Sunday, October 5, 2008

Reveling in Coastal Maine's Sounds of Silence


Article by Eric H.

Clifton Dock in Northeast Harbor, Maine, will never get press headlines as a tourist destination. It was never meant to be that way, thankfully, for those who are less interested in being a tourist and more interested in becoming part of the fabric of this region.

Clifton Dock -- a grand representation of pristine Mt. Desert Island near Adacia National Park -- offers one nothing more than a dock, Maine coastal water views, boats in the water, a weathered red bench and refreshing salt-sea air. If this scene could be translated to wealth, we'd be millionaires. Gone is the traffic, the souvenir shops, the expensive tourist attractions, the neanderthal six-pack crowds and people "who want to be seen" that many times impede the very reason we try to "get away': to attain some sense of peace and relaxation.

Just as an actor learns to play his part, there are travelers who become so ensconced in their role of visiting a new area that they consider these destinations part of their inner soul. Clifton Dock corrects our "travel set point" - that is, bringing us back to a place that was excitingly natural in our formative years and even more exciting now after years of over stimulation in our out-of-control, ever-growing suburban environment. This begs the question a wise friend once exclaimed: why do we say we're returning to civilization when this is civilization?
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