Every morning around nine o'clock, the street running through Deer Isle Village fills with parked cars. They line both sides of the road, with license plates from Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Ontario, as well as Maine. By mid-morning cars cruise slowly along the street, waiting for a space to become available. Who are these people and what are they doing? It seems there are more parked cars than stores!
We know that many of the cars are here because visitors come to stroll from shop to shop, Ferns fill the forest floor spending a day traveling from one art gallery or craft shop to the next. There is ice cream to eat, along with real estate offices with tempting rentals and property to purchase. The post office is here, and a tiny gift shop. When we returned to town the other day everyone was talking about the large turnout of emergency vehicles a few miles away at the nursing home. We added our information, having just driven past the scene.
The coast of Maine was not put together with pedestrians in mind. You either walk in the road or on someone's front lawn, close to the flower garden, or else on the rocky causeways which are wet at high tide. A lot of boats are to be seen, and a few captains give boat rides, but there are no boats to The old quary at the hill top rent, as the waters are too dangerous for strangers. So we have investigated Where To Walk.
The Island Heritage Trust, which occupies an office in our building, offers brochures illustrating several walks and hikes in the area. On a bright and sunny afternoon, with the air crystal clear after some rain showers, we tried a couple of woodland walks. The first was more suitable for youths with big dirty boots than senior citizens in street shoes, so we continued on to the second, in the Old Stonington Quarry.
This was much more to our liking. An old dirt road took us to the top of the A glacial erraticquarry where we could see a good deal of Penobscot Bay, dotted with islands. The McGuire family knew how to cut and polish granite, and the quarry turned out to have more than enough high-quality stone for a hundred years of work. Now all the quarrying McGuires are gone, and three polished stone memorial benches remember their industry, which brought jobs to many islanders. Stone from this quarry was used for President Kennedy's monument.
We made a loop walk, returning by the Glacial Erratic Trail. After giggling about some plays on those words, we were forced to get serious by a trailside sign: “You will notice that this rock is not granite. It was brought in and left by the melting glacier and is called a glacial erratic.” After that we pointed out a Another view from our window few more such rocks to one another, while we enjoyed the ferns and lichen and freshly respun spider webs. We had worked up a little sweat by the time we returned to the truck.
As we drive up and down the roads along this part of the Maine coast, it keeps growing on us; the old houses endure and are well kept, a good number of people have vegetable gardens and flower gardens, people wave at least as much as in Texas, a lot of artists have taken up residence here and there, using their home as studio and salesroom -- one sign reads, “Pottery Sale. Self-Service Gallery.” Here and there a resident will have a small stand in front of the house, perhaps with blueberries or flowers to sell. These indications are teaching us a lot about the character of the people.