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Tuesday
Aug272019

When place is a character

The past few weeks have been busy. Daycare has been closed for nearly two weeks. I've split my time between working from home, vacationing near Baxter State Park, working from my mother-in-law's in Vermont and lots of driving.

Wherever I go, I have a whole caste of characters that I bring with me and try to fit them into stories. I have one particular character I met last year while camping near Baxter that continues to insist on being in a story. This year I came to the realization that the character was less a person and more of an embodiment of a place that I love to visit.

There is just something about going up north from the coast. Roads, people and all the trappings of civilization become further and farther between. There is so much space. The churning of motors and people gives way to the chatter of squirrels and brooks.

We visited the Katahdin Iron Works and walked down to the stream leading to the Gulf Hagas trails. The kids are still a little young for fording streams and long hikes. But we played along the shore, throwing rocks and wading into the water. There were a few hikers following the Appalachian Trail, even one taking a rest day by the shore. The air just felt so much freer, wilder, full of possibilities that come from that necessary break from routine and responsibilities.

I wish I could have stayed by that stream a little longer or even walked across and explored Gulf Hagas. Maybe next year. My almost five year old daughter and I talked about taking a hiking trip just the two of us. Her legs and attention span may be short, but she loves to wander and just take in the scenery. We could all use a little more of that.

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