You Might as Well Jump

For six days of the week, Clif and I eat a healthy, plant-based diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit, legumes, and salads. However, on the seventh day, we rest and eat what we want. We find that a regular splurge once a week keeps us on the straight and narrow the rest of the time.

This week, our splurge was at the incomparable Red Barn, where the fried food is so fresh and so reasonably priced that it has almost become a landmark in central Maine. All right.Β  Maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but I’m not kidding about the quality of the food and the prices. For a treat, the Red Barn is the place to go.

On Saturday’s trip to the Red Barn, we had mixed veggies—I guess we can’t totally get away from our plant-based diet—and homemade chips. Oh my, they were good.

The place was packed. All the tables were taken, and we had to sit on stools at the long counter in the new addition.

A woman who worked there was wiping the counter, and I asked her, “Is there any time when the Red Barn isn’t packed?”

“Not in the summer, ” she said. “It’s like this all the time.”

And why not? For the veggies, the chips, a drink that we shared, and a whoopie pie we split, the bill came to $11. Plus this is a very local business that pays its employees well. What’s not to like?

While we ate, it rained. The counter where we sat runs below a long bank of windows overlooking the parking lot, and we watched people hurry back and forth from their cars. Trees line the edge of the parking lot, and we saw two small birds—we couldn’t tell what they were from that distance—harass a crow.

By the time we were done eating, the rain had stopped, and we decided to go to Hallowell, to the long concrete deck by the Kennebec River, to see if the sturgeons were jumping.

Sturgeons are a fish that has been around since prehistoric times, and they do indeed look like ancient ones. They are an endangered species, but but according the website Maine Rivers. “the Kennebec River has some of the best habitat for sturgeon in Maine. When Edwards Dam was removed…the sturgeon regained access to their full historic range on the river. In time, these spawning grounds may help the fish to recover. ”

In late June, early July, the sturgeons spawn and jump. Did they jump for us? They did not. All we saw was were some big ripples and an occasional flash of white. But no leaping prehistoric-looking fish.

For some great pictures of jumping sturgeons, here’s a link to a website by Linwood Riggs, a Maine photographer.

And to the sturgeons, here’s a song for you, a blast from the 1980s by Van Halen.

Yeah, sturgeons, you might as well jump.



28 thoughts on “You Might as Well Jump”

  1. I think treats are imperative in life – yours looks delicious! Strugeons are fascinating fish, so ancient. When we visited Quebec City several years ago, fishermen were still harvesting them out of the St. Lawrence. I wonder if they still do?

    1. It is my understanding that sturgeons everywhere are an endangered species, but that might not stop the fishing. Sigh.

  2. It is so good to have a treat and I was fascinated to hear you have sturgeons in the lake. We love watching the salmon leap upstream and hopefully the sturgeons will jump the next time you are there β˜ΊπŸ’¦

    1. We’ll go again, and if we have better luck, then I’ll be sure to post some pictures.

  3. Our lives run parallel some times. πŸ™‚ We splurged tonight and went to Wild Willys to split a burger with blu cheese, small fries, small onion rings. More than enough for the two of us. If you are going to indulge in some grease, good grease is the right solution. But, we didn’t get a whoopee pie – darn. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, as we get older splitting a meal is more than enough. (In our younger days we would have scorned such a suggestion.) Hope next time you get a whoopie pie. Split it, of course. A sweet ending.

    1. I know! David Lee Roth certainly wasn’t afraid to strut his stuff, and the other band members mugged it up with him.

  4. It looks like you enjoyed yourselves, no wonder with such yummy food and nice views. I especially like the photo with the colored chairs, very cheerful and bright.

    1. Thanks, Marga! Those chairs brighten up what would otherwise be a very drab deck.

  5. I agree that regular treats make life worthwhile, especially when we have to be so sensible now we are older. I would love to see a sturgeon so I hope you are able to photograph one sometime.
    Van Halen! I had forgotten quite how flamboyant they were!

    1. We’ll be back by the Kenenbec River on Saturday to see if we have better luck getting a shot of a sturgeon. Yes, I, too, had forgotten how flamboyant Van Halen was. Oh, those bands from the 1980s!

  6. I’ll have that song in my head all day! Your splurge sounds perfect for summer–we do sort of the same thing (although we aren’t *as* healthy the other 6 days of the week as you are). If we work really hard outside, we seem to both know that a trip for ice cream is the appropriate reward . . .

  7. Catch and release fishing for sturgeon is something I hope to get a chance to do within the next couple of years – there are large ones in British Columbia. We have smaller sturgeon here in Alberta, but the population is collapsed and you cannot fish for them. They are magnificent and I would be thrilled to see them jump like that. Amazing!

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