Throughout my entire life, I have been spending summer vacations at our family camp on Big Lake in Princeton, ME. Not familiar with Princeton? Not many people are. It is a tiny town located 1.5 hours north of Bangor, near the eastern Canadian border. We are lucky to have this little slice of heaven in an area that is still untouched by the “modern” world. The only places to eat out in town are lunch counters at the two gas stations. And no, we do not need to eat out when there is a perfectly good fire pit for cooking on the beach. However, I do hear rumors of an actual RESTAURANT opening in Princeton in June 2013…how exciting!
We get our daily supplies at the combination supermarket and variety store in town. Now when they say variety, they mean it…groceries, pharmacy, bait, tackle, appliances, clothing, hardware, gardening supplies, housewares…you name it! We also get our fishing licenses there, but we used to get them from an old woman down the road who would type them on a typewriter in her kitchen. Speaking of kitchen, the best “bakery” in town is run out of a local woman’s kitchen. She bakes many different items, puts them on a sign out in front of her house and welcomes you in to make your selection. How’s that for small town?!
The dirt road to our camp never had a name up until a few years ago. They took a vote from the people on our road and “Sand Cove Road” won. After all, we are all located in Sand Cove on Big Lake so it was the sensible option. Why make things more complicated? I think you may be getting the picture of Princeton life.
My great-grandfather helped build our camp which has seen many renovations over the years, one of which was indoor plumbing (thank goodness!). Even with the renovations, we kept things simple. You kinda have to feel a little like you are “roughing” it if you are really committed to the experience. There is no television. We have a radio to listen to the news in the morning and the Red Sox games in the evening. Our daily routine pretty much goes like this:
– Morning = Get up early. Drink coffee. Survey the lake.
– Good weather = Get ready to fish. Load the boat and go!
– Mid-day = Get food for lunch/dinner in town. Make lunches.
– Afternoon = Eat lunch on the lake. Fish until just before sunset.
– Evening = Start the fire. Grab a beer. Watch the sunset.
In the event of a day of bad weather, we will travel to another town. The big “city” of Calais has larger, chain stores. A bit further out is Eastportwhich is more quaint and offers fresh from the boat lobster from Quoddy Bay Lobster, delicious homemade whoopie pies and many small shops. And if we have our passports, we can head over the border to St Andrews in Canada. Of course, family games or reading a book are also approved activities at any time. No one has to do anything on a schedule. Just whatever they feel at that moment. Four days is a usual trip for me, but it can feel like two weeks if I allow myself to TRULY relax and unplug.
There are so many memories for me attached to this lake, so it was only fitting that I include it in my Dune Jewelry collection. I wear my Big Lake Dune Drops and Sandbead Bracelet every day. I want to feel connected to that area, since part of me will always be there. I visit each year so I can find myself again and make new memories to take with me forever.