Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Road Trip/Sketchbook Journal: DownEast (Part 2)

Contrasted against the Alaskan Interior landscape, and not as heroic as the stereotypical seaside vistas that attract most visitors to Acadia, are the more quiet and introspective offerings on the many paths winding their way around the island. Again and again I found myself turning away from the mighty and at times, overwhelming Atlantic and looking inward to observe the intimate details more often overlooked by the glossy brochures and maddening crowds. Though there is something to be said about being constantly exposed to scenic majesty around every bend that make even this jaded Alaska STFU, do the slack-jaw gape, and go "whoah... that's awesome." 

Probably the closest it ever got to feeling like a vacation were the handful of interludes we spent just simply sitting or wandering idly around - which were far and few bewtween. Finding little backwaters out of the main currents of traffic was the occasional oasis where one could actually "be here now" and pause to reflect on life in general. There is something conducive in shoreline musing to the unexperienced visitor: probably the equivalent to folks enraptured by the mountains and wildlife up in Alaska except for the local resident who is inured to such things after years of exposure. And so over time I'm sure the lull of the waves would wear off as well, but I found it to be most therapeutic. Aside from constantly triggering the need to run behind a tree... too much coffee. 
Thousands of visitors flock to the shores to set up their folding chairs, and they just simply sit there looking out over the water for hours and hours. Then they pack up, go home, and return again the next day. Even in inclement weather and when there's no view to speak of. Mind you, this is much better than the national pastime of vegetating in front of a television watching mindless crap that has about the same intellectual and creative content as a wall of fog.
A side-note relating to the sketch below on the prevalence of bayberry: probably half of the hikes on these Acadian heaths evoked the sensation of tromping around inside a giant herbal teabag - the resultant infusion is some pretty heady stuff. 

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