Friday, June 25, 2010

A Day at Crescent Beach

Kate at Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

I wrote this about a week ago and then forgot to post it, so here it is.

A Day at Crescent Beach

Nate picked me up at 2:30, and we had the good fortune of both being ready at the same time for once. We made a quick stop on the way to Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth at the Gay Pride festival. I hadn't been to it in years, so I was very curious how it would be different.

The first thing we saw was the giant, beautiful Deering Oaks fountain. I can't remember the last time I saw that thing on - then again it's been years since I was in Portland for the summer. It was so beautiful! I immediately took out my camera and began snapping pictures of everything around me. The wind brew the spray from the fountain on me so I actually got a little wet, which was wonderfully refreshing.

As I had suspected it might be, the gay pride festival was a photography gold mine. Not as much as a big city one would be, and hardly anyone dressed outrageously (surprisingly) but still.
I took a picture of some drag queens sitting at a picnic table, a brief one of the stage where the music was coming from (very brief because that area was very smelly/fragrance and cigarettes), and wandered into the area for organizations and vendors.

The last time I went, several years ago, the Pride festival had only one food vendor - an ice cream truck, which I must say , pissed me off to no end (I had been looking forward to fair food), and maybe one vendor selling pride crafts, and then half a dozen organizations.

This time, they had branched out (Deering Oaks is a large park), and there was probably half a dozen food vendors, maybe a dozen crafts vendors, and around a dozen organizations. It was very fun to wander from table to table in a White Rabbit-esque daze and see what each new table had! I have always LOVED that about festivals; the surprise and joy of looking at all the different tables to see what they had.

I made a spider out of multicolored pipe cleaners someone was handing out. Much fun. I used to love pipe cleaners as a kid.

After about 30 minutes, we'd all had it, and so we continued on our way to the beach, a perfect ancedote to a hot day.

Crescent Beach

We had chosen Crescent Beach for our outing based on the reputation of Cape Elizabeth for having amazing coastal attractions and also for wanting to try somewhere we hadn't been before.

When we went through the gate, I could not believe what I was hearing when we were told it'd be $18 for us to get in - $4.50 per person! I had thought there might be a $2 or $3 fee, but nearly $5 seemed to be pushing it.

As we walked to the beach, we said, "This better be worth it."

It was.

My first sight of the ocean and the roaring waves sent a jolt of excitement through me. It was so amazingly beautiful. The breeze and cooler coastal temperatures made the temperature just perfect; the sun was shining; and best of all, there was a fierce breeze which felt just wonderful. All around us, kids were playing in the sand and water. It had been years since I was on a proper beach in the summer - I'd been away the last two summers, and we tend to stay at my dad's in the summer because we have the lake right there.

I again grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of everything in sight. More photographic heaven. The waves, the kids making sand castles, the baby wading into the tide pool - all seen through the frame of a camera and captured as beautiful memories forever. The five of us walked on the edge of the shore, where the sand was packed down (most of us agreed loosely packed sand was hard to walk on), towards the end of the coastline. We watched a seagull make off with several food items - I ran to try to catch him on camera, but I think I scared him away. In due time, we made it to a rocky part of the coast. More heaven! There is nothing more that I love in life, I am pretty sure, than climbing on rocks. Something about it makes me feel so good. It's probably a sensory/cognitive thing on some level. Maybe it's because it requires hand eye coordination - a physical work out with the mental challenge of watching where you're going and planning every next step!

At any rate, this was a beautiful set of rocks. The colors on some of them were amazing. We ambled forward and the landscape kept getting more and more amazing the longer we walked. Lots more pictures ensued. We sat at a clearing at one point to rest and talk. At one point, I gasped in disbelief and joy when we rounded a corner and I saw what lay before us on the other side - the rocks went on for as long as your line of sight, and with the ocean below and sky above, it was the closest I have yet seen to the Oregon beaches I loved so much.

I scrambled happily with R2 (there are three Rs lol) back the way we had come, and eventually we met up with the others, who had gone ahead. At some point we fell behind again, and had an enjoyable and peaceful walk back down the coastline. Until, of couse, we got a bit too close to an incoming wave. I jumped out of the way, but my right sneaker and foot still got soaked. I was a little unhappy about this, but I figured it was a sign we should stop walking so much and just enjoy what was around us. Which we did, until the rest of them came back for us. That, and take pictures of some nearby frisbee players.

"We thought you gave up," Nate said when they reached us. "Yeah, well, I fought the ocean and the ocean won," I said with a smile. We then decided to find some of the walking trails rumored to be behind the ocean. In the midst of these trails, we found a playground and soon all four of us were swinging to our hearts' content. (What a great picture THAT would have made.) I am very sorry to say my camera chose that point to die on me, and so I missed out on a LOT of good swinging pictures. But there's always next time (and Nate managed to get 2 before it died).

Having not been on a swing for years, I very much enjoyed this. They were solid straight wooden swings instead of those awful plastic ones. I hate the plastic ones because they're just so damn uncomfortable. They make your body mold to them. I couldn't figure out why the wooden ones were so comfortable until I realized that. Wooden ones are relatively rare.

When we'd had enough swinging and playing on the jungle gym, it was time to go to Whole Foods for dinner. Their outside seating was open so we sat at a table outside -much quieter!- and all enjoyed our food.

At home, it would have been swelteringly hot, but we found ourselves a good time on one of the many beaches of Maine. I cannot tell you how happy and grateful I am to live in southern Maine and how proud I am of my state!


  1. One of the highlights of my own childhood and adolescence would have been swinging on a wooden swing, with the ropes and everything. They were so good for fun and exercise. Yes, the plastic ones do mould!

    Enjoyed the photographs, especially the pipecleaner one. The fountain one: the water is so alive!

    So agree that rocks are a sensory-cognitive thing, but who cares about that while you're having fun! (I would like to see more occupational therapists recommend that).

    "I fought the ocean and the ocean won". Great line, Kate!

  2. That swinging picture is priceless. Pure joy! Love it.

    What a wonderful day.