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.

Last Paddle

Commencing the sport in 2002, sea kayaking is a relatively new activity for me. When you’re in your seventies, anything less than twenty years seems like last week. Already eligible for AARP membership when I began, I lacked the risk taking mentality of younger paddlers. Late fall and winter kayaking on the ocean has never […]

Serendipitous Escapades on Norumbega Mountain

On the first full day of the Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society fall outdoor weekend on Mount Desert Island I was scheduled to lead a bike trip on the Carriage Trails. The problem was rain, fog, and wind. No one was interested in biking in those conditions except one truculent hold out, me. Someone mentioned […]

The Second Best Hike in Maine

What’s the most spectacular mountain hike in Maine? I suspect most people believe Mount Katahdin claims that distinction. In my opinion, a close second is the peaks of Tumbledown and Little Jackson Mountains. While the ragged, alpine summits and sheer cliffs of Tumbledown dominate the skyline northwest of Webb Lake near Weld, nearby taller more […]

The Wild, Wild West

Traversing Ball Mountain Dam on the West River in southeastern Vermont is a serious workout. Carrying a canoe or kayak doubles the fun. Starting at a parking area below the massive dirt and gravel gravity dam, paddlers load boats on their shoulders and ascend abruptly for several hundred feet to the top. The climb is […]

Donnell Pond Surf & Turf

We were luxuriating with one of the most impressive views in the State of Maine. Sitting atop Hancock County’s Schoodic Mountain on a clear, calm morning, Frenchman Bay and the majestic peaks of Mount Desert Island provided an enthralling panorama. First on the mountain, John and I had departed our campsite on Schoodic Beach immediately […]

Mercurial Canada Falls

Contrary to its name, Canada Falls is not located in Canada. However, it’s not far away situated northeast of Jackman in a remote area just a few miles east of the Canadian border. Actually a 3.5 mile section of the South Branch of the Penobscot River, virtually everyone in the paddling community refers to it […]

A Sharking Encounter?

Three of us were sea kayaking along the rugged western shore of Upper Flag Island in Casco Bay. Paddling close to my left, Bud pointed to a large fin moving in the opposite direction about one hundred feet to our west and yelled, “I think that’s a shark!” Play the intimidating Jaws soundtrack, please. My […]

Biking Islesboro on the Ritz

For several years early in my career with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), I covered the islands along the coast of Maine. Thoroughly enjoying my many trips to the beautiful rugged atolls, I particularly appreciated meeting the unique independent inhabitants. The fine people residing on them weren’t always as fond of me and our communications […]

Muscle or Mussel Ridge Islands

The Delorme Maine Atlas calls them the Mussel Ridge Islands. Various other sources including my Maptech Chartbook refer to the archipelago as the Muscle Ridge Islands. I’ve always assumed that some misguided mapmaker from away misspelled the name “mussel” as the islands must be named for the bivalve mollusk endemic to the area. It seems […]

Biking to Granddaughters’ House

I can count on one hand the benefits of growing old. If you’re fortunate, grand children is included. Through no effort of my own, I’m in the privileged category as I have two very bright, beautiful granddaughters. The downside, they live one thousand miles away in Michigan. Modern technology helps us stay connected. Through Face […]