All posts by Ron Chase

Ron Chase

About Ron Chase

At age 70, Ron Chase is old. But, he’s not under the grass…yet. Retired from a career with the Internal Revenue Service, he has embarked on a new life as a freelance writer and tax consultant. Don’t be misled; in reality, he works a little and plays a lot. When not busy kayaking, canoeing, biking, mountain climbing and skiing, he sometimes finds time to write and assist his tax clients. A lifelong Mainer now living in Topsham, he is the recent author of The Great Mars Hill Bank Robbery, a biography of Vietnam War hero and bank robber Bernard Patterson.

Murky Exploits on Penobscot Bay

Dense fog and very humid conditions greeted four of us when arriving at the rudimentary Spruce Head Boat Landing early morning in preparation for a Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society sea kayak trip in western Penobscot Bay. The Channel Six weather guy had promised clearing by then. After unloading boats and changing clothes, the fog […]

Riding the Narrow Gauge

One of the most unique bike trails in Maine is the historic Narrow Gauge Pathway in Carrabassett Valley. The trail follows the former Kingfield and Dead River Railroad bed used to convey logs to a sawmill situated in Bigelow at the northern terminus of the railway in the early 20th century. Two-foot narrow gauge tracks […]

Exploring New Meadows River

Tenacious is how I would describe my longtime friend and Brunswick resident, Carolyn Welch. An octogenarian, she has endured several months of physical setbacks followed by the difficulties and uncertainties of the pandemic. I suspect even the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts among us would lie low for the summer. Not Carolyn. Despite the fact that […]

Senior Revelations on the Dead River

The first time I canoed the Dead River thirty-five years ago, the dam release was 1,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). The seemingly huge waves, mammoth holes, and powerful currents were the most intimidating whitewater I had ever experienced. As is true with many aspects of life, one’s perspective changes over time. As the years […]

Sea Kayaking Begins at Mere Point

Like my Native American ancestors, when the blackflies arrive I gravitate to the coast. Consequently for me, sea kayaking normally begins in late May or early June when the nasty blood suckers begin to proliferate in the mountains and on the rivers. The pandemic has added another incentive as sea kayaking doesn’t require a shuttle […]

Tumultuos Times on the Machias River

Forget the St. John, Allagash or Moose Rivers. As far as I’m concerned, the Machias River is the best canoe trip in Maine. A free flowing river with a large watershed, it begins in the lakes region of northern Washington County and then tumbles for eighty miles to the sea in the coastal community of […]

Three Generations on the Ossipee River

Seniors Not Acting Their Age Three Generations on the Ossipee River I’m old but I have young whitewater friends. Some are very young. I’ve been paddling with the Galway family for over a decade. Ryan and Shweta are about the same age as my sons. Consequently, their paddling children, Mason and Krea, are young enough […]

Pandemic Paddling

The pandemic has complicated our lives in many ways. Like virtually everything else, paddling while complying with safe distancing guidelines is a difficult challenge. Shuttles are particularly problematic. The Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society cancelled all trips until further notice. Although paddling is an excellent source of exercise, the decision was made out of an […]

Social Distancing on Mount Megunticook

For the present, the pandemic has changed our world. I feel a sense of helplessness about the predicament. I’m old and supposedly more vulnerable. Totally lacking in healthcare-giving skills, it seems I’m a spectator in the unfolding emergency. I want to be part of the solution not part of the problem. I don’t want to […]

The Cathance River Ice Breaker

From Interstate 295, the Cathance River in Topsham appears to be a docile, meandering coastal stream. Hidden from view in a remote area are about two miles of cataracts and exciting whitewater rapids. More than three decades ago, the whitewater community “discovered” this little paddling gem. For years, challenging the Cathance has been a rite […]