falledgewater1Consider the opportunity to take a trip on foot, by water, or by road starting from any of several base locations in the West Branch region (Millinocket area) or Lincoln Lakes region.

Design your own overnight trip starting with your choice of activities below or from the other list provided. We also recommend our friends at Eagle Lodge for traditional accommodations and meals.

making the wilderness accessible to people with disabilities
juniors and youth
natural history
families with children

primitive camping
outdoor survival skills
geology and rock-hounding
firearms skills and practice
canoeing and kayaking
Penobscot River fishing
map and compass
gathering/collecting (driftwood, specimens, etc.)

Lincoln lakes region
Millinocket lakes region
West Branch watershed
Baxter State Park
north woods

working with dogs
bear hunting
rock climbing
ice climbing
coastal exploring
cross-country skiing
Appalachian Trail
all-terrain vehicles

pileated woodpecker (scarce)
bear (seldom)
coyote (seldom)
beaver (seldom)
porcupine (seldom)
fisher (rarely seen but more common than you'd think)
river otter (rarely)
bobcat (rarely)
lynx (rarely)
panther (very rarely seen, see "An Eastern Panther")
relics of the recent or distant past

A Registered Maine Guide can be anything from a focused one-item specialist to an eclectic generalist. A Maine Guide typically offers services in hunting, fishing, or recreation, or a combination of the three, also sea kayaking and whitewater rafting. Some Guides offer only trips involving firearms while others don’t deal with firearms at all. Most Maine Guides are very, very knowledgeable and very “good at” one or more fields of interest.

Guides are also obsessed with your safety. A Maine Guide should brief you at length before setting out in order to assure that everyone returns home safely. It may seem as though too much precaution is involved, but experience teaches that it's a hundred times easier to lose someone than to find her and a thousand times better to prevent an injury than to allow it to happen.

Guides receive their training either by experience, serving an apprenticeship, attending an outdoor learning center, or by earning a degree in forestry, wildlife management, or recreation. Of course, many Guides have a background that draws from more than one of these sources. It is generally acknowledged that, to become registered, Maine Guides must pass the most rigorous oral and written exams in the nation.

All Guides are dedicated stewards of Maine’s natural resources and are serious about their safety and yours. For this reason, you should not expect to find a Guide who will participate in any property or habitat desecration, violation of regulations, or carelessness, nor should you attempt to persuade a Guide to compromise these values once you’ve engaged one.

Maine Guides do what they do because they love it. It’s a business, and for many it’s a sole source of income. Unless you’ve arranged something different, you have a Guide’s constant services 24 hours a day for as long as your trip may last. Your Guide is the master, the chief, the rule-maker, and the exception-maker on your trip. A Guide may assign tasks and even share leadership in a limited way, but, like a ship’s captain, your Guide must be obeyed without question or hesitation. It’s rare, and it should be, but this level of obedience has been, for some, the difference between life and death.

Maine Guides sometimes combine guiding with other businesses, and this is ethical. Your hunting or fishing guide may also offer taxidermy services or may have a business arrangement with a friend to do so. Your recreation guide may also sell canoes. The combinations are endless. Let me make clear, though, that Damn Yankee is not an equipment dealer or seller of anything but the services of a Guide.

A Maine Guide is often an informal teacher of wilderness lore and recreation skills. Just as often, but only as a bonus, a Guide is a philosopher, storyteller, or entertainer.

A Maine Guide should have the skill to deliver the trip you are looking for, but a Guide should not promise specific results such as a 1,000-pound moose, a panther sighting, or a clear vista from the peak of Katahdin. These things happen and Maine Guides are there to deliver them, but the service they offer is the best chance anyone scheduling a brief trip into the wilderness will ever have.

As for me, I have received my training by experience, serving an apprenticeship, attending an outdoor learning center, and by earning a degree in wildlife management. A 1969 graduate of Farmington High School, Army veteran, and graduate of the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources, I have lived in the Maine Highlands between Ambajejus Lake and Mattanawcook Lake since 1977.

In addition to offering my skills as a naturalist in wilderness guiding, I am also conversant in classical music, model railroading, Russian, philately and numismatics, cryptanalysis, literature, astronomy, classic cars, wine, cigars, hospital administration, developmental disabilities, genealogy, coastal cruising, and personal computers. I have lived for a year or more (in some cases many more) in Florida, Ohio, Maine, California, and Germany. I have spent weeks at a time as a traveler in France, Italy, Ireland, Aruba, and Russia and Ukraine (solo). I am an author, editor, and publisher of sorts, with novels, short stories, diatribes, and articles in periodicals to my credit. I am an expert on 30 years of marriage, teenage girls, human resources management, Great Northern Paper Company, and transverse fractures of the olecranon. If we still can’t find anything to talk about, I am willing to respectfully argue religion and politics on the understanding that either of us may unilaterally shut off debate at any time.

Damn Yankee LLC is responsible for the content of this site and all services offered. Some services are provided by arrangement with the New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket and with Eagle Lodge in Lincoln.