In hindsight now, the trip was a huge blessing and a smashing success. All of our activities paid significant dividends into our family collectively, and into our souls individually. To try to explain all of it here seems impossible, but I'm going to share a few moments (in no given order) that I hope will never leave my memory.
Evan, king of Cadillac mountain.Our first outdoor adventure turned out to be reaching the summit of Cadillac mountain. For all our exhaustive planning, we found ourselves hiking this mountain trail completely by accident. In truth, had we known what waited for us, we might not have undertaken the journey. You see, for Kris, Aiden and myself, this hike was engaging but far from the most difficult hiking experience Maine has to offer. But, for Evan, this would surely be pushing the limits of his five year old legs. Kris and I simply agreed at the onset: Nobody would carry him, or his pack. We were going to share this experience as a family, or not at all. Well, I've heard of people "bounding" as a means to describe how they walk/run. There is truly no more appropriate word to use in telling of how Evan traveled up this mountain. It was an awesome and inspiring thing to witness. I hope he holds onto that experience, and references it often to gain strength and confidence in whatever life has in store for him.
|Evan Owned that mountain|
Aiden's Cove (Raccoon cove)Our home for the week sat on a tidal cove. As the week progressed we gained an understanding of the tide schedule and when best to venture out in the canoe. By the week's end Aiden was ready to venture out into more open waters on his own. He had no fear, he was filled only with the excitement of being on his own experiencing creation. I handed him a paddle, sat down on the shore and watched him go. I felt no trepidation. I was supremely comfortable in Aiden's ability to think critically and respond in a calculated manner to any challenges that arise.
|Aiden heading out under the shadow of Cadillac Mountain. The same Mountain he summited with his brother a few days earlier.|
Two AM wake-up callWho goes on vacation and wakes up at 2am? People who want to see moose, of course!
One day in particular, we awoke at what most regarded as an ungodly hour to head wayyyyy north to Kokadjo where the moose population is more than the people population. As if this was not crazy enough for those in my company, we arrived to our guide saying..."Ok, everyone in the van, we've got about another hour drive to go. Several unmapped logging roads and about one hour later we arrived at a place with literally no name. Truly wild and unblemished. Our reward was 30 minutes in the company of a mother and her four week old calf.
|Perhaps I am just a city boy on holiday, but sharing space with truly wild animals is a holy experience.|
Maine, 2106 debriefReturning to a normal routine after vacation was difficult. I've been told by others who take many trips this is quite a normal phenomena. Some call it post vacation blues. Some call it depression. Whatever it is, it motivated me to immediately book next year's trip. Virginia, here we come! I am also struggling to look beneath the symptoms of "post vacation blues" and understand why I was so sad to go back to work and daily life.
Vacation for me was about immersing myself into the community of family. The return on investment of that time was huge. Where else on the planet is this so evident or important? You can be the most exemplary employee and find yourself out of a job in an instant. Your most secure investments can evaporate overnight. Living a life in pursuit of being "normal" or "secure" is a pure waste of time and produces no return on investment.
Here's what I'm confused about:
Why is the "normal" way of life one that separates families on a regular basis? Most of our time in this "normal" way of life is spent at work or sleeping. Time in community with our family is a distant third at best. I have a good job. I am treated well. My bills are paid and I have been blessed with a beautiful family and home to live in. Why should I be sad at all? I believe this sadness results from our everyday routines returning little value as compared to the effort and mental energy we spend on them.
|Sunset, Cadillac Mountain|
An embarrassing amount of selfies, moose pictures, and landscape photos can be found here.