A friend shared a real estate listing for a house in Stonington, Maine today. It was a bargain, and I was sorely tempted to become someone with a second home. Stonington is a small lobster and fishing town on the Penobscot Bay. It's also where you catch the ferry to get out to Isle au Haut, which is part of Acadia National Park.
I count the day I spent on that island as one of the best of my life. We drove from Bar Harbor in time to catch the 10 AM ferry. I had made reservations at a motel in town, so we left the car there and walked over to the waterfront. Isabel had never been on a boat before, but once she got over the metal grate that was the gangway, she was fine. Our transportation was really no more than a mail boat, and it was pretty crowded until we made our first stop at the tiny town at the north end. There might have been ten of us who ventured on to the primitive camp ground and trail heads six miles away at the southern tip of the island.
Heidi and Isabel and I disembarked on a beautiful July day-- blue skies, 80 degrees, no humidity. I had a map of the trails that criss-crossed the park. "When is the boat back?" Heidi asked me as we watched our ride chug out to sea.
I thought she had understood the plan for this day. "Mmm... six?" I shrugged.
She was a little perturbed. "What are we supposed to do for the next seven hours?! Hike?"
I had a picnic lunch and plenty of snacks and water in my pack. "Well... yeah," I told her, "We'll just explore the island. We practically have it to ourselves."
Isabel was on board from the start-- she had a grand time on the cobble beaches, granite ledges, and balsam trails, in fact the picture on this blog was taken there, and honestly, it didn't take long for Heidi to come around, either. The time passed at a perfect pace and at 5:45 we were rounding the last curve in the trail that led to the dock. Harbor porpoises and seals accompanied our boat back to Stonington, where we had a delicious dinner of fried seafood in our charming efficiency motel room. I was sorry to leave the next day.
I gave my friend an abbreviated version of this tale when she told me about the property for sale. "It was one of the best days of my life!" I said.
"What does Heidi say about it?" she asked me.
"Well," I answered, "she says that it was one of the best days of my life, not hers, but she's glad she was there."