In the first month of our travels, we raced across America. In the second month we can’t seem to leave Maine, where I (Josh) write to you now. What is the logic behind this plan? (Yes, it is a plan). We figured that since we expect to live in Seattle for the foreseeable future, we wanted to spend the majority of our time in the parts of the country that would be the most difficult (furthest away) to visit. Being that we live on the West Coast, one of the most difficult points for us to visit in the future might be the most Eastern point in the continental U.S. So we set sail (figuratively I mean).
You may have never heard of this place. I hadn’t either, till now. It is called “West Quoddy Head” in Lubec, ME. As we drove up to the site, I guess I was expecting it to be more touristy. Our navigation system told us, “You have arrived”. I saw nothing but a few private homes and the continuation of the road. “We must have the wrong address,” I told Mel. Driving a bit further we found a small parking lot. No camp sites. No large sign or flashing lights. A small light house could be seen in the distance. The wind was fierce and the rain relentless. As we walked towards the light house, our umbrellas were useless in the wind, our faces unprotected from the raindrops that bombarded us. Walking down a forested path, the wind hollowed though the trees. Up ahead we can see the light house and the visitor center. We were greeted warmly by two women as we found refuge in the walls of that shelter. A few small rooms with information about the light house.
Almost no mention in any of the visitor center literature that “WE HAD ARRIVED AT THE EAST MOST POINT OF THE USA.” No bell, no whistles, no American over stimulation. Just the wind, the rain and a light house. As we exited the visitor center nothing outside had changed. The wind continued it’s never ending tournament. But something inside me had. A quiet calm of warmth filled me. I felt a peace despite the harsh conditions. I felt inside myself that I liked this place. A location of extremes that few would visit. An unknown place to me formerly. The East most point of our country that was beaten day in and day out by the extremes one might expect along the sea without the protection of anything else to shield it from nature. Yes, a place of nature. Simple, yet profound.
I smiled as the wind pushed violently against me. I felt the joy of the simplicity of nature. A rugged landscape formed by the elements. A land of inner peace. I was glad that we visited that spot. Not because I could now check off another box of the places we had been to, but because I found much more than I expected to find. Beauty in the harshness of nature.