Across the River, A Fort- A Brief Reflection on Traveling

Old Fort Western

Old Fort Western, Augusta Maine I have this thing (which I believe that most travelers share) of not being able to visit a new place without imagining, even for a moment, what it would be like to live there. To imagine your everyday routines in a different location, the mundane becoming new and the reevaluation of life through the lens of exploration. Where would you drink your coffee at, would that corner store stock your particular brand of cereal? Would you and the grocer share idle small talk about the weather?

Maine PhotographyIt doesn’t have to be a particularly noteworthy location to inspire these thoughts, somewhere shiny, glamorous and filled to bursting with things to explore and discover, a metropolis lit ablaze. Nor does it have to be remote and quiet, the remote and rustic cabin in the mountains, where you could imagine dusting away the twilight years surrounded by books and nature. It could be either or both, the same or a fair stance in between.

Augusta, Maine photography

Old Fort Western Augusta Maine River photography Anywhere i’ve ever traveling to, from gridlocked Boston to weird New Jersey, the blasting wind fields of Kansas to the  rugged twisting coastline of California,  boisterous Boulder and cool-kid-aestetic Santa Fe, to all the little place far and in-between, population 300 to population no idea there are millions here, I’ve placed myself deep in the soil and planted roots, just for a moment.

Augusta Maine, across the banks

Augusta Maine Landscape Riverfront photography

Sure, I have favorites. Who can visit Sausalito without falling in love a little.Who doesn’t wish to spend months on end in Manhattans endless museums? But theres the outliers, the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee  a whirlwind neon madness let loose at the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. Maybe you only spend half an hour there, a flash frozen memory in between giants that take up the real space in your head and heart, like the morning I spent in Grants Pass that I always seem to forget about except when prompted…

 

This Fort

Augusta Maine, Waterfront Buildings

Kat, the Lovely Kat

It doesn’t much matter the place I guess. It’s more about the mindset you have when you’re traveling, even if it’s just half a half hour from home. Arriving somewhere new, with an open,kind mind and letting yourself slip into the illusion of belonging to this place. It could be the longing to belong in what might perhaps be the perfect place to call home, or it might just be a passing whimsy, but either way it’s a lovely moment to pause and consider a different future, or to more fully appreciate where you already call home.

~m

P.S these photographs where taken in Augusta, Maine. I talked more about the time I spent there in this post.

A Different Mood on these Streets- Augusta, Maine

Augusta, Maine.
An interesting place to be sure, and somewhere I almost skipped completely.
After leaving Belfast, Maine heading towards the mountains of New Hampshire just over the border, me and Kat were listening to whatever music was coming up through Sally’s rather fantastic sound system (Sally of course, being our rented Mustang. You can’t say we don’t have a sense of humour) and thinking about where to stop for lunch, when we came upon a bridge crossing murky waters. And just over that bridge, we caught a glimpse of colourful buildings, a castle-type looking thing, and somewhat deserted streets. Looking at each other, I remember I widened my eyes like a madman and ignoring the pleas of our GPS to “continue left- make a U-turn- take the next right-” we headed down a slope into the middle of what I now assume is the historic part of Maine’s capital.

Given the fact that it was early on a Sunday morning, the skies looked ready to crash rain down on everything, and maybe just a dash of good fortune, the streets were completely deserted. Not a single soul in sight. At first it caught us up in a mood of adventure and exploration, had us running around the streets, peering into shop windows and with me snapping photos every few feet but… that feeling slowly deteriorated into a paranoid sense of being in some kind of Zombie Apocalypse type situation after still not seeing any people around. We jogged back to Sally and locked our doors, huddled in our supposed safety. There was still a spirit of adventure though, and with Sally playings some zombie-fears-battling-music we headed deeper into the streets, catching glimpses of that murky river, and also of actual, living, inhabitants. Which was slightly disappointing, given the potential of zombies of course, but we pressed on. We actually came upon a great place to make a last stand, a historic fort, but…thats a post for later.

~m

Exploring the Streets and Architecture In Belfast, Maine

(From my end of May trip with my good friend Kat. We spent 10 days exploring the east coast of the USA, and one of the days we spent exploring a good chunk of north Maine. We stayed in Belfast and after finishing up some wandering in the streets of Seasport, and then venturing around the woods and coastline of Moose Point State Park, we headed into Belfast for a quick hour or so of touristy shopping and just walking amid civilization again.)

Belfast was….something else. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, at all, coming into this town, but the morning was bright, the fog dissipating a good bit, and the momentum for exploration amid buildings was deep in our lungs after getting our fill of trees and calm ocean waves. The locals were by half oddly standoffish or deeply friendly, depending on what shop you went into. I got a friend a hand embroidered dishtowel, and myself a glass jar of berry jam at one of the rather stodgy shops, and a whole slew of postcards and magnets at a more homey and eclectic ice cream place down towards the docks. Perhaps not a town I would go back to again and again, like some other parts of Maine, but it was definitely worth a quick visit and it was fun to explore the architecture and see unique touches in the buildings there. Also, postcards for friends, and a moose magnet for my fridge, definitely a good stop on our roadtrip.

~m

And We Went up into the Woods- Moose Point State Park, Maine

Look out, there. MaineAfter running around exploring the rocky coastline of Maine’s Moose Point State Park me and Kat headed down one of the trails leading into the woods. The smell of ocean and seaweed faded into the crispness of forest and damp leaves, our muffled footsteps taking us further into the quiet.

Moose Point State ParkThese Maine Trees
A little Maine ForestThe trees here smell like heaven Maine Woods

There were signs of people here, a white picket fence, a bench positioned towards trees, but in the time we spent there, we didn’t see a single person or hear anything besides the chirping of birds and the patter of raindrops on leaves.A fence here, Maine the red moss here Tree Branches at home Kat Climbs a Tree, in A dress no less Big Spruce Trail, Maine An overlook, and Kat

The green here was brilliant, illuminated against the shadows like sign posts to come closer, explore further. And we did. Kat made to climb trees even while in a dress and I ran behind her, my camera bumping against my hip, trying to capture the moments of being there, while enjoying the feeling of wild freedom, no responsibilities and clean air in our lungs. Its simple here A carpet of green Moss and dark Moose Trail Kat touches the green

Even though just a few hours later we would be in the mountains of New Hampshire, daring mortality with our escapades on slippery rocks down fast rivers, the quiet and calm in these Maine woods would remain a favorite memory for that day.

~m

Here, At the Edge of the Ocean- Moose Point State Park, Maine

Marsh and red moss After departing from the quiet of Seasport me and Kat were headed on our way towards the main center of Belfast, when we saw a sign for a place called Moose Point State Park and with just a quick look at each other we decided hey, lets check it out. The parking area was deserted when we pulled in, and we were almost giddy with the idea of having this whole area to ourselves, to run around like children, slipping on rocks, muddying our hands, and breathing in the salty area like it was a cure to everything.Take the steps down to the oceanMaine Palette Shades of Green in MaineKat and the RocksThese little pockets of color Give me Shades of Silence and GreenMaine Rocky CoastlineKat up the StairsWe explored the coastline first, before venturing into the trails that lead into the dark of the woods.  And while the special quiet and darkness of the woods was a beauty of it’s own kind,the coastline, with it’s slightly treacherous rocky ground and it’s patient gentle waves, it’s what I keep coming back to as one of my favorite parts of Maine.

I like your kind of quiet, Maine A momument to silence right now Marsh and red moss Kat and the Maine coastlinerocky shoresIt was a unique and hard gorgeousness that existed that morning underneath the grey clouds. Colors stood in stark contrast and yet somehow still in harmony with the land and sky. I can imagine that summertime here would be an example in sunny beach beauty, but I cherished the almost grim weather we experienced in solitude here.

~m