So “welcome” isn’t exactly the right salutation… it’d be more along the lines of “Five months and counting” in Vacationland, which sounds weird. The whole thing strikes me as odd. Most people get, what? maybe 2 weeks of vacation a year? I’ve been living in Vacationland since March. Sometimes, I’ll look up after a hot day in the field forgetting completely how insanely picturesque my environment is. It’s like waking up suddenly from vivid dream and coming to the conclusion you must still be dreaming based on how unreal the scenery looks. Honestly, though, it just dawned on me how fitting the nickname is for Maine. There’s even a local beer named Vacationland (above), bottled with a bright green label featuring a bear offering up a cold one he stole from a campsite.
Maine is known as the state well-to-do (hell, even just well-meaning) parents send their kids off to for summer camp. The whole place is like one giant camp complete with swimming areas, trails, waterparks, boat rides, whale watching, rafting, canoeing…you get the idea. They even call their summer or vacation homes “camp.”
The state is entirely populated with a whole bunch of happy campers, too. There’s something about Mainers, it seems like no matter how hard their work day/week has been that there’s always room for a little fishing, camping or hiking. “Hey Jack, just finished my 18 hour shift at the Iron Works, what say you to some casual, deep-sea fishing or crabbing to cool off?” Bless them.
I got out on the Appalachian trail, enjoyed the novelty of it for about 3 days before I began plotting my escape route to the nearest shower. [More on that in a post on my experiences hiking the AT.]
It’s also the only state I’ve ever lived in where it’s sunny even on a rainy day. I saw my first double rainbow here and documented it thinking “How rare! I must collect photographic evidence for posterity.”
At this point I’ve seen and photographed so many freaking rainbows I had to delete some of the images from my gallery to conserve space. Maine is so cheerful and vacation-y that rainbows are as common place as fog in London and sunshine in southern California.
Is it really surprising, though, that the state that brought you “Whoopie Pies” and $5/lb lobsters would be such a cheerful and well-meaning place? My boss’s car broke down on his way to a farmers’ market, and a Burger King employee jumped into action offering to drive him and all his market set-up to the farmers’ market because “he was on his break.”
The Burger King manager on duty obliged, but was not available for commentary because he was probably having a cookout and pool party during his own15 minute break at work.