This year we are pleased to introduce you to Keith Holland, our Maine blogger. Although he has a B.S. in Outdoor Education, the outdoors itself has also been his teacher. During his university studies, and shortly thereafter, Keith photographed rare Australian fireflies under a microscope, held alligators, made tea from wild edibles, rappelled and climbed his way out of caves and pits in Alabama and Georgia using prusik knots and ascenders, and paddled over 100 miles on the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers in Florida. He’s gone to “school” in forests, lakes, rivers, marshes, and mountains.
Today, Keith continues to do a lot of hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, gravel grinding, traveling, and nature photography. He’s also done archery, snowshoeing, rock climbing, caving, rappelling, canoeing, backpacking, horseback riding, sailing, and nearly any other outdoor activity available. Over just this last year he visited 14 U.S. states, six national parks, and three foreign countries. During the coming months, Keith will be giving us a front row seat to his adventures.
We asked Keith to share a couple of words with the Harmony House Foods family. This is what he said:
“Now that I am situated in southern Maine, the opportunities are endless. With the White Mountain National Forest just two hours' drive in one direction and Acadia National Park three hours' drive in the other direction, not to mention a seemingly infinite list of trails to hike and lakes to paddle much closer to home, Maine is an outdoorsman's playground. Wildlife that are scarce or absent in most of the rest of the eastern U.S. are abundant here. There's nothing like hiking right past a wild porcupine just going about its daily activity a mere six or eight feet from the trail, paddling right under a Bald Eagle, watching River Otters playing in the mud, falling asleep next to a lake serenaded by the calls of loons, or awaking to the sight of a moose feeding on the plants emerging from the shallow water near the shore. With that said, it is no secret that Maine can be a rather inhospitable place at times.
We have four seasons here. From New Year's to sometime in April, the ground is covered in snow and ice with temperatures dropping well below zero (Fahrenheit). Next we have mud season as spring rains combined with melting snow turn the soil into a squishy quagmire. Mud season is followed by bug season during which anyone in the vicinity of a lake, pond, marsh, swamp, or bog is perpetually harassed by a plague of biting flies. Then we have tourist season, which consists of a three-part migration of Homo sapiens. First come the beach bums, followed by the leaf-peepers, and then the holiday shoppers. By the time the last of the tourists follow the geese back south, we once again find ourselves caught firmly in winter's icy grip. Yet for those who love the great outdoors, Maine is one of the most spectacular places on Earth. Over the coming months, I look forward to introducing you to the breathtaking beauty and wicked awesome adventures you can experience in Maine as well as some of my favorite destinations throughout the eastern United States and Canada through this blog. Be sure to check back soon for lots of outdoor tips and tricks, equipment testing, and ideas for new ways you can enjoy the great outdoors!”
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