When I was growing up in Colorado, the mountains were full of pine trees of all shapes and sizes. Whenever we visited our relatives in Texas, we went to the beach in Galveston and there wasn't a pine tree in site - only a few palm trees. Consequently, I always associated pine trees with the mountains only - never the ocean. They seemed like they always belonged worlds apart.
When I moved to Maine, I was shocked to drive through a thick pine forest and watch it open up to a stunning view of the Atlantic ocean. In many places, the pines grow right on the edge of the ocean inlets, providing a rich contrast of crystal clear water and dark green woodlands.
Over the weekend, we spent some time at the Sherwood Forest Campsites which was the perfect example of this whole pine tree/ocean paradox. Sherwood Forest is set in a serene forest of pines that makes visitors feel as though they are deep in the mountains; yet Pemaquid Beach is just a short walk away. A gentle trail through the woods takes walkers to the shores of the rocky Maine coast and the white sands of the beach without leaving the pines far behind.
The waters off the Maine coast are frigid, even in the summer, and as we're bordering on autumn, our feet became numb very quickly as we waded in the surf. Yet the sun and sand were warm, and the fall breezes hadn't yet taken hold.
Although part of me will always associate pine trees with mountains that are thousands of miles from the ocean shore, I've come to love the thick pine forests on the shores of Maine's coast. I guess you could say it's the best of both worlds.
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