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August 10, 2010 5:14 PM   Subscribe

Going' To A Cabin In Maine For A Week -Filter: So it looks like I'm spending a week in Palermo, ME at a friend's cabin by the lake. What did you wish you did during your rustic cabin adventure? What did you wish you brought? Tips for surviving or enjoying? Fun stuff to see in the area or places or food that can't be missed? Fun things to do with your SO along? We'll have a bike, a car, running water and some limited internet access.

I'm a city boy lost in even the most suburban setting. Assume I am a five.
posted by The Whelk to Travel & Transportation around Maine (28 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Board games, cards, puzzles etc in addition to books and other written material. This is also a good time to try a long recipe or something that takes forever to cook.

I like to watch the deer/wildlife that comes out at dusk, ymmv.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:18 PM on August 10, 2010

insect repellant?!?
posted by kuppajava at 5:19 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: "assume I am a toddler" got turned into "assume I am a five" during re-typing.

posted by The Whelk at 5:22 PM on August 10, 2010

i am just going to assume that you're a 10.

otherwise, seconding cards. many a lengthy and memorable game of rummy is played in a cabin in maine. what about some slow reading? my brother and i used to read chekov plays to each other in a cabin in maine. also, a local trail map is pretty essential.

i couldn't do without bandanas, sweats, slippers.....do you have a washer and dryer? plan ahead if not.

otherwise, i used to spend entire mornings floating in the water hanging on to a branch or a floatie, watching my toes hanging in the water. you may be more sophisticated than this.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 5:32 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Weed and/or alcohol. Cards. If any of you play a musical instrument, and it's portable, bring it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:43 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Insect repellant -- gallons of it! the blackflies in Maine are the size of NYC rats. (Oh, you think I'm kidding...now!)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:31 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Berry picking! I used to visit someone's cabin by a lake in Palermo, and there were tons of wild blueberries all around that we'd pick and make stuff with or just eat on the spot.

Go out in a canoe or other small craft on the lake. Swim.

Seconding insect repellent, though I believe the dreaded Black Fly season has passed.

I guess at five, you're too young for scary stories, but the Maine woods is the best place for them.
posted by Right On Red at 7:09 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sunscreen, a camping chair, lots of reading material, a hat, hiking boots, maybe a journal to write random thoughts in, camera charger.

Bring speakers for your iPod, preferably battery-operated.
posted by knile at 7:14 PM on August 10, 2010

Books, boardgames, alcohol, weed and sexy funtime -maybe something harder you can enjoy in the forest (acid or e to explore yourselves and each other in a different environment).

I love khet (boardgame), munchkin and fluxx (easy card games) if it's just the two of us (and trivial pursuit on the iphone/pad, if that's an option for you), but these all lead to sex - drink/drug and challenge each other in games for sexual favours.

And long walks through the forest, with sex as a bonus - how often do you get to do it in a forest? Go for long walks and get sexy.
posted by goo at 7:52 PM on August 10, 2010

Yes, lots of bug spray that contains DEET is a Maine necessity. HOWEVER, do not attempt to have sex while covered in said bug spray. Just trust me, it will NOT BE PLEASANT.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 7:55 PM on August 10, 2010

Learn a new hobby.
Something slow - whittling, knot-tying, crocheting, something that allows you to sort of...zen out.
posted by madajb at 8:13 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Well, you want to go to Chase's Daily in Belfast. You should also pick up some ice cream and hot fudge at Dormans Dairy Dream in Thomaston, closed on Sundays. (get the pepermint stick, it has crushed up candy canes). And there is the puppy orchard off route 1 in Thomaston where you can let the little Alsatians lick your face before they get turned into police dogs. You should also go to get lobster at a shack by the water, but only at a shack by the water, but the only one I can think of is Cod End, and that is a haul for you.

Yay Maine!
posted by shothotbot at 8:21 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Look into renting a canoe or a couple of kayaks if you're going to be on the water. I'd also recomend an old pair od sneakers or sandals to wear while wading in the pond. Nobody told me about the leeches near the rocks (Don't worry, they're small and a little salt sprinkled on them does the trick). Have fun. I used to stay at a friend's cabin up at Embden Pond. Best vacations of my life (even with the leeches).
posted by KingEdRa at 8:26 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: No, you go to John's Ice Cream on Rt 3 in Liberty.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:32 PM on August 10, 2010

Can someone bring a camp stove? If not you might bring a metal grate to fit over a campfire. If the running water is not heated you'll need a solar shower. A bathroom kit with a loop to hang on a branch can be very handy.

A book that's been calling to you can be numinous in this setting. It sounds as if you might have some energy for learning some of the outdoor arts. Grab a book from the library and pick up a piece of flint for under $10 from a sporting goods store and practice making fire with your pocket knife. If you don't have a pocket knife it would be a good time to get one. If someone has a compass along you could make a game of orienteering.

You could impress your companions with a fantastic meal in a bag, ready to cook. A nice risotto with mushrooms and dried parmesan, for example.

A campfire can open up a group like nothing else. Be prepared with your share of suggested topics, songs, or enriching games. You might find some ideas here.

If peanut butter is provisioned suggest that everyone keep jelly knives out of it or morale could be sorely effected by the fifth day.
posted by Mertonian at 8:49 PM on August 10, 2010

Sounds heavenly! I'd bring lots of books (more than enough to read, in case I didn't like one or two once I started) and good walking shoes.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:55 PM on August 10, 2010

Also, a flashlight is invaluable. Are you going this weekend? Look for the Perseid meteor shower. If you're not going this weekend, well, find a book that suits your attention span/interest level that tells you how to find constellations.

It will get colder than you think, at some point during the week. Take a sweatshirt.
posted by knile at 8:59 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do you have a DSLR? Are you rich enough to afford a macro lens for it? If so, it'll absorb hours of quality time in a 50-foot radius of the woods.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:27 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

A mesh head net might make extreme bug periods (dusk, dawn) less irritating... despite repellant the teethed black fly of the NE will still bounce off of shiny faces.

- Spraying repellant on a paper towel and applying it works better than trying to spray/mist evenly.

Having a half chromed forehead (high hairline/eh...) I find that covering it with a hat does not frighten critters as much and doesn't attract as many bugs.

Handwarmers (of the expose to air variety) in case of a freak temperature drop.

Birdseed, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, brasil nuts, bing cherries, nectarines, pears, plums... wildlife can be very entertaining.

Binocular/monocular, spare batteries, compass/map/garminnuvi (some get lost easier than others), twice as much ice as you think you will need, visine for when you rub insect repellant into your eyes (oops), a shovel in case you need to bury anything, tp, paper towels, trash bags in case you need to pick up the debris of others left behind, firecrackers or small firearms (noise producing devices) to deter any aggressive animals that won't shoo away, and the LED lights that clip onto hat brims are just the bomb if you need to take a break in the middle of the night.

Lucky you.
posted by buzzman at 3:18 AM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Take advantage of the absence of city lights to see the stars on a clear night. Stay up late or get up in the middle of at least one night. City dwellers can't believe the rural night sky.

Nthing a campfire with 'Smores.

Do not ever go outside without every inch of your body covered with bug spray.

The song of the birds of the Maine woods, especially the Thrushes, will make you do a double take if you listen for them. Walk and listen. Also be on the alert for Ravens. They are the fun to watch and listen to.

I recommend you take a couple of books by Bernd Heinrich: 'Mind of the Raven' and 'Summer World', both set in the Maine woods.
posted by birdwatcher at 3:40 AM on August 11, 2010

I see that you will be near Camden; I asked about things to do in that area a few years ago and got some good suggestions.
posted by TedW at 5:46 AM on August 11, 2010

We've spent a lot of time at our friend's lake cabin on China Lake. We laze around the lake in floaties, sail the hobie cat, play cards, and eat and drink and read and nap. Every now and then we'll take the whaler to the north end of the lake, where there is an ice cream shop. Ride bikes up and down the lake road. Make lobster dinner, including corn on the cob.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 5:58 AM on August 11, 2010

If there's no hammock there already, bring one! (And some rope to tie it to trees.) Reading and/or just spacing out in a hammock by a lake in Maine = heaven.
posted by mskyle at 12:19 PM on August 11, 2010

Best answer: If it's the last week of this month, and you want to escape the woods, you'll be only about 10 miles from the (more than 120-year-old) Windsor Fair.
posted by LeLiLo at 5:46 PM on August 11, 2010

blah blah blah, just bring cards, comfort clothes, and a floatie. you will not get bored.

i wanted to add: binoculars

okay, some booze, if you can work that, helps with gin rummy marathons
posted by lakersfan1222 at 9:24 PM on August 12, 2010

Response by poster: Here ( or there rather). I have so much bugspray.

So! Some details. While the cabin is isolated it was built and designed by a single person, a carpenter who also made most of the furnishings ...so the overall effect is rather designy. The a frame and cantilered porch and stone floating fireplace and handmade wooden furnature and period objects make it feel like the studio bedroom version of James Mason's place in North By Northwest. It's like taking a vacation to 1967 - but better cause ..internets.

Today seems like a good day for a gin rummy game. Thanks Ask Metafilter.
posted by The Whelk at 7:20 AM on August 21, 2010

Response by poster: No, you go to John's Ice Cream on Rt 3 in Liberty.

No seriously not kidding, BEST ANSWER.
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 PM on October 31, 2010

Response by poster: Windsor Fair was totally cool, FYI Horsey racing and livestock competitions.
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 PM on December 9, 2010

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