Author Topic: B&SR Field Trip  (Read 3443 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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B&SR Field Trip
« on: January 08, 2009, 10:27:54 PM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
B&SR Field Trip has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
Some formatting may have been removed or modified from the original postings that appear quoted in this topic.
Information contained within this post may be superseded by more recent postings and conversations.

Dana Deering wrote:
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Hey everyone,
I know we have talked about a field trip on May 27.  Are we all still interested?  If so we should be making a plan as to where to meet, what time, etc.  It's just three weeks away and we should firm up a plan.
Dana

fjknight replied:
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Dana,
I would love to go but will be in Wales on May 27. Any chance the trip could move to June 3?
Frank Knight

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Dana,  Cindy and I are planning to go on the B&SR hike on Sunday the 27th.  We will be going through area either way as we will be traveling from Wiscasset to Conway NH that day.  We're staying a few days at a place in the White Mtns.  I think we should meet at Bridgton Jct or Bridgton around 9 that morning.

Mike Fox replied:
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Dana,
I like Bridgton Junction like we had talked about. Though I was thinking a little earlier than Stewart. But 9 is good too.
Mike

Steve Gross replied:
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Hi Everyone -
I'm new to the forum and wasn't involved in earlier discussions but am very interested in the B&SR.  Can anyone join in the field trip?

Dana Deering replied:
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Yes, anyone is welcome.  So, we'll meet at 9 at Bridgton Junction so will we cross the river and walk in from the MeC tracks or meet on the Route  113 side?  If we walk in from the MeC side we can cross the trestle!  Make sure to bring water, snacks, and a lunch, and bug repellent.
Dana

Mike Fox replied:
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Plenty of parking at the 113 side. I have never parked on the other side. Any parking there?? I will be making some photo copies of some pics for reference for us. Or for before and after shots.
Mike

Steve Gross replied:
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I read the earlier post but I'm still not clear what the plan is. I like the idea of meeting at Bridgton Junction. I did a little exploring there on my own last December and it will be good to go back.
Is the plan to hike to Bridgton, or drive?
If it is to hike, Two Feet to the Lakes shows Bridgton being at MP 15.80. Do we want to leave a car or two there? I could leave mine (which is a Prius with enough room for 4 others besides myself) if I could get a ride from Bridgton to Bridgton Junction with someone that morning.
If the plan is to drive, I will bring the pickup instead of the Prius.
I have some scans of pictures from Two Feet to the Lakes that I plan to print out to bring also.
- Steve

Joe Fox replied:
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Hi Steve,
I think the plan is going to be to drive, but I am not sure. I look foward to the B&SR trip in a few weeks, and I am sure it will be very enjoyable. Talk to you guys later.
Joe

Dana Deering replied:
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The plan is to drive as much as we can.  We'll probably take some short hikes (into the Hancock Brook Arch, etc.).  There is plenty of room to park on the other side of the river right where the MeC tracks cross the road and it is a short walk (including crossing the iron trestle!) to the Junction Yard.  I've found this to be the easiest route but I'll go along with the consensus view.

Bruce Wilson replied:
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I'll meet you narrow gage guys at Bridgton Junction at 9 AM too. Too bad the newlyweds can't get the show on the road a little earlier...Ha, just kidding...
Stewart, you'd best bring some duck repellant with you. They can be brutal this time of year and they love to go after out-of-staters...
Aflack...!

Mike Fox replied:
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We can probably decide what to drive when we meet. I think it will depend on how much time we have that everyone will be there. I am headed to Harrison tomorrow (Saturday) to see about the depot and the books from the Historical Society. I will post what I find in the Depot subject.
Mike

Mike Fox replied:
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The bugs have arrived in force. We will be in some damp areas so they might be thick once they figure they have company. Stock up on the bug dope.
Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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Any body who has walky talkies with changable channels, please bring them, and we can all get on the same channel, so that we can talk to each other as we go along in the vehicles. I have two, that I will be bringing with us. Me and dad will have one, and give the other one to Danam, or who ever might want it. If people can't find some, or we are short, then we will have find some way to communicate with them.
Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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I have just compiled a 16 page pictorial reference for us. Including a map with siding lengths and mileage from the Junction. Should help with placing things when we are looking around.
Mike

James Patten replied:
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Everyone look out also for ticks.  I saw one and heard of other sightings today as well.

Joe Fox replied:
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I have all ready have had at least 4 on me this year. And those were all last weekend. So yes, they are out, and looking for blood.
Joe

Stephen Hussar replied:
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In case folks are unsure of what they look like, here is a male Deer Tick. The dime is being used for scale. This tick is obviously of the narrow gauge variety.

Joe Fox replied:
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Thanks for the picture Steve. I like how you have the word Dime in the picture. Do you think the tick can read? Ha Ha
Joe

Steve Gross replied:
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I have a pair of BellSouth 1008 14 channel walkie talkies that I will bring.

Joe Fox replied:
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Ok. Mine have 21 channels, but they tell you on the back, how to use them with another walkie talkie.
Joe

Brad Whittemore replied:
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When you are threw with the Bridgton and Harrison, would anyone be interested in getting back to the WW&F? It is still functioning!!

Joe Fox replied:
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Brad, that's a good idea. We could do the same thing with parts of the W, W, & F. We could go from Wiscasset to Albion, if people wanted to. Me and dad have only been as far as Whitefield I believe.
Joe

Steve Gross replied:
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Of course, part of the allure of the B&SR is that it is NOT still functioning.
- Steve

Joe Fox replied:
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Good point, but only 2 miles of the original 44 miles of the W, W, & F is operating. Even though the B&SR isn't operating any more, it still has 21 miles of abandoned railroad grade, where as the W, W, & F has 42 miles of abandoned railroad grade. It would be neat to do something like this field trip on the W, W, & F also. Just something to think about.
_________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-
Joe

Dave Crow replied:
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Joe,
I seem to remember there was a notice in a recent newsletter asking for people to hike all of the WW&F right of way to help update the museum's walking guide.  Also, if photos got taken during the hikes, maybe some of them could get onto the web site in the various pages about the route of the WW&F.
Dave Crow

Dave Buczkowski replied:
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All;
On Sunday, May 20 Bill Reidy and I traversed the entire length of the railroad from Wiscasset to Albion. Bill took photos at each accessible crossing and at some that weren't so accessible or widely known. The purpose of our trip was to do some research for an updated Guidebook that Bill is working on. There have been some changes since the publication of the last one - some good and some not so good.
Dave

Mike Fox replied:
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Just a footnote to our trip today. I measured the length of the stone culvert at Perleys Mills. 120 feet exactly. Outside to outside. A lot of stone that a normal person might not even notice.
And Dana. I came home and read a couple of different articles that mention the spring. The one you have I believe says it was piped to a moss covered pile of rocks from the middle of the grade. Just North of Deep Cut. Another story about someone renting the railroad for $35 says it is just after a small cut headed south in a spot where it transitions from cut to fill. A short walk through the woods came to the spring. Water flowed right off the rocks. What are the chances there are 2 springs being referenced to here. And if this is the case, they are in a mile or so of each other. Would be neat to find both of these this fall.
Mike

Dana Deering replied:
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Well, first let me say that I had a lot of fun on Sunday and I learned a lot and remembered a lot.  I think we should include a visit to the Bridgton Historical Society in the fall field trip.  They have detailed track maps of every mile of the railroad which show the locations of the different stations and as I got to thinking about Twin Lakes it began to dawn on me that I did see the map with Twin Lake station on it and I can't for the life of me remember which side of the tracks it sat on.  I have to llok through my note books because I did some tracings from the maps for the West Sebago location and may have done Twin Lakes.
As far as Cold Spring goes, finding it has been a goal of mine for a while now and I think you and I and any other interested person should make finding it the object of a day trip.  I like to go to camp most Sundays in the summer or we could wait until fall.  The sooner the better.
On Monday I went to camp and of course took a walk down the ROW to my little notch and found drill marks in the stone, smaller than what we found at Deep Cut (which was very cool!) but there they were.  I also found about seven spikes and something I can't identify.
Talk with you soon.
Dana

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Well, I wish I could have joined you all for the the field trip, but it sounds like there are plans for another in the fall so maybe I'll make that one.
In the meantime do any of you know about this? I found it in a back issue of the "thetwofooters.com" website. Issue No 12 http://www.thetwofooters.com/issue012.htm has a story written by one "Gordon Davis" (our Gordon Davis?) where he states he removed this 55' bridge from the B&H and is storing it... he states:
"I found this bridge while working on a large septic system for the town of Bridgeton. It was part of the Bridgeton & Harrison Railroad. The town owned the bridge, I asked if they were interested in selling it and we agreed on a price. This bridge is 9’ 6" wide and 55’ long with a beam height of 4’. Removal of the bridge took place in the fall of 2000, after being at this location for ninety plus years. I loaded it onto a flat bed trailer, and it was hauled to Parkman and has not been rebuilt as yet."

Dana Deering replied:
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Steve,
That is the Stevens Brook Bridge from the Harrison Branch.  We were talking about that on Sunday and no one knew what had become of it.  Wonder what his plans are for it?
We made it as far as Deep Cut on Sunday and we will plan to resume at Sandy Creek some time in the fall.
We were talking about the telegraph system on the B&SR and we found a number of the old poles.  I glanced down at the bank at Deep Cut and reached down and pulled a near perfect blue-green glass insulator out of the ground with some wire still attached!  I cleaned it up Sunday night and it looks real purty!
Dana

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Steve,
That is the Stevens Brook Bridge from the Harrison Branch.  We were talking about that on Sunday and no one knew what had become of it.  Wonder what his plans are for it? Dana
At 55 feet...that would work well at Carleton Brook...would it not? 

Dana Deering replied:
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Yes, it would, but if you think we could float that past Jason and Zack then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. 

Duncan Mackiewicz replied:
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Steve,
My son and I had walked that bridge before it was removed and let me tell you, it was quite cheesey in 1999.  We had second thoughts about walking on it.  I'm surprised that it was able to be hoisted out of there without disintegrating.  It was interesting to see something tangible still standing from that poor, defunct railroad.
Duncan

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Steve,
My son and I had walked that bridge before it was removed and let me tell you, it was quite cheesey in 1999.  We had second thoughts about walking on it.  I'm surprised that it was able to be hoisted out of there without disintegrating. Duncan
Yes, but it would sure make for a damned exciting ride, wouldn't it?! I can hear the conductor now "hold on and lift your feet folks!" 
And I still want to know who this other Gordon Davis character is...

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Yes, it would, but if you think we could float that past Jason and Zack then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.  /i]
Thanks, Dana. Is there a certain school of thought with regard to the new bridge at Carleton Stream?

Mike Fox replied:
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I also had an excellent time and learned a lot. Just name a day Dana and I'd be willing to go. I walked Sunday Afternoon from Willett Brook toward Deep cut with no luck. Accept I found a boiler shell culvert. And a support for a pole.
The way my story reads is they walked down a short path to a mall pool. So perhaps there is 2. One piped from under the right of way and the other from a side hill. Would be very interesting to find both. They have got to be in the mile or so between Deep Cut and South Bridgton. Maybe those maps would even show us. That is half a day by itself. Looking at the things at Bridgton. I can call Evalin at anytime and schedule a special time if we need it. She was good to me this winter that way.
And I will back Duncan up on his thoughts about the bridge pieces. It was around that time I first spotted them. Not a whole lot to them then.
Mike

John McNamara replied:
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Prehaps we should send a complimentary copy of our new book about the B&SR to Evalin at the BHS.
-John

Bill Reidy replied:
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This is great reading, guys.  Thanks for sharing!
Bill

Dana Deering replied:
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Mike,
I agree that Cold Spring is somewhere between Ingall's and South Bridgton stations and probably not too far from Deep Cut.  And the way the water flows there I am assuming that it is more likely to be on the west side of the tracks but that is just a guess.  I am also guessing that it was lined with stones (that "mossy enclosure of rocks" that Mead talks about).  We can pick a Sunday or, depending on what your time looks like, we can go on a week day when I take my vacation in July.  Who knows, if we find it maybe we can start bottling "Narrow Gauge Spring Water"!  Keeps you on your Two Feet!
Dana

Steve Gross replied:
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Here are a couple of pictures of the field trip crew on the B&SR ROW on Sunday.  The first is at the site of the West Sebago station, the second is entering the Deep Cut from the South:


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Soon word came of construction of a 2-foot line, reputed to be inexpensive and an unqualified success, from Bedford to Billerica, Massachusetts.  Here valley proponents saw a chance to go ahead with their end of the railroad without help from across the mountains and a party of thirty promptly went to Billerica.  They came home enthusiastic and duplication was warmly endorsed.  Aid voted to a 3-foot line was transferred to a 2-foot one...
However, before the line was actually built, Morse goes on to say,

Steve Gross replied:
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The most striking Then and Now I saw on Sunday:


Dave Buczkowski replied:
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Today's Boston Globe's Travel Close-Up was on Bridgton, ME with nary a mention of the B&SR under its things to do or explore section. How disappointing to narrow gauge fans. It did mention a few good places to eat however...
Dave

Dana Deering replied:
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Nice photos, Steve!  Something just occurred to me when I was looking at the "Then and Now" set.  I think that photo is offering a clue as to the location of Cold Spring (maybe).  The train is stopped and folks are milling around.  Was it just for the photo op near the big boulder or were they also stopped at or near the spring?  Hmmm.  Makes me wonder if we aren't staring at the answer...
Dana

Mike Fox replied:
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Worth a look for sure. Sundays are best for me. Pike is going to own me for 5 or 6 days a week most of the summer. I am available either this Sunday or the next one would be the 24th. And as dry as it has been, we should be able to drive almost to South Bridgton.
Mike

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Are we going to get a report of your doings last Sunday on this forum, or will we have to wait for a report in the newsletter?

Bill Sample replied:
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Maybe they are all still recovering from the adventure!

Mike Fox replied:
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I guess I can type up a short version. If I forget anything, someone can fill in the blanks.
We met at Bridgton Junction at 9 like we had planned. Some on the Former Mountain Division line of the Maine Central, and Dana and Steve walked in from the nearby logging landing. We discussed the yard layout and where all the tracks were located. Even pinpointed the location of the only dual guage trackage that existed on a common carrier two foot guage railroad. A little more discussion on the station and freight house locations and we left to view the Hancock Brook Arch.
After staring in amazement at the workmanship and the craftsmanship in which still shows today because it is still standing strong, we headed for points north. We drove up a road called Narrow Gauge Lane to a spot where we decided must be the Summit. Comparing pictures (some of which we discovered were mislabled) along the way, we figured it was just South of Barker Pond Dam.
Then we headed for the bridge at the head of the pond. After looking at those abuttments, we headed for Twin Lake Station. We are undecided on the exact location of this but comparing a photo to this area figure it must have been on the East side of the tracks. More research is needed we think.
Next was one of the Notches. This one was south of Hancock Pond. Looked it over and move on to where the West Sebago Station once was. Dana had this location figured out for us. It's a good thing because there is little clues left to know where it once was. The Grade had been removed for some 1000 feet or so from the south edge of Hancock Pond to a point near where the switch would have been for the siding at West Sebago. Lunch was at Dana's Camp.
Then Dana showed us the remains of the last location of the West Sebago Station. It was moved to a point near the Swamp Road and used by the girls camp for some capacity.
The wreck site of #5 came next, along with some looking around Perleys Mills. We drove up the grade toi another notch (see Steves before and after photos of this). We looked around and found the remains of an old telephone pole. The Galvanized hardware still attached to the rotting wood. Then we found the base and remains to another pole.
We then visited Ingalls. We did not discuss this much. We walked up to Deep Cut. On the way, Dana found a telephone crossarm in the bushes in great shape. 5 of 6 mounting dowels still there. He set it on some rocks for others to see. Then while in Deep Cut, he picked up a glass insulator. He took the insulator to the crossarm and it screwed on. A keeper. That was the big find of the day. It started to rain and it was around 3 so we decided that was it for now.
In a few months when there are less bugs (including ticks) we plan to do the rest.
Mike

Dana Deering replied:
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You left out one stop, Mike.  We also stopped at Joe Bennetts Cottage and the owner let us walk around and look and take photos.  We saw the spring that once fed the Hancock Pond Tank and we got a close up look at the old Tankhouse that was moved along the ROW just south of Bennett's and converted into a camp.
Dana

Mike Fox replied:
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Ah yes. I was thinking of lunch at that time and forgot all about it. Very nice man he was.
Mike

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Cindy and I just got home from our two weeks in New England.  Many great things happened during our trip (especially getting married ).  The time spent at the WW&F was tops.  It was great seeing so many of you!  The second week included a cab ride on the Clarks line, the Conway Scenic and a trip up Mt. Washington on the Cog Railway.
I must say that the best "field trip" was the B&SR hike.  Many thanks to Dana and Mike for bringing the books, maps and photos of the line.  Their knowledge of the area added so much to the experience.  The hiking, exploring and fellowship was just super.
Stewart

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Stewart, great picture -- thanks for sending it! Nice find, Dana!

Dana Deering replied:
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Thanks, Steve!
No one was more amazed than I was to find that insulator and in such good condition!  We were talking about the B&SR telegraph system and I just happened to look down at the banking at Deep Cut and saw a part of the base sticking out of the ground.  I thought it must be a broken piece but the more I pulled the more there was of it.  And, the wires are still attached!  That was very cool.
But then I nearly lost the darned thing.  We were looking for evidence of the drilling and blasting used to get through the big ledge there and so I climbed to the top of the cut.  I spied a chunk of stone with a drill mark clean through it and another with a hole in it so I set the insulator down and was rolling the stone over to get a better look when the insulator started doing some rolling of its own!  I managed to grab it before it got clean away!
I think there may be some photos of those stones with the drill holes somewhere.  Maybe Stewart will post them.  What fun.
Dana

Bill Sample replied:
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Any chance that another field trip could be held in the future - say over the winter when the leaves are down but the snow's at a minimum?
Sue and I have explored some on our own but I'm sure we'd get a lot more out of a session with the experts.

gordon cook replied:
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Dana forgot to mention his other find:
The famous Maine Giant Black Fly, or Maineus BigBiteyous

_________________
Gawdon

Joe Fox replied:
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I don't think he would look that happy finding a big bug like that, however, that would explain why the other guys is looking away, he probably doesn't want to even think about being bit by a bug that big.
Joe

Dana Deering replied:
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Yeah, I was able to catch one of the little ones!  In answer to the question about future field trips:  we intend to do a part 2 in the fall, starting at Sandy Creek and covering Bridgton and the Harrison Branch.  I would be happy to plan another "part one" sometime in the future for anyone who is interested.  I never get tired of it.
Dana

Steve Gross replied:
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That's me with my back turned.  I wasn't so much looking away from the black fly as I was checking to make sure no more ticks were sneaking up on us.  I had spotted a big one of those as we entered the Deep Cut, as you can see in this picture:

mikechoochoo replied:
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Dana,
Just curious, what is the letering on the insulator. I was wondering what brand and style they used.
Thanks
Mikechoochoo

BM1455 replied:
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Mike,
I'll bet ithe insulator says "Hemingray - 16" and possibly "USA".  Lets see what Danna says.

Dana Deering replied:
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BM1455 is correct.  That lettering exactly.
Dana

Mike Fox replied:
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Ok. Finally thought of looking at the pictures of our trip. Here is my favorite. And for those of you wondering, the water in the foreground looks to be about 3 or 4 feet deep. Could be more but as you can see, it is very clear.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum