It was a steamy August afternoon in the year 2003 when a couple of friends and I were heading up Route 26 on our way to watch the Montreal Expos play at Olympic Stadium. Thanks to the choking humidity and merciless temperature this car-full of kids desired nothing greater than to take a dip in some cool, refreshing swimming hole somewhere roadside. Our dreams were finally realized when we came upon Screw Auger Falls, a staple attraction of Grafton Notch State Park. Screw Auger Falls, with its beautiful cascades, remarkable rock formations, and magnificent twenty foot drop, took my breath away. As we waded in the crisp water and dunked our heads beneath the steady stream of spring water, two key facts dawned on me: 1) Not only was the waterfall contenting my body, but my mind was also put to peace by its fortifying nature; 2) I had never even been to a real water fall before.

It was the second fact that shocked me. It suddenly clicked that I was experiencing a waterfall for the first time in my sixteen and a half years of living. Despite everything I had learned throughout my entire life, I had never even experienced the state I live in. Before that day I had never even heard of Screw Auger Falls, let alone Grafton Notch State Park. Maine is a place that is known for its natural beauty and wonder, and I had neglected to educate myself in what truly makes Maine a great place.

Eventually a three hit, seven strikeout mastery of the San Francisco Giants by Javier Vazquez would take my mind off my lack of familiarity with the outdoors attractions of Maine. The notion would linger in my mind though, and there it would consistently grow. I realized I had to do something. The exploration began in April of 2004, as I convinced my friend Danial Deschaine to be my companion and photographer for the project we affectionately named SEE_MAINE. Since Spring 2004 we have traveled to numerous locations around Maine, unraveling the mysteries of places we had never even dreamed existed along the way. As of this writing we have visited more than twenty natural and scenic areas, each with their own distinctive charm and splendidness. We’ve chronicled our journeys with Danial’s stark and impressive photography on a website which is still under construction.

SEE_MAINE has become much more than a means of exploration for me. Between homework, applying to colleges, working two jobs, and trying to enjoy my final year of high school, SEE_MAINE provides a much needed break from all the stress of senior year. I look forward to the peaceful feeling I get at each new Maine attraction. In a time when lives are full of work and constant worrying about things like wars and elections and health care, it is vital to take a break, open your eyes, and enjoy the wonderful areas so close to home. There is so much beauty in this state and I urge everyone to experience it, do not take it for granted the way I did for so long. Get out there and see the things you never even fathomed the existence of. Natural splendor is perhaps the most effective way to put your mind at peace and Maine offers an incredible supply of it.

(Check out the SEE_MAINE website: http://irowbot.net/row/open.html )


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.