In returning to my home state, there was one thing in particular that I wanted to do better than I did my first 18 years living here– go outside. It was my summer in Maine’s Midcoast in 2018 that helped me discover this resource that I had missed out on during my first residency, and is one of the things that helped me decide that a few years back in Maine might just be what the doctor has been trying to order.
When I got home, I did some exploring on AllTrails (I love this hiking app) to find some hikes near me, and I stumbled on the Bold Coast Trail in Cutler, Maine. I had heard about this trail from a few people– my sister and my boss at my last internship in particular. And I had a great excuse to make the hour drive to the trailhead in my best friend Josie’s birthday. So we loaded up the car with healthy snacks and bottles of water, and hit the road at 8am (fiendishly early for me and totally normal for Josie) to explore a new part of Maine.
The Bold Coast hike is about two miles long (at least the length of it that we completed), the first mile leading out to the coastline, the second exploring it. My research lead me to believe it would be a pretty moderate hike, and for the first half I thought that was a little generous– walking out to the coast is pretty even ground, not too many steep hills or too much uneven ground, and leads to the most absolutely, positively, stunning view. We walked along the coast. The name of this trial is totally earned– the bold rock cliffs that you can see in ever break of the tree line are breathtaking, as if some of the other elements of the hike weren’t.
After our hike we headed back home, but not before stopping at Riverside Takeout, a burger stand in Machias, ME. The owners had a sign up guaranteeing that their takeout containers were eco-friendly, and they chatted with us about their hopes for the future of the USA. Along with their toothpicks, they had stuck mini-pride flags in the veggie burgers we got. This food was really awesome, so if you’re driving through Machias this summer make sure you take a stop here for lunch.
My second Maine adventure in my first month back was a dream-come-true camping trip with my sister and brother-in-law. These two know this state, taking frequent adventures into Maine’s wilderness for skiing, fishing, you name it. As a graduation present, I wanted to go on a camping adventure with them, and basically go to camping school– how do I make a fire, what do I need to remember to bring, etc. etc.?
For my camping school, I joined them for a night at their campground at Richardson Lake, outside of Andover, on the border of Maine and New Hampshire. Richardson Lake is in a beautiful, magical wonderland of unexplored adventure called Western Maine. I grew up, and will live, on the Mid-Coast, and this half of Maine is my most exciting unexplored territory.
South Arm Campground on Richardson Lake is made up mostly of campgrounds that are a boat ride away from the marina, lining the shore of the lake. There are remarkably few houses, and getting there included a 25 minute drive along one of the most beautiful and isolated roads in my memory. The color palette of Western Maine, pale, yellowish greens and deep deep browns was totally captivating. According to my family, some of the world’s best Native Brook Trout fishing, although this wasn’t the camping trip where I cashed in my fly fishing lessons.
My camping school was mostly very laid back. My brother in law went to get some fishing done, while me and my sister took glorious beach naps on one of the beaches they had access to as part of their campground. We got our campsite ready for impending rain by building an early campfire for making dinner, and setting up a tarp to keep the rain off of our picnic table. Once the sun had gone down, I tried to remember the rules of cribbage well enough to teach my sister how to play.
Another great thing about my visit to Richardson Lake was the amount of time it allowed me in my car to listen to new CDs. On my way there and back, here’s everything I listened to:
- A String Cheese Incident LP that I took from the Free Bin of my college Radio station, (WITR, Rochester NY)
- Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
- Do Hollywood by the Lemon Twigs
- Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette *
- Chocolate and Cheese by Ween
- Fishing for Fishies by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
- Gumboot Soup by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
- Polygondwanaland by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
- Eyes Like the Sky by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard * * purchased on the drive home at the Bull Moose in Bangor.