The Five is a new feature on Part Time Vagabond that showcases an adventure, big or small, in five – and only five – photos with text (or minutes of video, minutes of sound, etc). Think of it as though you’re presenting your trip to a group of really interested friends; you tell a story with each picture, but you only have five minutes to get your whole trip across. What will you say? The premise is to boil down in the most basic elements what truly makes us want to travel and seek out adventure, and to examine those elements for some hint of what these journeys bring to our lives. Either that, or it’s to look at pretty pictures. You decide.
If you’d like to contribute your own Five, shoot an email to info [at] filmosity.com and let me know.
Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine – October 2008
A year ago, I was living in Jersey City, New Jersey, trying to figure out why I was so depressed. It didn’t occur to me that it was the city – and the state – that was driving me crazy until I came to Maine for a weekend camping trip with my brother. These images are from that trip.
It was around mid-October, 2008, a time when the colors of fall in Mid-Coast Maine are at their peak. I’ve been coming to Acadia since 1993, and had never seen color as striking as this.
October is just past peak tourist season in Maine, so while there are still a good amount of people floating around the park, it’s much quieter there than other times of the year. Here I soak in some sun breaking through the trees at our campsite. It’s been some time since I’ve been camping, so some of my clothing and equipment are not quite up to par, even for “car camping.”
On the second day of the trip, I decided to hike Dorr Mountain (named for one of the fathers of Acadia National Park, George Dorr), a walk I had never done before. It was a goal I had set for myself, one of many new goals I seemed to be putting on my list at the time. Sitting here, at the base of Dorr Mountain on the edge of The Tarn (a mountain pond), I first realized that the quiet was something I sorely missed living in New Jersey.
It wasn’t until I made it up to The Bubbles, a pair of small bulbous mountains at the north end of Jordan Pond that I finally decided it may be time for a life change. Sitting on a rock outcropping on the edge of the South Bubble, my senses came to me with a renewed vigor. I could smell, hear, see, even taste something I had lost since moving to a more urban environment.
It was time. Being able to sit at places like Eagle Lake, or hike up the Bubbles, or even backpack to the summit of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park (the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail) on a regular basis was my new goal. It may be somewhat cliche, but in the words of Henry David Thoreau, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.”
Simply put, I needed to eliminate things in my life that were not only distracting me, but influencing me in a negative way. I didn’t know if moving to Maine would eliminate my problems – I wasn’t naive enough to really think it would – or simply create newer, more interesting problems, but I had to at least make a change I thought would be positive.
So far, so good.