To celebrate MITA’s 30th anniversary in 2018, we asked our Granite Society (folks with 20+ years of MITA membership) to submit their favorite stories and memories. Every other month we’re sharing a few here on the Tales of the Trail blog, edited for length and clarity.
Member #7213 Yarmouth, ME
I remember standing at Winslow Park on a bluff overlooking Casco Bay, staring out at islands I knew little about. I had two young, adventurous boys, lots of backpacking gear and a canoe. And it suddenly hit me: “This is crazy. I need to get a real boat.”
By luck, I was in a bookstore and spotted the Outboard Boater’s Handbook: Advanced Seamanship and Practical Skills. The cover note said outboard boats were highly evolved and capable of much more than most people realize. “Here’s a book of possibilities,” it concluded.
… That began a lifetime of small-boat adventures, camping and gunkholing along the Maine coast.
… Over the years, I’ve reflected on how many people visit Maine, even live in Maine, and only experience the ocean from the land. It’s as if they’re looking through a window to another world. I like to imagine that at least some of them will gaze offshore, wonder about the islands scattered just beyond reach and say: “This is crazy. I need to get a boat.”
Member #8385 Portland, ME
My husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary (wedding) and 19th anniversary (the kayak trip that first got us together) out on the Trail in June. I never can quite explain how powerful that unplugged time out on the islands is, paddling and exploring each day and then watching the light change with sunset while camping on a sheltered shore. Thank you, thank you.
Member #8669 Yarmouth, ME
…We were struggling with our tent when we realized there was an abandoned cabin on Withum Island in which we took shelter for the night. We were exhausted, but quite proud of our progress and our navigation skills, and so thankful for the MITA guidebook (and the tide tables)!
Needless to say we were tired, sore, and sunbleached, but quite excited about our little adventure. I learned so much on that trip … about oceans, rivers, and tide tables … but mostly I fell even more in love with the coast of Maine.