Thursday, June 19, 2008

Are you from Maine?!?!?

No but after we spent half a week there we sure wish we were from Maine. Although our accents could use some work.

We managed to make a multipurpose trip out of this past week. It started with wanting to do something for our anniversary but also go someplace we've never been and wanted to visit. That also had to be not too expensive in time and money. Then all these people had babies and well the trip became the Great Northeastern Baby Tour. Those babies were super cute and our friends they were still in their dumbfounded new parent stage. The part where you can't really remember if you slept that day, when you ate a hot meal and if you have brushed your teeth in the last week. Good times those are indeed. Apart from all that everyone looked well and was happy, so happy. I can say it is really delightful to see our friends begin families. I look forward to the interesting stories they will tell us about their little ones.

After the baby seeing we were Maine bound. When we reached the Maine state line we just could not stop laughing about the "crazy loud guy at the Indian reservation" incident in the late '90s. Keith and I were Spring Breakin' on our way to Phoenix to visit his G-pa and G-ma. (Yes, we do actually call them that...haven't ya'll figured out we are some kind of weirdos yet?) Our break was pretty early in the year, first week of March I think, making it still very cold and winterly. Leaving our delightful high mountain town still blanketed with snow we were looking forward to warmth. It sounded so good at 4am, a hot sunny day tank tops flip flops, but then we made it to New Mexico and shoo did it get hot quickly. We began cranking the heat in the car that morning and ended up nearly hanging our heads out the window to cool off by day's end. After miles upon miles of nuthin' we came to a town on an Indian reservation. We had been talking about how awesome it would be to have an ice cream cone so by the time we reached that town we were just short of ecstatic. Our luck improved with a McDonald's.

To fully appreciate the humor of the situation you had to have been there. Little did we know that in that HOT desert on an Indian Reservation in a McDonald's we were in line with a middle aged couple from Maine. To us he was just the "crazy loud guy at the Indian reservation" but to someone else he was family. There we were waiting for our cones when the "crazy loud guy at the Indian reservation" takes a step over to Keith and very loudly asks "Are you from Maine?!?!" his thick Maine accent filling the air. This guy was so loud that I jumped and so did several of the employees. Keith calmly took a step back and smiled at the guy. Keith was wearing his Maine t-shirt so I suppose the guy was pretty excited (hoping?) to see a local in the middle of the desert. Unfortunately for the "crazy loud guy at the Indian reservation" Keith was not a Maine resident. Keith told him that he spent the summer in New Hampshire working and that he and his friends went to Maine several times. There was some more chitchat and then we were off. Still. It was so funny because of many things. First the guy was so loud and stereotypically Maine that you couldn't help but chuckle knowing there is no way this guy was from, say Texas. Second he was super nice and funny, very Northeastern. And third thinking about how vast America is and how very different we can be that's funny. We all have our crazy accents and slang and social behavior. So interesting. Anyhow. Thinking abut that "crazy loud guy at the Indian reservation" from Maine is strangely comforting and funny all the same.

We did mostly outdoors things because that is what one should while in Maine. First upon arrival we tossed everything inside the cabin. Second we ran around looking at everything and oohed and ahhhed the view. Once we were relatively settled it was down to the lake to "get 'em wet", uhh, the fishing poles. There's one thing about Maine that is crappy....all the biting bugs. If you expect to be outside you should bathe in bug spray and hope you will come out with as few bites as possible. After about 30 minutes of fooling around with the fishing poles we were done for the day. We were able to grab a bite to eat at one of the only places to be open in town. Back at the cabin we had time to relax and really enjoy being there in the woods. I noticed the well stocked book shelf containing novels about Maine, taking place in Maine, or written by Maine authors as well as some wildlife guides and a book about beagles. Which was funny since it was then that I noticed the paintings of beagles and other dogs around the cabin. I selected a book, the Cider House Rules. Never read it, seen the movie, so it was the best time to get reading. I kept myself busy reading while Keith watched the rain. The quiet was wonderful.

Keith was super serious about catching a fish and seeing some moose. We woke Monday morning at 5am. Packed up the van and headed out to a fishing spot. Now, there is one thing very different about the Northeast, very importantly different, as compared to say Colorado. Out west one goes to the several access points to the public lands and enjoys recreating, it's just what you do. Not at Moosehead lake, nor most of the state. Almost every access point to the lake is privately owned. There is very little public access that has decent coastline for fishing, what limited access is for getting boats into the water. After several hours of driving around we discovered that if you want to fish get on a boat. Since we were up very early, too early to get a boat, we went moosing. We expected to see several moose out in the marshes. No. They weren't there. We found one doe along the road munching on greens. Our first moose and she was huge and curious about us...and then she freaked out and took refuge in the forest. What a welcome.

Later on that day we were on the lake in a pontoon boat. There was much to explore and loads of fish to catch. The exploring got done but the fishing was unsuccessful. Not a fish. The lake is so vast there was no way we would have been able to explore it in a week. Mount Kineo is one of the highlights of the area and made for a nice view during our lunch stop. Unfortunately for us the rain came in cutting our boating trip short. After we were soaked it was no longer fun to cruise the lake. A warm stove and some hot showers made for a relaxing rest of the afternoon. After supper we made for Roach pond for moose seeing. We caught sight of on on the way up , drinking muddy water along the roadside. What is with moose and roadsides? Once at the pond we found no moose so we watched some anglers work their skill at the dam. We passed the muddy water drinking moose and came across another wandering about. Then at the last moment we spied a momma and babe walking. They were way too shy for a picture....oh it would have been sweet to share...that pretty babe and its momma...what a great close to the day.

The next morning we were up just as early, seriously that view was great, but took our time. Breakfast at a local diner was just what we needed to start our day of hiking. The ultimate goal is to see moose. A wet start was not what we hoped for on the hike. Being damp is a Maine thing. Before long we encountered the pond and its shores. Plenty of great things to see and watch. Yet no moose. We pressed on taking a loop that ended up being so much longer than we expected. The view from the top was worth all those biting bugs following us. Stillness and peace. That is what we experienced. By the time we were done with the hike the clouds had fully passed and the sun shined. It was time to take a kayak out on the lake. Keith took Leah for a spin as Olivia and I watched from the dock. There was plenty to look at and admire. Such a pretty day to end our fun was hard to take. Really. Sunshine and pretty skies. Oh how we'll miss those sights. Before we knew it our trip was over. The days went so quickly. I hope to return again and will be glad to see those trees and that lake.

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