When we lived in the Salt Lake Valley many, many years ago, people were always excited to hear that I was from Maine. “Oh, is it just as gorgeous as the photographs?” “I’ve always wanted to see Maine, the coast looks so beautiful.” “We went there when I was little. It was so pretty.” That was heart warming to hear, so far from home. Then we would chat, and inevitably, I’d tell them I was from Northern Maine – nearly Canada, I’d say – where we grew potatoes. Yes, just like in Idaho (but better), I’d say. That seemed to mystify them. I understood completely. Utah mystified me as well, but that is a story for another day.
I must admit that I love the images of the coast as much as the people who have never actually set foot on the rocks, the piers, and the muck. And I also must admit that while I can tell you more than you’d ever want to know about potatoes, I have no knowledge whatsoever of the coast, including the lobsters, the clams, buoys, and everything else. It is pretty, that’s about all I know.
You see, the Coast of Maine is on my bucket list. Someday I am going to start a leisurely journey from far Downeast and travel the entire distance of our rocky coast, eat in the diners, meet locals, take the ferries to the islands, and get a sense of this life that seems so different from what I have ever known. I’m going to be a tourist. I’m going to eat lobsters until I am a pro, choke down steamers until I learn to like them, and buy those little pine-scented pillows for everyone I know. I predict this stint will take several weeks, perhaps even the whole summer if traffic is bad.
Who wants to come along? I’ll buy you a t-shirt and a lobster key chain.