How does this Central Maine writer like to kickback and relax? A day trip to the coast is most welcome every now and then. And, it’s bound to be inspiring.
The forecast was perfect—60s and sunny with a coastal spring breeze. We packed the car (jackets/coffee/snacks) and headed south along The Moosehead Trail (Route 7 from Newport to Belfast), then east over Head of Tide Road to meet Route 1, where we drove north to Searsport to enjoy one of our favorite spots—Moose Point State Park. This coastal gem is the perfect spot to savor an afternoon picnic, revel in the views of Penobscot Bay, climb its rock-bound shore and trek the trails through an awe spruce forest. Ah, the magic of Maine!
Thanks for hopping on board, friends. What’s your favorite spot to enjoy on a day away?
October mini-vacation plans included a day trip to climb Mount Battie in Camden, Maine. My friend Lea was up from Virginia for our annual get-together. Only five days and the meteorologists were predicting lots of clouds and little sun. The ground was damp and soggy from weeks of rain.
I’ve wanted to climb Mount Battie for several years, but hadn’t made the trek. We woke, dressed, packed for a short hike and headed out for Camden Hills State Park on the only day with a partly sunny forecast. Camden Hills State Park is historically significant because of its connection with Depression-era federal programs and early efforts in the 1930s to develop state park systems throughout the United States. The national park service relied on local talent, such as Hans Heistad, noted landscape architect, in addition to a Civilian Conservation Corps crew based in the area. The park is open from May through October and offers a hiking system with over 30 miles of trails. We were on our way.
Heading for the hills.
Quick stop for a photo op.
The trails start here, to the left we would veer.
The start of the trail, we’re sure to prevail.
Sandstone, mudstone, granite and basalt; step by very cautious step, we climb archaic rock.
Down the pits and up the mounds, spying woodlands all around.
A mile and a half, we finally made it through; A hike that yields the grandest prize — magnificent the view!
As a nature lover, teacher, reader and writer I often took my class on nature walks with clipboards, pencils and plenty of paper in hand. A great, creative writing project to do with the grandkids! Goal: each person finds something interesting and inspiring. It might be a flower, a tree, an insect. Subjects in the great outdoors are unlimited. Take notes, usually a list, word web or other diagram about one or two of the most interesting things you’ve observed. Then, write a poem about what you’ve selected and illustrate your poem. Haiku (three lines: 5-7-5 syllables) is one of my favorites for creating quick word snapshots that kids really enjoy writing. Talk to the kids about similes, metaphors and other figurative language. Have an example on hand to model and share with the kids. With illustrated poems in hand, take another nature walk. Find an outdoor theatre (under the shade of a tree in the backyard or playground ). You might even choose to take a walking field trip to a nearby park. Bring a lunch or snack and enjoy a “Poetry Party,” where everyone gets to perform! All of my life, I’ve been inspired by the beauty and wonder in the world around me. A camping trip with my family to Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine www.mooseheadlake.org/ inspired me to write this word snapshot, and, of course, I had fun illustrating it, too.
This was one of my classroom “shares.”
Writing Haiku or any short form of poetry is a great, creative family or classroom activity that’s fun for everyone! Demonstrate your poems and have your own party. As a bonus, you’ve got personal posters for rooms, bulletin boards or scrapbooks!
What are some of your favorite ideas that are sure to inspire kids to have fun reading and writing?