Sunday, October 23, 2016

When Fall Comes to New England

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:

Fall in Freeport photo IMG_20161008_082102.jpg

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.
Camden, Maine photo IMG_20161008_111343.jpg

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.
View from Mt Cadillac, Acadia National Park photo IMG_20161008_153212.jpg View from Mt Cadillac, Acadia National Park photo IMG_20161008_153827.jpg View from Mt Cadillac, Acadia National Park photo IMG_20161008_154319.jpg

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.
View from Gary's cabin, Roque Bluffs, Maine photo DSCN1245.jpg

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.
Beal Island Maine photo IMG_20161010_141311.jpg

The Quoddy Head Light:
Quoddy Head Light House photo IMG_20161010_165843.jpg

And the view from our friend's beach.
View from beach at Gary's cabin photo DSCN1247.jpg

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.
Blueberry barrens photo DSCN1252.jpg

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.
UMaine Orono photo DSCN1255.jpg

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.


  1. Acadia! I love Acadia. I was in Orono once, in February. OMG, it was so cold and snowy.