Saturday, August 27, 2016

Postcards from Maine: Trespassing

On our first evening at the inn, our friend invited us to visit a coastal property in Southwest Harbor that had just been sold. The sellers want him to sell the contents of the house in his antique shop and he wanted company. The sellers are long-time residents who bought the place decades ago but never spent a one night in the old-fashioned wooden house overlooking Somes Sound. It turned out to be an excellent investment.

It's a stunning, expansive stretch of waterfront on a quiet, woodsy road. The new owners are in the Rockefeller family, revered on the island for their past generosity (donating much of the land that is now Acadia National Park) and continuing philanthropy. They will preserve the land and keep their usual low profile. No hedge-fund or big-pharma MegaMansion will disturb that pristine shore.

The full moon was rising and the sun was setting when we arrived. We ate a pizza on a picnic table as it grew dark. 

Our friend told us that the property stretched as far along the coast as we could see. Across Somes Sound, we caught glimpses the water sides of the wonderful old Shingle-style houses we often drool over in Northeast Harbor. The water sides are usually more interesting the the sides facing the road. I recognized the back of Rosserne, which I've only seen in photos, and once from a boat:

Imagine having this as your view:

We walked along the pebbly beach.

It was as quiet as it looks.

Inside the house there was no power, so we were glad to have our iPhone flashlights, especially in the basement, which had many more cobwebs than I like (I like NO cobwebs and was happy to get out of there). There were about four bedrooms, all empty.

There were three leaded-glass windows and a few chairs in the sunroom. A friend of the family was camping there, using a sleeping bag and candles.

A pair of Adirondack chairs sat before the living room fireplace. The house was mostly empty but felt like a good, happy place even so.

We drove away in the moonlight. Before we went back to the inn, we trespassed on someone's boatyard on the other side of the harbor — our friend wanted to show us a boat he was thinking of renting for a party. He apologized to an annoyed neighbor as we continued along the dock, and then we met and charmed the captain, who came striding toward us in the darkness and turned out to be a kindly and patient man. It was too dark to actually see the boat.

Then we drove to see yet another piece of waterfront property, newly purchased by the same people who had just sold the one on Somes Sound. (They won't be living there, either, apparently, at least not for a while.) We trespassed there only briefly, deciding we'd come back when it wasn't so dark. We'd gotten lost finding it and had trespassed on a few private driveways and roads along the way.

By the time we got home I was somewhat queasy from rattling around in a smoky truck on dirt roads. I was also melancholy, realizing that even though I'd never been brave enough to venture inside the condemned house in Searsport, for example, trespassing turns out not to be such a big deal. I have experience, especially in the dark.

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