Commencing the 4th Year on the Road

Up until now, when asked where I’m from, I respond with the candor of a politician, “The last place I had an address is Alameda, Ca.”

I’ve been looking forward to newer, bluer highways.  For three years my lust for snaky wanderings have called me ever eastward.  But it is time to admit two California decades is sufficient.

 Although not ready to commit to a new place to call home, I have been on the lookout for a place to call home base.  And Maine has emerged as a finalist.

The Jolly Swag has a new set of license plates and I have a new voter registration card.

 Maine lic plate

  

Maine has much to recommend it, especially in July and August and most of June and September.  Mild days and cool nights, unrivalled scenery, sprawling forests, and a coastline as inviting as it is treacherous.

The people’s politics are still a mystery to me.  But what I know is that there are more registered Independents than either Democrats or Republicans.  Senator Angus King was elected as an Independent.  Yet this is the state that garnered the most votes for Ron Paul and elected a Tea Party governor.

Maine is the only state people retire northward to.

And it has Mainers.  There are fewer Mainers than the population of Alameda County (Oakland and Berkeley).  Mainers are a hardy sort. I saw people wearing shorts and tee-shirts on many days that I sported thermal underwear.

When Mainers give out phone numbers, they never mention the area code because there is only one—207.

Aroostook, Maine’s northernmost county, is known simply as The County.  It is the largest county in the East, and is larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Because of its remoteness and a perceived lack of connection with Maine government, as well as a strong connection with neighboring Canada, county politicians have proposed making Aroostook part of New Brunswick or spinning off the county as its own state.

Near my Maine home base in South Freeport is a small herd of belted cows, a rare breed in the US with fewer than 200 registered. 

Belted cows-herd

Finally, southing on I-95 on Tuesday past, I stopped at the last toll booth.  As he collected my fare, the toll taker asked me if I had a four-legged friend on board.  Not sure I heard him correctly over the traffic noise I asked him to repeat. 

He held up a dog biscuit. 

It was as friendly a good-bye to Maine as any hello could be.

 

 

 

 

 

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About allevenson

Writer (of stories, journals, email dialogues), Reader (of books written by friends, recommended by friends, and works-in-progress of friends), Hiker (never met a trailhead I didn't like), Biker (more scenery for the buck than hiking) and lately, Blogger (about my Year on the Road at www.allevenson.wordpress.com).
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6 Responses to Commencing the 4th Year on the Road

  1. Karen johnson says:

    Very true! Thanks, made me smile

  2. karen wittgraf says:

    So- Maine may become your base- amazing. Maine does inhabit a different breed of folks, I know.
    My ancestors came from “down east”, so it does interest me. Please write more about the people for me. Thanks, Al- and I can read that you feel complete. Wonderful.

  3. David L says:

    Four … I mentioned you to a friend the other day, in explaining my interest in travel – said you’d been on the road now almost two years. Can’t be double that, I’m thinking – I’m sittin’ in the same chair. I remember when you left, thought you might be gone for a year. I must be good as you’re still at it. And you’re not the first to leave California.

  4. David L says:

    New keyboard, old fingers.

  5. Colleen Rae says:

    Al, you really are an excellent writer. You had me laughing all through this one.
    Maine sounds like an independent part of the world. I’ve only know one Mainer, (is that what you call them?). Indeed ,he was cut from a different cloth than anyone else I’ve ever known. He was born without a hip joint but went on, in spite of the doctors saying it wouldi be impossible, to climb Mt Teton in the Tetons, teach sking there and mountain climbing. He’s 60 yrs old and still teaching. He also play banjo at the local Stagecoach Cafe in Jackson Hole and is quie talented. You are the other Mainer I know. Well, with license plates and a registered voter, I guess we can call you a Mainer, for the time being.
    Look forward to your stories and vignettes and characters you meet, On The Road.

  6. Dave Bauer says:

    Sounds as though your state of mind is to be, “On the road again – Just can’t wait to get on the road again.” Safe travels, Al. I look forward to following you along the way. Sorry to hear that you are leaving the Golden State in your wake. Having visited Maine, however, I can understand your attraction to it.

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