We just returned from a very peaceful and gorgeous weekend on Monhegan Island and we returned with more memories, definitely more relaxed, darker tans, great sketches, many photos and some lobsters we picked up on our way back down the coast. All-in-all a super get away weekend.
Monhegan is a stunningly beautiful island.. 11 miles off the coast of Maine, shaped like a whale, with 150 foot headlands on the north side sloping down to low coves on the southern end. There are 17 miles of hiking trails through the wilds of of Monhegan, with hundreds of species of wildflowers and seabirds. The island is also an artist colony, with as many as 20 studios open during the peak summer months. Monhegan holds a special place in American art history, having been the part-time home of Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, George Bellows and Robert Henri. Jamie Wyeth, the youngest of the celebrated Wyeth clan, owned a studio here for many years, a shake shingle-clad home on the island’s southern shore.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the ferry crossing went quite smooth. I got many shots, walked the many lovely trails to view the cliffs and wildlife, bought some lovely lupine pottery for my collection while my painter got much sketching done and one finished watercolor piece piece.
We took one of the small cottages overlooking the harbor if for nothing else but some solitude, one of the reasons this lovely place draws me back every year. It’s almost as if time has stood still here on the island–you’ll find no paved roads, nor city street lights–at best gas fired lanterns or kerosene to light your path. One thing these residents can’t complain about.. the high price of electricity over here.
This is the Island Inn, and elegant old establishment that only gets better over the years. The spots below the Inn are Adirondack chairs. Yes there are a few people there with a big bucket of ice, a chilled bottle of wine and some cheese. We relaxed on the lawns before we had dinner Saturday evening at the Inn. I felt like we were in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel for a bit of time. 😉
This really is a no-brainer. The island is one veritable postcard after another.
There are 400 species of wildflower on Monhegan, gnarled pine trees and fields
of waving grass, set against the Atlantic. The houses have picket
fences and gardens filled with flowers that have benefited from the
morning fog. Lobster pots are stacked against 19th century homes, the
sea turns colors you simply can’t imagine, and the light is sharp ocean light
– you are 12 miles out to sea, after all. From the compact village hub of
humanity on the island, you can branch out on half a dozen paths that
bring you to the edge of the cliffheads, to ledges where seals and puffins bask and
make noises, to promontories where you can look for whales, and if you’re really lucky you might even spot ‘Angry Birds’ right here on this little island paradise.
I made the mistake of nearing this gull’s nest and did she ever squawk like the dickens at me! Bring a stack of books, a sketchpad, clearly your camera and your hiking boots and step back in time yourself, which is one of the better definitions of“vacation” that I can think of in the 21st century.