Seeds of doubt about completing our three-day journey on Route One from Kittery to Fort Kent creep into our heads and start to grow as we drive back to our Eastland Motel in Lubec. Wrapping up our second day of on the road, we’ve just finished hiking at Quoddy Head State Park. Click here for that blog.
Sitting with wine in our motel room (glamorous, I know), we toast two great days on the road but wonder about Day 3 of our 530-mile drive on Route One from the bottom to the top of the state of Maine.
You see, the forecast for Wednesday (Day 3) is showers and rain. Do we really want to spend the 250 miles from Lubec to Fort Kent in a car on a rainy day just to say we traveled the entire length of Route One in Maine? Looking at each other, we just don’t. Fair-weather travelers? I’m afraid so.
It’s like running a marathon. No one else cares for more than a minute that you ran 26.2 miles. Do it because you love the training, the challenge, and the satisfaction of completing a monumental task. Do it for you.
It’s like earning a PhD. Don’t do it because you want people to call you “Doctor.” From my experience it is way too much work for that misguided belief that anyone will give a sh*t that you are Dr. So and So. Do it because it would lead to your dream job working with preservice teachers and seeing if you can cut it teaching “bigger kids.” Your friends like you for who you are, not because of some title or that you ran a marathon.
You see, our travels north over the last two days have morphed into a hiking road trip. We hiked the Hundred Acre Wood in Brooklin and Peter’s Brook Trail in Blue Hill on Monday. Tuesday took us to Cobscook Shores, Mowry Beach, and Quoddy Head State Park. On the trails and getting lots of Fitbit steps are what we realized we wanted, not just driving on Route One. Tomorrow, we would have few such hiking options heading on the road to Fort Kent.
So today, we opt for flexibility to make the road trip ours based on what catches our fancy and what we learn as we go; not being limited and restricted to a plan hatched at home months ago.
We did mostly keep to Route One, except when the shoreline country roads beckoned (e.g., Bold Coast).
We never did listen to music to Pandora or podcasts while driving but focused on the sights of Route One that grabbed our attention.
So what did we learn?
One, we don’t need to be a big fish in a small pond. Small towns are home to people who grew up there. I get the appeal. But these villages on, admittedly, the beautiful coast of Maine are just not our home. Home is where we have lived in York for the last thirty-nine years. We are staying put for the long-term as small fish in a small pond.
Two, being among our peeps is important. We are liberal, tree hugging, Obama Democrats that do not want to be lone wolves in a rural Red part of the state. Finding like-minded folks who also believe what we care about (i.e., the common good, the environment, truth, vaccinations, being our brother’s keeper and hope) are important to us. We’ll continue to grow that community in York.
Three, to fully know the Red part of Maine I would need at least ten days to stop in towns, go to local events (e.g., in high school gyms), and meet the rural people on their terms, in their villages and towns. You know, I like the sound of that.
Overall, I’d call our two-day road trip on Route One from Kittery to Lubec a success.
As Meatloaf sings, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad!