Sunday, November 28, 2021

Enjoying What I Missed the First Time




During the almost 40 years I traveled for business I almost never got the opportunity to spend any time in the wonderful places which my responsibilities would take me. That was especially true regarding my overseas travels and even right here in my own backyard of New England during the first 15 years of my professional life.

My trips back to New England after moving to Marco in 1990 would usually consist of 3-4 days and be less than satisfying at best. It was my own fault that I never took the time and have vowed to not let that happen any longer.

I was fortunate the last couple of years to ride the motorcycle north; the first year was to attend two separate weddings and then last year went with two great friends up into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Both trips were immensely satisfying; the first one was a solo trip, which had me leave my Harley with a friend for about a month between the weddings. The second saw me join with two other friends from Marco and another New Englander we met in Maine.

I told myself after the trip to the Canadian Maritime Provinces that I would return to Maine and explore the coast a little more, and this year I started that process, this time by car and not by a motorcycle.

The general coastline of New Hampshire is 13 miles long…compared to Maine which is 228. The “tidal shoreline” of NH is 131 miles long, compared to Maine’s which is 3,478. The “tidal shoreline” number includes all of the inlets, islands and mainland frontages.

Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying some of the finest weather and scenery you could ask for. It is nice to tune out the world and the terrible conflicts that are a staple in our television and radio broadcasts, along with printed media.

That pudgy little bully in North Korea doesn’t stand a chance against the beauty of the shorelines of Baily and Orr’s Island. He is inconsequential, as are any tweets and social media blustery from anyone on our side or any other outlet. It’s not that I don’t care, for I do, but it was time to sit back and take a deep breath and enjoy the wonderment which this great nation has to offer.

Because of the length and diversity of the shoreline here in Maine you can literally stop at every curve and turn to admire the wonders that Mother Nature bestows upon us each day. I know we have wonderful sunsets each day on Marco, but the sunrise over the Atlantic Islands of the coast of Maine are equally spectacular.

Sitting here and watching a sailboat just glide through Rockland Harbor is a wonderful sight. Her sails bulging with the breeze that propels her through the water is a simple but beautiful scene to behold as she heads for her mooring and a night in the protection of the anchorage before moving on to her next destination.

If you’re patient enough you might even get to see either a humpback or a finback whale, which can range from 55 to 80 feet in length. While over near the tip of South Harpswell, Maine I had the opportunity to witness what must have been four to five of the wonderful creatures. Unfortunately for me I was walking down on the rocks, without my camera or cellphone, but getting to see them work their way up the coast was an extraordinary sight and one I’ll always prize.

Looking up old friends from the past is another wonderful plus of this trip. Most of it has been of a positive nature, however to learn of friends you’ve lost touch with that have since passed is always a little sad. It helps to put your on life in perspective when you realized you were sitting in the back of that old fire station nearly 40 years ago, and now it is named in honor of your friend who gave so much to his community over the years.

My travels will eventually take me back through New Hampshire and across Vermont where I have two important stops. Hopefully I’ll also get to spend a night on Lake George before returning back to my hometown of Concord and two wonderfully gracious hosts.

I can only tell you that these three weeks out on the road are the best medicine anyone could prescribe for what ails you. Being out here without a schedule or a plan is great and continues to be a wonderful experience.

I sort of feel a little like Charles Kuralt when he did his CBS Sunday morning show called “On the Road.” I can’t believe he got paid to do that and saw so much on those adventures out on the highway, entertaining us all on a Sunday morning.

Steve Stefanides, well-known by his nickname “Stef,” is an experienced awardwinning reporter of local civic and public interest news. Stef’s More Straight Talk column (and its predecessor, Straight Talk), on a variety of subjects, is a favorite of readers who trust him to bring them the facts. A Marco Island resident, Stef contributes to the community in many ways, having served on a number of city committees, charitable groups, boards and local organizations. Contact him by email at

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