Today, my last day before returning to work, I spent three hours on Highland Lake, kayaking with my husband. This summer, while driving to canoe the Nonesuch River near Ferry Beach, we picked up a kayak for a song at a garage sale. It joined the canoe and another kayak in our overflowing garage.
It seems the longer we live in Maine, the more paddle craft we get. None of them are fancy. In fact, all but one (a gift) came complete with patches and slow leaks. But they have opened up a whole world that one can only see from the water. This photo of my husband and daughter putting a canoe in was from the day we paddled through the Rachel Carson Bird Sanctuary. We passed herons, egrets, terns, gulls, and plovers. We also passed from the sunny marsh to the thick fog on Higgins Beach, where we pulled out to eat lunch right by an old, wooden shipwreck.
This second photo shows another trip from this summer. We paddled for one and a half hours across a lake. Another paddler told us about this place to pull in, known mostly to locals. We came off the bright lake into the cool of this piney shore. It was the perfect spot to climb out, rest, eat a picnic lunch, and swim. The water felt like silk after the heat of the noon sun. After briefly exploring the peninsula, which was accessible only by water, we climbed in our boats and headed back to our launch site.
I have started to paint more of our outdoor adventures. Within a short drive of home we can paddle, swim, camp, climb, ski, snow shoe, hike, and generally enjoy the outdoors. With all of that at our doorstep, Portland gets better and better every year.