Saturday, April 21, 2012

Leg 66, around lane island beginning and ending at the Bridge.

I've had no need for my bike during these last several walks as I've begun and ended where I started. Lane Island was my home for a few years back in the 50's and so memory, often poignancy, was a constant companion during this, my walk around the last of the four islands bridged to Vinalhaven. I hiked along the Indian Creek Channel and around Hen Island. During the late 1800's and early 1900's my great great grandmother lived in a house directly across the way, under Armbrust Hill and she kept chickens on this island. I don't know why this was an advantageous place to keep them. It's not as if they were safe here since the island is easily reachable from the Lane Island shore for several hours around low tide. Still my Great Grandmother told me about being sent over to harvest eggs.
Around the point and heading south up the Creek I came upon the old Bickford Lobster Pound and walked across the mouth of the cove on the dam's rock base, under the remains of the wooden walkway, over the narrow sluiceway and on to the other side. When I was a kid I hung out here a lot, not out here at the dam but with a friend whose home was the little house on the north side of the Pound. His father was the Pound Keeper. Once, while standing at the kitchen sink during a thunderstorm he'd been struck by lightening that travelled down through the plumbing and out through the faucet. I don't recall that he suffered much as a result but it was certainly a memorable experience. I walked on and crossed a second pound in the same fashion. This one hadn't been here when I was growing up on the Island. I actually had no idea it was here until this day. I rounded the point and into the little cove where most of those enjoying the Lane Island Nature Conservancy choose to picnic. There's a tiny bit of sand beach here and between it and the little Lane Cemetery are a couple of picnic tables. It's a beautiful spot and from here I could look up at the house we rented from island poet Harold Vinal, our fourth rental.
I walked on around the island. At its southern most extremity I walked out as far as I could and was surprised to discover I could not see Heron Neck Lighthouse on the southeasternmost point of Green's Island. I know I could see it from here when I was a kid. It must be that trees have grown up around it in such a way as to render it no long visible from here. Continuing on around the Island, I looked up again and again to see Rockaway high above me. Rockaway was an Inn run by an island couple in the 40's and 50's and during the time when we lived next door. I remember their guests sitting out in the sun in lounge chairs enjoying the sun and the view. I walked on and around Potato Island. I'd thought I could reach Powder House Island as well but the channel between the two is too deep and I couldn't have managed, even at an extreme low tide. I looked across the harbor at the village from a perspective I'd never enjoyed then returned to the Bridge. Along the way I passed a big assembly of laid up granite stone, similar to those found all around the island, a construction that made it possibe for fishermen to reach the water at even the lowest tides by building a dock from land to the stone and then accessing the water via a float or ladder, most often the latter. This one was used by the father of some kids who lived next door and were playmates.
Next walk, round Carver's Pond

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