallery, we have some hand-made pieces of art. They range from stained glass butterflies to melted glass bowls to metal lawn ornaments. It’s all very high quality.
I swear, I could have stayed in there all day taking pictures, but if I had, this post would be even longer. I’ve already uploaded way too many pictures and I still have one section to go.
They say that Renys is a Maine adventure and I’m here to tell you that it is. It truly is. I absolutely love this stove. As Laura and I were walking around for the 100th time at one of the locations in the chain, I told her that these stores are something special. I can remember some like this from my hometown when I was a kid, but they’re all gone. The movie theater closed, the pharmacy closed, the post office moved and so much more happened that wasn’t good for anyone. In the small towns of Maine, many things are still the same as they were years ago. I never thought I’d be saying this because I never really gave much thought to a lot of things, but we need to protect what’s special. In my opinion, the world doesn’t need to change. If something is good, leave it alone – forever.
Renys opened its doors in 1949 and I’m not sure if much has differed through the years, but I’m certainly happy that we still have it. They sell a lot of what Laura and I need and the prices are very reasonable. I’m telling you, Hannaford has the preserves that I love for $4.99 and it’s $2.99 per jar in Renys. There is so much more that we buy. I could tell you all about it, but you would get so bored you’d cry. Just the sales we took advantage of over the past few weeks would make your head spin. Again, if I went on, you’d stop reading this blog.
Okay fine. Just one. I got a 4-pack of Zest soap for $.75 on sale. That’s all I’m going to say. And about 8 boxes of candy canes for $.25 per box. I’m done now, I promise. It’s just crazy though.
Renys has sections that hold all those toys we used to love from the 80s. There are Tonka trucks and puzzles and coloring books. It’s so cool. Sometimes, as I’m browsing around, I slowly walk through those aisles remembering back to what I had when I was a kid. If I had Renys, I would have really been spoiled.
I don’t know what I would ever do if we lost this store. It’s a special place. Now I know what people are talking about when they refer to the “good ol’ days.” It’s true, they were good!
Renys also sells housewares, clothes, boots and shoes and food. I won’t bore you with all of that, but I will show you just one last photo from the store. This is where we got our preserves today. Down on the bottom shelf.
We also picked up three bags of coffee. I’ll tell you all about that in another post. It’s good stuff. One of them is blueberry pie flavor and the cashier says that we should get the whoopie pie flavor next time. She’s got relatives who visited and who won’t leave her alone about it now. She has to keep shipping them the coffee because they don’t sell it anywhere but here. Crazy and fun at the same time.
I’m not sure what you would call this place. A department store? A variety store? I’ve only been to two locations, but from what I can see, they’re very similar. Not in their layout, but in what they carry and sell. One day, I want to buy one of the little lamps that they have on the shelves in the back. The base of many of them is a ceramic teapot. I think Laura would like one too.
I’ll leave you with one final photo. This is a building that’s across the street from Renys. It houses the old State Theatre, H. Brown Fine Art and the Broadway Barber Shop. Now this is what I’m talking about. Perhaps one day someone will look back at this photo and talk about what used to be. That’s what I would do, anyway.
Well, that brings me to the end of our day. I sure did take a lot of pictures. I hope I didn’t overwhelm you. This is what I do when I have a camera in hand. It makes me want to do this more often. I enjoy walking tours like this. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can browse through my walking tour of Kingfield, Maine. That was a few months ago, but it was good.
Anyway, thanks for reading!
One Long Day with No Power
May 7, 2018
Yesterday was one very annoying day. We lost power and for approximately 20 hours, we sat here twiddling our thumbs.
So here’s how it went. It poured outside during Friday evening. It rained so hard that I could here the sheets of water hitting the roof. I took at look at the weather forecast to see what was going on and what was going to happen overnight and I saw that a line of thunderstorms was rolling through. As far as I could tell, the primary disturbance was directly on top of us. I’m guessing it was around 9pm.
We went to bed thinking it was all over. Around 1am, I woke up to a whole lot of wind. When I say wind, I mean “wind that takes the roof off the house” wind. The whole place was shaking and I swear I thought something terrible was going to happen. The wind continued for a while and I eventually fell back asleep. About an hour later, I heard the power go off…and then on…and then off again. I was like, “Uggg. Not this again.” For some reason though, I had confidence that it would come back on in a short while. It didn’t.
We woke up in the morning and I was highly agitated because we originally had a big day of hiking with friends planned. It was beautiful and clear outside. With the power off, it meant that I couldn’t contact these friends to tell them what was up. Laura and I drove down to Farmington and I emailed one of them, so that was good. At least I told him what was going on. What really stunk was that we had to go back to the house so I could hook up the generator. Just the day before, we went food shopping and we had a refrigerator and freezer full of food. I didn’t want to lose any of it. So that’s what we did. We sat at the house waiting for the power to come back on, the entire day.
Around 10pm, it did finally come back on. We were eating dinner at the table, by candlelight (which was very nice, by the way), when it clicked back on. What a relief. But what was especially frustrating was that we had just wasted a perfectly good day. We had planned on going back up to Poplar Falls for some photography and video. I was looking forward to it very much.
During some of our driving around looking for downed trees and power lines, of which there were none, we passed by our lake. I’m pretty sure I told you this before, but I’ll say it again. We have the most beautiful lake in the world here. Every single time I drive by this lake, I tell myself how lucky I am to have it so close by. It’s truly a Maine lake that you can imagine in your dreams.
We decided to stop and take some more pictures. This type of thing really never gets old. There was a light fog above the lake that I’m assuming was created by some sort of temperature difference between the air and the water. It was beautiful. Here’s the first shot I took.
Here’s another where I zoomed in on the white pine trees across the water. The area is really far away, so it’s a bit grainy.
And finally, I have one last shot of a couple who were standing around a fire pit in their back yard. I wonder if they had any idea I was taking photos of them. It certainly was a beautiful evening.
Stopping off and taking some pictures was a nice distraction from my frustrated mood. The good news is that it’s supposed to be just as sunny on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week coming up as it was on Saturday. But, or course, it could snow those days. After all, Maine is part of New England. These things tend to happen up here.