18 June 2007

Got Beach?

After a rainy start to the month of June, we decided to "make hay while the sun shines," and spend a day at the beach.

Each year I can't help comparing the beaches in Maine to the beaches in Southern California, where we lived for a while. There, the parking is right next to the beach (though sparce) and there is a boardwalk with shops, restaurants, and other attractions. Also, the beaches out there don't charge an admission fee. Add to that the fact that the weather is usually sunny (most of the year, of course) - which means the crowds are larger.

Here in Maine, many of the beaches from the midcoast north, aren't right in town; often they require a bit of a drive, usually down a very long and winding peninsula road. Many of the beaches in Maine are in some sort of a state park, all of which charge entrance fees. Other than in extreme Southern Maine, there usually aren't any shops or restaurants; perhaps a snack bar and restrooms if you're lucky. The weather isn't always cooperative, and the beaches are really only appealing during the months of June, July and August.

Yet the beaches in Maine are clean, clear, and rarely crowded. They are dotted with rocks and pine trees, and there are islands just off the coast, often with rustic lighthouses snuggled among the rocks.

The one similarity between the beaches here in Maine and those in Southern Cal is the water temperature. Rarely does the temp get above 60 here in Maine, and unless it is an El Nino year, the same in true in Southern Cal.

But today, as we sat on the windy beach in 80 degree weather, with less people than one would expect on one of the first real beach days of the season, I found that I was more than willing to pay the $60 fee for the seasonal pass to the state parks. While we may not have beaches that are quite as accessible nor can we visit them nearly as often throughout the year as our friends in California, we do love our beaches here in Maine, and what little time there we get, we certainly appreciate.

Here are a few shots from our lazy, sunny day...

P.S. ~

In response to some of the emails about our friends leaving (previous post), HERE is the rest of the story.

Copyright © 2007 - Paulla Estes


Anonymous said...

Yes, you're living in the Pine Tree State, but if you'll look more closely you'll see that at least the ledge-y part of the coast is clothed primarily in spruce, with some fir. For instance, the little island in your photo. Pines have bundles of long needles and do not have a naturally pointed habit. They smell different, sound different in the wind, their forests have entirely different characters. Get acquainted, try to climb a couple.

Paulla said...

Good point - I should have used the term, "Evergreen." I often use the term "Pine Trees" as a generality for evergreens, much as I call all soda "Coke."