16 October 2006

Bar Harbor - A bit of Heaven

Yesterday we took a bit of a road trip to Bar Harbor. Correction, that’s Bah Hahbah to anyone who has been there and knows…

We went to cheer on a friend who was running in the Mount Desert Island Marathon. After watching him cross the finish line in Southwest Harbor, we drove through Acadia National Park. Although the fall foliage is now past peak, many of the maples still had colorful leaves that were hanging on for a last hurrah. The sky was clear, the ocean water sparkling, and sometimes the scenery was so pretty, it made my eyes hurt.

We couldn't resist driving to the summit of Cadillac Mountain where the views simply took our breath away. I don't care how long one lives in Maine, looking back at Bar Harbor and the porcupine islands on a clear, fall afternoon from the top of Cadillac is something to behold. We made the obligatory stop at the summit gift shop and enjoyed the steaming coffee and touristy items.

Back in Bar Harbor, we stopped at the Island Chowder House for a mid-afternoon lunch of clam chowder and caesar salads, and then we browsed the shops a bit. On a whim, we stopped at the Jordan Pond Ice Cream & Fudge Shop for an ice cream cone. We weren't looking for anything special, just something sweet, but this turned out to be the BEST ice cream any of us had ever tasted... this from a family who knows. It was insanely creamy, sweet, totally decadent. The perfect ending to a perfect day.

Now, to figure out an excuse to do it all over again next weekend...

Copyright © 2006 - Paulla Estes

07 October 2006

Fall Foliage at its Peak

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. As Maine's fall foliage hits its peak, here are a few photos that will describe the beauty much better than any colorful phrases I might compose...

Some amazing foliage in our back yard...

The soccer fields early this morning - with frost still on the grass...

Looking up at the sky and seeing a canopy of scarlet...

A scenic pond near our home...

...the way life should be...

Copyright © 2006 - Paulla Estes

04 October 2006

Shake, Rattle and Roll...

If you were anywhere near the Bar Harbor on Monday evening, you probably felt the earthquake that surprised everyone there. In fact, there have been a series of small earthquakes in the area over the past couple of weeks.

Many years ago, when we moved to Maine from Southern California, we were certain we had left the earthquakes behind us; but we awakened to shaking and rattling in our beds on a Saturday morning about 5 or 6 years ago. My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief and simultaneously said, "Earthquake!" There was no damage and it stopped at about the time we realized what was happening.

But in Bar Harbor this week, things have been shaking a little harder than usual.

According to seismologists, Maine typically has one to three earthquakes each year, and those are rarely anything more than a magnitude 3. The quake on Monday was a 3.9, and it involved more than just a little shaking and rattling. Walls shook, items fell off walls and shelves, and glass broke. Rock slides resulted in the closing of several roads and hiking trails in Acadia.

While Maine's solid rock foundation usually means fewer quakes, it also makes a 3.9 magnitude earthquake here feel more impressive than it would feel in California, where the fractured ground eases the vibrations. Here, the shaking carries straight through the hard bedrock.

According to scientists and the history books, the biggest earthquake on record in Maine occurred in 1904 near Eastport. With a magnitude of about 5.8, it damaged chimneys and walls and could be felt as far away as Massachusetts and New Hampshire. While rare, a 5.5 magnitude earthquake would be expected to occur in Maine approximately every 138 years.

Since earthquakes give no warning and cannot be predicted, when one hits, we have very little reaction time. If you feel an earthquake, no matter how slight, keep in mind the following suggestions:

1. If you are indoors, run to a doorway or get under a sturdy table, to protect yourself from falling debris.
2. If you are outside, do not go into a building; stay out in the open.
3. If you are driving, pull over and stay in the car; try to avoid bridges or tunnels.
4. If you are in the mountains, move away from cliffs or rock outcroppings.
5. If you are at the beach, move to higher ground as soon as possible. 6.Most importantly, remain calm and encourage others around you to do the same.

While earthquakes in Maine are rare, we should always be prepared.

Copyright © 2006 - Paulla Estes

03 October 2006

Maine History

My middle-school-aged daughters are studying Maine state history this semester. They have a work book in which they are required to write reports, collect photos, make sketches, and gather information all about the state of Maine.

I have enjoyed helping them with this project as together, we all continue to learn more about our state. We studied the historical timeline of Maine and we've learned all about the industries that keep Mainers employed.

Whether you're a native Mainer, a transplant, or a visitor to our fair state, consider taking the time to learn about the first Mainers who paved the way for us to be here today. Find out how Maine entered the Union as a state and read about the heroic people who have come from Maine.

Below is a list of links to sites all about the history of Maine. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2006 - Paulla Estes