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Matt Dickerson: Summer of discovery by canoe, continued

Posted on September 6, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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We slid the canoe down into the waters of Otter Creek and turned it parallel to the grassy shore. I held it steady while my wife, Deborah, stepped in, keeping her shoes dry. Since I was wearing water sandals, I had the privilege of pushing us away from shore and stepping in from ankle-deep water. A few seconds later we were paddling up the creek, away from the one-lane bridge and dam.

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Matt Dickerson: Seeing trout and flies: a tribute to my sunglasses

Posted on August 23, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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Matt Dickerson: Getting a bear fix in the Katmai

Posted on August 16, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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Two p.m. rolled around and we still hadn’t spotted one of the famous Alaskan brown bears we had come to Katmai National Park and Preserve to see.

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Matt Dickerson: A big park and a small world

Posted on August 9, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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At over four million acres, Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is more than two thirds as big as the entire state of Vermont. Yet the park receives only 23,000 visitors per year, which is less than 1/40th the number that will show up at Vermont state parks in a year.

The park’s headquarters sit off a gravel airstrip in the little village of Port Alsworth, whose year-round population is under 200, and whose 2018 graduating class at Tanalian High had seven students: the largest in school history.

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Matt Dickerson: Coping, Part 2: Wildlife noisy on Otter Creek

Posted on July 26, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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I heard the osprey before I saw them. Though their high-pitched peeps may be less majestic than their famous talons-first plunges into water from 60 feet in the air, they are loud.

I looked into the sky and spotted the talkative raptor soaring at treetop level, circling its nest with a fish dangling from its talons. Was it excited about its catch? Or had it been disturbed from its nest by our presence or the presence of an angler fishing from the bank nearby?

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Matt Dickerson: Coping strategies in the changing natural world

Posted on July 12, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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My wife and I often laugh when folks who have moved to Vermont or come here to college from places like Florida, Texas and southern California start complaining about how cold it is, and it’s still early October. The temperature will have dropped down into the 40s, or maybe we’ll even have seen our first frost, and they will be all bundled up in heavy winter coats shivering and wondering how we can stand the bitter cold weather. “You haven’t seen anything yet,” we want to warn them, though we try to do so gently.

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Matt Dickerson: Important goals when fishing with friends

Posted on June 28, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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This past week I had a chance to take two friends fly fishing. When I take somebody fishing, especially somebody new to the sport, I have multiple goals. I want to be safe. I want to practice and model good conservation ethic while enjoying the outdoors. I want to teach something about fly fishing, including both the mechanics of fly casting and also the strategies for reading a river. Most importantly, I want to enjoy company with friends.

I also want my guests to catch fish. The last point isn’t necessary for the enjoyable time, but it does help.

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Matt Dickerson: Acadia National Park 3: The Gorham Loop

Posted on June 14, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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We pulled off the famous Loop Road to park at the trailhead to hike the Gorham Mountain Loop trail. Or, rather, we tried to park. Unfortunately, Memorial Day weekend had turned Acadia National Park into Acadia National Park-ing Lot. Not only did we find every lot full, but the right lane of the one-way, two-lane Loop Road had also been turned into additional parking, and for more than a mile in each direction every foot of pavement was taken by a car.

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Matt Dickerson: Acadia part 2: Of salters, alewives and estuaries

Posted on May 31, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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We parked the Outback at a little dirt pull-off by a highway bridge. Based on several different guides and personal recommendations, this tidal marsh was high on my list of paddling destinations during my three-week residency at Acadia National Park, and the bridge at the outlet of the marsh where it flowed out into a harbor was the recommended put-in. My wife and I arrived about three hours before high tide in hopes of riding the incoming tide all the way upriver to the very start of the marsh — the estuary where several cold water streams flowed into the brackish saltwater.

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Matt Dickerson: Acadia National Park from a lightweight canoe

Posted on May 17, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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“We should have done this 10 years ago.”

That was the day’s refrain. The third of four times my wife, Deborah, or I repeated it was the third or fourth times we lifted our new ultralight Wenonah kevlar canoe off of or onto the roof of our car, with barely more effort than it takes to lift a mug of coffee to our lips.

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