Doug Bruns

The Maine Woods

In Life, Nature, Writers on July 8, 2010 at 6:03 am
The Maine Woods

The Maine Woods

Town is hot and full of tourists. Commercial Street is a conga line of slow-moving vehicles in both directions. Such is life in a destination. On Tuesday a cruise liner, the Summit, steamed into town and 1900 passengers descended the plank into the Old Port. Carole and I spotted the Summit from the bluff of Fort Allen at 7am, an hour still at sea away. It was passing between Peaks and Cushing Islands, the Whitehead Passage, yet small enough but obvious and shadowed in the distance by a morning sea haze. By the time it pulled into town, all eleven decks of it, the temperature was almost ninety degrees. According to the 2010 Portland berthing schedule, there is a record-setting seventy-three ships coming to town this season. Total passengers: 75,731.

I’m heading north. Time to get away. Escape. The Maine Woods. On the trail of Henry David. “On the 31st of August, 1846, I left Concord in Massachusetts for Bangor and the backwoods of Maine…” begins Thoreau’s The Maine Woods. Today Maggie and I go to Moosehead. I have a camp site in mind on the lake and I pray it does not have cell coverage.  John Muir took a copy of The Maine Woods with him on his 1879 trip to Alaska. But I will listen to it on as an audio book on the drive north. Such is the advance of civilization.

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  1. The Summit pulled in just a few days after I had read “A Supposedly FUN Thing I’ll Never Do Again” by David Foster Wallace. “Boviscopophobia” came to mind though I welcome these tourists to our fragile Maine economy.

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