So, weekend before last, I took a few days off to extend the weekend and we went up to stay with a friend who as a gorgeous little cabin on the Maine coast. For those who don't know, I'm originally from Maine, and went to college in Orono, but it's been quite a few years since I have gone far up in the state.
We drove up north of Portland on Friday night, and stayed over in Freeport, where we got a clue as to what the weekend had in store for us:
The next morning I took a quick peek into the outdoors mega-emporium which is the L.L. Bean mothership (boy, has that changed in the 35 years or so since I was last there!) while my husband slept in, and we still set off early to continue up the coast via the scenic route.
We stopped for lunch in Camden, which is as charming as ever and I can highly recommend the Boynton-McKay Food Co. for a tasty lunch (in my case, their own homemade chowder with a grilled cheese sandwich on their home-baked multigrain bread- yum, yum, yum!) We had a walk around the town and harbor before resuming our trek north.
The date for this trip had been set around my work schedule, so it was just a happy coincidence that we nailed the peak foliage dead center. It was absolutely lovely. I'm only sorry my photos don't do it more justice.
We went by Acadia National Park and took in the view from the top of Mt. Cadillac.
We eventually met up with our friend and found our way out to his cabin, which is a cozy and comfortable retreat, with a fantastic view of the water. This view.
The following days were spent in convivial conversation, interspersed with eating (we ate at both restaurants in nearby Machias) and excursions to see more views. Such as Beal Island.
The Quoddy Head Light:
And the view from our friend's beach.
It was beautiful and relaxing and there was a lot of knitting (which I'll show you next post). On our way back, we drove through inland Maine, first the blueberry barrens, which were stunning sweeps of red in their fall finery.
We stopped by my old college haunts, as my husband had never seen my alma mater. It was all dressed for the season as well.
And we stopped by the Hudson Museum on the campus, and saw exhibit both of local interest and from the university's collections. There was also an interesting and beautifully photographed exhibit on “Resourceful ME: Exploring the Value of Maine's Reuse Economies" by UMaine Anthropology Department faculty member Cindy Isenhour. There's an old rhyme we think of as typically Yankee- 'use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without' that pretty much sums up the way I was brought up. I'm not a big shopper, I wear clothes until they fall apart (to my mother's occasional horror!- to which I say, "where do you think I learned this, Mom?") and in general I hesitate to replace something unless it's well and truly worn out. The exhibition makes a real case for the value of this kind of lifestyle, talking about the amount of resources consumed by the making of new products. It was very thought-provoking.
And in one of those serendipitous intersections of ideas, I had just finished reading a fascinating book- Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance by Jane Gleeson-White. And in the final part of the book it makes an interesting case for how typical measures of economic activity like GDP don't actually reflect the value of resources consumed- what economists call 'externalities'. For example, a forest doesn't have any effect on GDP- unless you cut it down and sell the wood. But what is the cost of not having a beautiful forest, for recreation, to sequester water, to clean the air? We don't do a good job of measuring the value of consumed resources, particularly ones like oil or minerals, that are not renewable.
And on that sobering note, I'll leave you with a slideshow- the rest of the trip.