Maine 'n Me I have a visceral connection to Maine. Many, many, many happy memories of days spent by the sea, camping with my parents and siblings, and later cottaging with just my parents. Lobsters, mussels, star fish, American snack foods, Casper the Friendly Ghost comics, sand in your shoes, sun on your nose, cliffs with pools of tiny crab and winkles.... Here's a summary of what I did this year: Saturday, September 7: Left at around 10:30 in the morning and arrived at around 7:00 in the evening. Of course, I got lost, missing the connection to highway 3 in Augusta, Maine. Discovered Belgrade, Maine as I re-routed myself to my ultimate destination: Belfast, Maine. Checked into my little cottage. Am pleased that the cottage seems to have full cable service, unlike last year. Sunday, September 8: Hot. Took it easy. Shopped for groceries, wine, and the Sunday New York Times. Sat on the porch and read the Times' coverage of the first anniversary of 911. Monday, September 9: First day trip to Acadia National Park. Still hot. Went to Sand Beach and had a dip and ate some lunch and *almost* fell asleep by the sea. Roused myself enough to do a hike around Jordan Pond. Challenging not because of its elevation, but because the trail disappears frequently and you make up your own as you trip from rock to rock by the pond's shore. There's a lovely restaurant with seating on a wide lawn just by the pond where they serve popovers, strawberry jam, and fresh creamery butter. Tuesday, Septmber 10: Decide to take it easy because of the heat. Start reading Brett Easton Ellis' Glamorama, which contains lines that have me laughing out loud on my little porch. Make a trip to the lobster pound, where I buy two really big lobsters. Wednesday, September 11: Go to Camden Hills State Park to hike. Mistake the parking lot I'm in, and, therefore, misread the hiking map, and, therefore, get really lost. I must have done a 6 mile loop before finding the road again. Reward myself by going to the chi-chi village of Camden and buying something I don't need. Merchants are offering complimentary roses in memory of the WTC dead. Thursday, September 12: Back to Acadia, where I initially decide to visit the wild gardens and take an easy rambly hike through marshy areas. See a sign that reads "Dorr Mountain East Face Trail" and decide to go for it instead. Climb about 1700 feet across stone steps in the rocks and switchbacks along plateaus that consistently reveal breathtaking views of Bar Harbor, the sea, and the sky. On the way down, I help some Germans stay on the path. Friday, September 13: I pack the car and have a vague idea that maybe I'll take a different route home that leads me to Quebec City, where I might stay the night. From Brunswick, Maine, I take the 201, which goes directly to Quebec City, where it becomes the 173. I travel through desolate, beautiful logging country. No Wal-Marts. No Rite-Aids. No Dunkin' Donuts. About 100 kilometres from the border, I pull off into one of the rest areas to watch the sun set over the Kennebec river. Magnificent. Once in Quebec, I decide to drive back to Montreal. Finally home, I quickly roll into bed and fall asleep immediately. Today, everyone says I look relaxed and even have a bit of sparkle in my eyes.


Bound for Maine Saturday I leave for a week by the sea. I've booked a cottage outside Acadia National Park and plan days filled with hikes, sea kayaking and lobster. I'm so lucky.