Monday, October 12, 2020

Our day on Swan Island was completely beautiful. The bikes did not fall off the car. Nothing at all went wrong, except that I found out that I need more air in my bike tires. 

At 9:15 we caught the tiny aluminum ferry from Richmond for a two-minute ride across the Kennebec to the island. And then we spent the day biking, hiking, and lying in the grass.

The island was a farming community, beginning with white settlement in the eighteenth century and ending in the 1940s, when the last owners sold their land to the state. Before then it was a central part of the Wabanaki's seasonal migrations between coastal and inland home sites. Though I was hoping for some historical information about that presence, there seemed to be no Wabanaki relics on view. But several houses still stand, abandoned, though vaguely shored up to keep them from falling entirely to pieces.

The sensation was elegiac: a chilly autumn day, a lonely road, an empty house. There were a few other day hikers, a few campers, but mostly the place was very quiet. We walked through woodland and across fields. We sat on an old hay wagon and drank hot cider. And then we caught the 3 p.m. ferry back to the mainland and came home and ate tuna melts for dinner.


1 comment:

David (n of 49) said...

Love the photos, especially the house: stolid, that one bright white wall, and the windows a pigeon-eyed staring into space.