Communication is not always two way and when you are lucky enough to spend time in Maine after living in a crowded area, certain special places shine brightest.
And you retreat to these natural settings to rest, relax, unwind, regroup. To share, compare with others in your life back and forth. Exchanging puzzle pieces each of us have that others need.
Last summer I climbed Mt Katahdin twice, and am set to tie up the hiking boots for another ascent.
Because along the way as the blue rectangle of paint marks the rocky pathway up Maine’s highest mountain, something sings inside. Getting louder, hitting deeply as you reach the table land. It never gets old. Is never the same experience.
As Knife’s Edge comes into view on the mile high climb up Katahdin. And you find yourself gawking, gushing and feeling so high inside because of the sheer unspoiled beauty of the setting. And partly because since you were a little kid, you have known this place. Experienced this feeling deep inside so many times before. And each climb, visit with the wildlife, scenery and neat folks you meet along the way gives you perspective. On everything in life because clarity, awareness happens. Steps up several notches. The volume increases and draws you out. When you strip away the helter skelter of everyday living in the blur called life. Everything artificial and man made, store bought, temporary is removed. Not important, loses all its value.
Conversations with your hiking party stop.
Because everyone in it arrives at the same place physically, mentally, spiritually. Lines up and are on the same page. You can not get any place higher in Maine. Above it all. No dirt or perch any closer to the Sun in Vacationland than Baxter’s top pinnacle. Or there are many other options of smaller bumps to conquer depending on the ability, age of the hikers that join you. No one is denied, everyone is served, leaves with something memorable, never fade in Maine.
The cold water enjoyed with the long views in every direction on top of Mt Katahdin tastes like the best drink you have ever had. So does the snack you unwrap and carefully stow away its container when done. For the carry in, carry out principle of respect, good stewardship.
Everything intensifies partly because of the struggle, determination to get to the top.
Nothing lost because you have been there before because it is always special. Never same old same old. Because you are in a different place than the last climb. New and improved or always a student ready to learn more. Striving to not stand still or get too comfortable. To push the boundaries and experience more in life. To avoid ruts, complacency, stagnation.
The same exhilaration happens skiing down a Maine slope. Paddling a lake or sea kayak. Biking a parkway or island trail. Enjoying a picnic along the way as you explore Maine. Get to know her up close and personal. Find your passion, unplug and recharge in Maine. And consider how more cherished she becomes on the ends of the typical tourist season’s heaviest traffic. When folks thin out as the temperature dips on the ends of the day. And you don’t have to share her with as many people or any at all if you time it right.