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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

To Rockport Maine, for the Lobster Festival, where we volunteered for a day, A and I making Lobster Rolls (roughly 300 pounds of lobster) and CLA and LCA over at the big tent making shrimp salad and smoked mussel salad. (The mussel fishery in Maine is down this year-- these were PEI mussels.) It was an exhilarating experience, working the line like that, and an interesting way to interact with the locals-- the event is run by a community based not-for-profit and raises money for local stuff: equipment for the fire department, or the hospital. Rockland has a population of under 8,000, a pretty little place with as beautiful a harbor as I've seen anywhere. Travel is, for me, a kind of research: like David Byrne I am trying to find a city-- or at least imagine what it would be like to live in a particular place. Here's a place I wouldn't care to live: Maine. It is beautiful, that cannot be denied, but it seemed to me to be almost like a third-world country in terms of relative deprivation. It is a rich person's playground, a vacation spot, for three months or so, and then all the people from away go back to wherever it is that they came from, and everyone else resumes their everyday lives. For the lightly sunburned people in their yoga clothes and Ralph Lauren polo shirts it exists as a sort of dream world, but everyone else is manning the bellows keeping the thing going. "I could live here," you might think, "I could open a bookstore, or a cozy shop that sells windchimes." Except that, no you couldn't. In September, when it starts getting dark and cold again the wind would come out of the east. The days would be short, and you'd realize that one of the reasons that the place is full of pretty little churches is that places like that are just about the only place you can go and find human company.

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Still, it was just right for a long weekend. We went to Acadia National Park (which may be the first National Park I've been to). Again, beautiful, but not quite what I am after. I like to feel as though I have earned the view by traversing inaccessible terrain. We had a decent walk, but it was not wilderness by any stretch. The sound of surf stirs me though.

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