Down East 2013 ©
Cadillac Mountain. In the early seventies my friend and I used to fly out of Wiscasset in a small two-seat Piper Colt. In late May and early June we would take off before sunrise and fly over and around Cadillac Mountain. We’d climb up until the little Colt was gasping for air (maybe 9,000 feet) and watch the sun come out of the ocean, then fly back to Wiscasset and watch it rise again on our way to high school.
Our favorite place to visit is Fort Fairfield, in Aroostook County. We grew up there and go back to visit relatives and friends. The people there are survivors, humble, and always have a great comeback line.
Gayle Mahaney McCrea
Huntington Beach, California
Winterport. It’s easy to designate the place, but to put a “why” would require a book, personal, exciting, and sentimental relating the ten years we spent there as the “Damn Californians,” according to our neighbor. While there many years ago, we discovered Paul Revere’s bell in the tower of the church across the street and found that Paul himself had beached his boat close by, burned it, and ran through our woods to escape the British.
Santa Barbara, California
Isle au Haut. Remote in feel, yet accessible by mailboat, the island has the best chocolates in the universe at Black Dinah’s, great trails for hiking, and a surprisingly well-stocked general store. We are pleased The Keeper’s House will reopen as an inn this summer and afford more people the chance to spend time on “our” beautiful island.
Bluffton, South Carolina
Inside my great-uncle Don’s pram. When he learned that his great-niece from the desert had never been in a rowboat, he balanced one in the open trunk of his car — the bow tilting up dangerously — and drove it to his family cottage near Trenton, where my mother, my sister, and I were staying. Not only did I learn to row, but I also discovered the beauty of the ins and outs of Maine’s shoreline.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Smalls Falls, on the side of Route 4 just before the Appalachian Trail in Township E. Young people climb the falls and leap daringly into the small but deep pool. Meanwhile, there is a strenuous trail to the left of the falls across a wooden bridge — dogs enjoy the exercise and grandparents appreciate the spring water fountain.
Where do you go to celebrate July 4 in Maine?
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Location: Gilsland Farm in Falmouth
The Moment: Just after the rain stops is my favorite time to walk the West Meadow Trail at the Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm. Past the steep bluffs of the Presumpscot River, onto a spur trail to the log observation hut, I then peek through to the estuary mud flats in hopes of seeing a migrating bird or a peaceful sunset shimmering on the water.