Made a last minute, break-neck trip to Monhegan Island last week. My good friends were living out there all summer, but due to the general madness of my schedule, I ended up racing the season to get out there.
If you’ve never been, I’d highly recommend it. There’s nothing like stepping onto a boat and going back in time, which is exactly what it’s like visiting the island. As soon as the ferry casts off from Port Clyde, your existence becomes a matter of you-being-out-there and land-being-back-there. In between is a whole lot of water — 12 miles of it, in fact — and the only way rejoin society at large is by floating for about an hour.
Monhegan feels remote, but for some people, that’s not enough. Just across the tiny harbor that shelters the few lobster boats that work the surrounding waters there’s another, smaller island. More on the specifics of that later, but for the meantime, it was pretty shocking to see what looked like a heady Californian coastal house presiding over view. The place apparently belongs to a doctor from the mainland who has built the entire place himself over the past 20 or 30 years. Word is, as soon as he sets foot on the island his shoes, socks and shirt come off — that’s my kind of style.
This guy gave me a full tour of the lighthouse (dude’s been charming the shit out of tourists all summer doing the same). I can’t really believe this, but words are kind of failing me when it comes to this place. It’s been steering sailors around the island’s rocky shores since 1824, and it’s still looking S-H-A-R-P!
White washed walls and a cherry-red, single-piece iron spiral stairs? Don’t mind if I do. How many people have marveled at the solid construction of this station before me?
The view from above does the island all kinds of justice. Under the heavy marine layer, it felt a little like the edge of the world — and the surrounding forests dripping with fall rain, not at all unlike a giant terrarium.
KEEP AN EYE ON WW&W FOR PART TWO, COMING SOON.
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