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“Down East” or “Downeast”

It is early morning; I am on a hike along the Ocean Path in Acadia National Park. It is a pleasant morning along the rugged coast. The sun made it up a little while ago warming the salty air as I meander making photograph after photograph. The tide is out exposing the steep cliffs against the rising mountains.

The path begins at Sand Beach and ends at Otter Point. It is quiet with only a few others in the park. Yesterday, I toured the park via the free bus service from the visitor center around mid-morning. There are people everywhere. It disturbed me. Parking lots are full, and cars are parked along the one-way road from one end to the other along the path. I watch as visitors disrespect signs, walk into areas knocking down the rope barriers. Signs tell how the park is attempting to recover the fragile vegetation that we have trampled.

I was not going to go there. It is sad. I thought about the garbage that I saw last year tossed over the sides of the pull offs in the Smokey Mountains. Things are out of balance, disrespect, and the all about me attitude is destroying our world.

Sorry about my rant. Let me tell you about this beautiful part of Maine. It is referred to as “Down East” or “Downeast.” The term originated in the 1700’s from the sailors as they traveled east with the prevailing winds along this rugged beautiful coastline.

Today, I listen to the seagull’s cry. I pause high at the bluff’s edge I watch a lobster boat attend the lobster trap just below. The smell of the salty air. I think about the simpler time. Spending my time in the mountains, then by the sea, I become drawn to its lifestyle. You seem to float away like the tide coming and going. A simple ebb and flow.

There is an odd expression that is usually accompanied by that downeast accent – “You kant get theere from here.” Boy that sure is true. The region is made up of peninsulas, and islands. The place you want to go to has absolutely no direct route unless you are a seagull.

By car you must drive back to the main highway travel north or south then travel back out to the island or peninsula. You can catch a ferry and if the tides out you may have to wait for the tide to come in. I think by design it just adds to the laid-back lifestyle.

Three days later, I am visiting Stonington. Stonington is a fishing village on Deer Island. It is known for lobster and granite. A fog engulfs Stonington. A lobster boat is unloading at the commercial dock. I wander taking photographs. The homes have beautiful flower gardens and many have private piers. While admiring one garden the proud owner happened by. I told her how nice her garden is and what a delightful town it is. I ask to venture out on her pier to take a pictures. With her permission, I happily made a wonderful image of the lobster boat.

Looking for an uncrowded spot, in the Acadia National Park check out the Schoodic Peninsula. I found it very peaceful and uncrowded. If you do not mind the drive, which is beautiful, make the trip up to the Quoddy Head lighthouse. When I arrived, the tide was out allowing access to the seashore. I love the perspective of the photographs standing on the seashore below the lighthouse. At high tide, I would be swimming.

P.S. Want more like this? I send these articles out to friends, photographers, and art lovers who want to improve their skills, and explore their creativity or simply enjoy my thoughts and stories and I would love to include you.

Tell me where to send it and I’ll send you a copy of Seven Moments an eBook, as well as articles, sneak peeks of my new work, and very occasional info about resources to help you with this creative craft we love.

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