Beyond the Farm Gates: A week in Maine 2021: Part 1

By Kim Carr:

This summer, my friend Jacque invited me to join her on a trip back to her home state of Maine for kayaking, otherwise referred to as “paddling” by the locals. Our trip was to include hiking, lobster eating, and whatever other adventures we might decide to partake in. It isn’t often that I get off the farm, so this was a real treat. Having been nine years since Jacque has been back to Maine, this was a homecoming of sorts for her.

Jacque rented a beautiful home overlooking Dyer Bay in Steuben, Maine, for two weeks. I joined her for the first wee—Saturday, August 14th thru the 21st, 2021. Her kids flew in to stay the second half of her vacation as I headed back home to Missouri. It has taken me a full week to recover; all that paddling and hiking certainly pushed me. It felt good to get out there and become one with Mother Nature and well worth any aches I may be feeling now.

Kayaking was a must, and Jacque rented two for the duration of my trip so that we could spend as much time on the water as possible. We met twice before our actual trip to make travel plans, write out a grocery list, and lay out an itinerary. Even the best-laid plans often go askew. Flexibility and being able to adapt to often-changing plans are a key to happiness and peace of mind when traveling. Our key goal was to explore and have fun. This being my first visit to Maine, I can assure you ALL GOALS were met. I LOVED EVERY second of my trip, even the challenging parts; they made the trip all the more interesting. Here’s a little recap of my adventures in Maine.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Columbia, MO

My cousins David Mark and Arlene let me stay at their house Friday night so I would be close to the airport in Columbia, MO, on Saturday morning. Over the course of the last couple weeks, I have been making arrangements for three sets of friends to stay at the farm and take care of my critters and the farm while I am away. My mom headed to my brother’s for a little vacation of her own. She was able to attend my nephew’s wedding and made a trip to the St. Louis Zoo and the new aquarium in Union Station. I believe she had as much fun with my brother and the great-grandkids as I did in Maine.

Pro Tip: My cousin Arlene makes homemade pizza every Friday night, and it is scrumptious. If you ever have a need to visit my cousins, I highly recommend you go on a Friday.

My cousins had me to the airport about 6:30 a.m., earlier than I get up at home but plenty of time to check in and get oriented. This is very easy to do at the Columbia Regional Airport, as they only have two terminals—smallest airport I have ever seen (of course, my knowledge of airports is slim since I’ve only flown a handful of times). During this early hour visit to the Columbia Airport, I counted a total of six people upon my arrival, and this included employees. Being someone who doesn’t travel often, the much, much, much smaller airport made things easier and less stressful. It was impossible to get lost, and it took a matter of 3.5 seconds to walk from baggage check to security. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would become very appreciative of this tiny airport and the ease of the whole process. My travel home was a little less smooth.

When Jacque arrived, she asked if I would help her unload her suitcases from her truck. It took me, two employees, and a forklift to get her big suitcase out of the back of her truck . . . well, maybe it was only me, but I’m a certain she did pack her entire closet and the kitchen sink. Once we hoisted it onto the scale, United charged her $100 to ship it! Now you know I was not kidding about how heavy it was. I laughed at the weight, but on the positive side, EVERYTHING I asked for after arriving in Maine, she had. Her suitcase was like a Mini Walmart. It saved us extra trips to the store because she had everything we needed except for food.