You can’t get there from here!

Monhegan Island, Maine

Twenty- six years have passed since natives of Maine have graciously accepted this Bostonian as one of them. They have been patient with me as I learned a new way of life. No longer did I live in a Boston suburb, complete with neatly mown lawns and neighbors who lived wicked close to you. We actually shared a driveway with our next-door neighbors for decades without a whiff of trouble, despite the presence of numerous cars and complicated work/school schedules

Now the human and goat kids have found greener pastures and I happily still live on the farm with my patient husband. Now there is more time for travel. Recently, my birthday present was a trip to Monhegan Island-a sparsely inhabited village 10 miles out of Boothbay Harbor. We booked seats on the Balmy Days-a fishing boat converted to tourist ferry. In preparation for the trip, I studied a map of the complicated coastline. In fact, the coast is only 228 miles long as the crow flies, but if one includes circuitous inlets and bays, the distance is 3,478 miles long. Many short bridges were built over marshes and small tidal rivers to connect towns. Otherwise, you literally could not get there from here (unless you have a boat or enjoy long distance swimming in frigid waters).

If you ever want to get unplugged from the world, Monhegan is the place to go. Walking narrow dirt paths, we noticed that there were no real roads and hence no cars. A few rusted out, unregistered pickup trucks bounced their way to the wharf to pick up supplies. I saw no bicycles and one golf cart. Half the island is a nature preserve comprised of wetlands and forests. The main attraction are steep cliffs that provide breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Artists stand on rocks and try to capture the image of waves crashing against rocks. Prominent American artist Andrew Wyeth retreated to Monhegan for inspiration. Visitors look down on flying seagulls and treetops.

In many ways, it felt like we were in a different era. Visitors took leisurely hikes without that extra appendage—the infernal cellphone attached to their ears. As we chugged out of the harbor aboard the Balmy Days, I felt a little sad to leave, but also a little glad that we could actually get there from here.

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