Today I made it into Maine. As the snow melts away I can’t help but feel some sadness. It made everything more beautiful, but when I get outside of my car I’ve got to appreciate the warmth. The sun feels great. I park in Biddeford Pool and spelunk down to the strata of rock along the beach. I find lobster claws and lobster traps washed up among the coves. I keep checking the traps in some weird hope of finding a live lobster still living inside. I end up seeing the traps everywhere along the coast: in front yards and parking lots and even stacked up to resemble Christmas trees. For a couple days I debate about the lobster rolls I see advertised everywhere. To me lobster meat mixed with mayo on a softly toasted bun does not sound very good. But eventually I cave in and get one. Poor little lobsters. To be so delicious.
My favorite thing about Maine was following the veins running from Hwy 1 out to the peninsulas. You drive along the bends and discover lonely seaside towns that look as though they haven’t changed much in a hundred years. For some reasons the sunsets were absolutely stunning. The water seemed to have a clear sheen near the rocks, maybe it was icy. It made everything glow.
After the first day of relative warmth, the coast is hit with arctic air. I still try to get out of my car and walk along the shore, but it becomes too icily cold way too quickly. I feel like a wimp, but I can feel my skin cells dying on any exposed skin. Even through layers of clothing the wind pierces through. I give up and resort to stepping outside my car only to run for a picture and then blast the heat once I get back into the car. It does put a damper on things, but at least the sky is clear. I’m enjoying my meandering.
My last stop along the coast is Acadia National Park. When I heard about this park on an island off the rocky Maine coast, I imagined something more isolated. Instead, only part of the island is designated National Park and the rest is more densely populated than the coastline off the island. Most of the park loop road is closed for winter, but I stop to take a short hike. The brochures discourage winter hiking, and as I start up the mountain I begin to see why. The paths are almost entirely stairs made out of giant rock ledges. In the winter an icy slick forms over most of the trail. It was only when I got to a stretch where the ice completely covered the rocky stairs and I couldn’t walk around hem that I realized it would be better to turn around. There was something really beautiful and ancient about the paths though. For someone to take the time to carve out the stairs one by one gave the place a sense of timelessness and importance.
I turn around and head back south, stopping to follow the roads to the peninsulas I missed on my way north. I pass through more touristy sandy beach towns, shut down for winter, but nothing compares with the beauty of the mid-eastern coast.