Sunday, July 15, 2007

This is not a beach blog

[Following Maine's "tourism road"

[Headed to Reid State Park]

[Surf's Up!]

[Beach Accoutrements]

[Beach Currency]

In an earlier post, I made much ado about forsaking the dusty diamonds of the Twilight League to spend a summer of leasure, sitting under an umbrella and relaxing by the sea, at Maine's abundant beaches. That was back in May and over the past six weeks, with lawn mowing, rainy weekends, a garage sale and a book signing last week, opportunities for dipping my toes in the Atlantic have totalled one--a trip to Popham Beach back on June 16.

Fortunately for me and the missus, this Saturday, our calendars were empty and the weather was sunny and warm, so off to Reid State Park we headed.

For those unfamiliar with Maine, Reid State Park is located in Georgetown, about 13 miles south of Bath (on Route 127). Leaving the well-travelled Route 1, normally choked with tourists this time of year, 127 winds its way past beautiful views of marshes and other scenic vistas, as it passes over numerous eddys and estuaries on the way to the state park.

Sitting on 700 acres of beautiful rocky coastline, juxtaposed next to saltwater marshes and ample tree growth, Reid State Park was Maine's first State-owned saltwater beach, with the land coming as a gift from Georgetown businessman and philanthropist, Walter E. Reid. Reid, who made his money in shipping, wanted to leave a lasting gift for the people of Maine, so he donated this diverse coastline habitat to the state, in 1946. Fortunately for Mainers of modest means, men like Reid have left us permanent access to our state's coastline, which at some point, with oceanfront property being snatched up by wealth out--of-staters, will probably be limited to just a few state parks. In light of this, Reid's gift takes on an even greater importance.

The state park has always held a special place in the hearts of Mary and I. Back in the day, nearly 30 years ago, when we first started dating (our 25th wedding anniversary is just around the corner), Reid was one of our favorite beaches to hang out at. Over the years, we've made trips back with our son, Mark and now, when we return, it is always a place filled with warm memories and meaning for both of us.

Yesterday, with temperatures right around 80, with a slight overcast, it was nearly the perfect beach day, weatherwise. If not for a rather sensitive sunburn on my shoulders, obtained by wearing a cutoff and no sunscreen, the day was exactly what the doctor ordered. Five hours of seaside bliss and ample time to pore over some back issues of magazines and fit in a little bit of reading of Ruth Moore's, The Walk Down Main Street, where the late Maine icon's fictional account of Maine High School basketball captures life Downeast, back in the day (probably the 1950s).

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