I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a trip my husband and I took in June of 2007 to a little island that’s located about mid-Coast of Maine, called Deer Isle. I knew of the island from my sister; she had taken several workshops in college at Haystack (which is located on the island). Some of her paintings created during her last year at college were based on photographs from her stays (my favorite, a diptych, is partially shown here). Her paintings of the forests, along with her stories of how beautiful the island was, swayed us to want to visit.
We rented a small cottage just outside Stonington and stayed for a week. We knew ahead of time that the island wasn’t known for tourism, but for a small lobstering and fishing community (wikipedia claims it’s census from 2000 showed just above 1,800 residents), as well as a small artist community. It sounded like heaven to us. We went with a car full of books, food, and hiking supplies. The week we spent on Deer Isle was one of the most peaceful weeks that I’ve ever had. I have wonderful memories of just hanging around and reading, going for walks by the shore, hikes through the mossy forests (the island is a temperate rain forest and the forest floors are covered in a blanket of moss and lichen), taking trips “downtown” to the one of a handful of restaurants or galleries, eating the absolute BEST seafood we’ve both ever had, taking aimless drives around the island, watching clam digging (which my husband participated in – with the purchase of a visitor’s permit), paddling out in the canoe that came with the cottage (we were located right on an ocean cove) and having a bald eagle fly over our heads, taking naps everyday, cooking amazing meals, and just being together. If you love nature and real peace and quiet, then Deer Isle is for you. I highly recommend it.
Some of my favorite places to visit were:
• Nervous Nelly’s Jams & Jellies (wonderful, quirky place to visit with lots of yummy homemade jams)
• The Fisherman’s Friend Restaurant (the best seafood on earth and very friendly staff – I think we went 3 or so times!)
• Barred Island Trail (an amazing hiking trail with unbelievable moss and lichen)
• Stonington Sea Products (I don’t like smoked fish, but my husband does and raved about it; they also have amazing fresh caught raw seafood for purchase)
• Stonington Farmer’s Market (located at the Stonington Community Center from late May or early June till September)
The memories I have from Deer Isle have been largely on my mind lately. I’m not sure when we’ll be able to visit again, but I would love to go and have some peace and quiet again. Perhaps this is year, and this would be the time to plan on another summer visit…
(For more information about Deer Isle, check out the Deer Isle Chamber of Commerce)