I was back in Maine this weekend hanging out with my friend Gage. The trip was a bit impromptu but it worked out for the best. He called me around 2:30 p.m. on Friday asking me if I wanted to come to his place in Maine for the weekend. This was something we had discussed before but were never able to coordinate. It seemed like this would be another one of those times since he was leaving within the hour. I had errands to run and wouldn't be free until after 4:30. As it turned out, my sister was heading up to Bar Harbor, ME that day so I was able to catch a ride with her to Wells and get picked up by Gage.
The weekend was fairly relaxing. We hung out at his house, a legitimate farmhouse, including a barn and wood chopping space on 150 acres of pure, Maine forest. I loved the front door, a double door, one inner and one outer, that would swing closed to maintain the temperature in the house. Inside, everything was wood. It felt very rustic and authentic.
We spent Saturday at Ogunquit Beach. Until that day, the last time I went to the beach was in Hawaii. The water at Waikiki beach was probably around 70 degrees. I remember it feeling like warm, pleasant bath water. The water at Ogunquit was much colder, I'd guess around 58 degrees. I had to laugh when Gage remarked that the water was warm. Ogunquit Beach is one of the more interesting beaches I've been to. During low tide the water recedes far enough back to expose an 80 yard swath of sand that extends from a raised parking lot and beach front restaurants. During high tide the water comes all the way in to the rocks and boulders used to raise up said parking lot and restaurants such that the beach itself disappears. When we first arrived, we set up our towels and beach umbrella about 50 yards from the water. By the end of the day we had retreated onto the rocks in front of the parking lot. However while the tide rose, we tossed a Frisbee around and Gage and his friend Melanie went skim-boarding.
The best part about watching Melanie's video is the boy jumping out of the way at the last minute. Even though Gage brought two skim-boards to the beach, Melanie was forced to use Gage's larger board because the other one was damaged. It should be noted that Melanie may in fact be a foot shorter than Gage. I mean, look at her compared to the skim-board, it's almost her height! Melanie came with a friend to join me and the Norris family at the beach. It quickly became evident to me that Gage's younger brother and Melanie's friend were more than just acquaintances. I suddenly felt like the odd man out and had to fight a severe bout of longing for my girlfriend! Later that evening everyone reconvened for sushi in Portsmouth, NH which was only a 25-minute car ride away. On Sunday Gage, his brother and I played basketball in the sun at a nearby rec center. Probably not the best idea when the temperature is topping out at 90 degrees, but still fun. The Gatorade afterward was even better.
This last jaunt to Maine, combined with my other trips, has illuminated something for me. I've come to realize that I like Maine. It has the isolation feel of deep country forest but it's only a train ride away. This is a unique combination because it makes the state close enough to get to and at the same time feel very far away from everything. I'm not one who is particularly interested in communing with nature but the stillness of a Maine morning in July is something to behold. I just wish I got better cell phone reception...!