Guest Blogger Elizabeth Snowdon on Fort Edgecomb, Ocean Point Walk & The Beautiful Unseen

Ram Island Light
Ram Island Light (seen from Ocean Point)

Today I’m excited to welcome guest blogger Elizabeth Snowdon, a friend of mine at school with her own awesome blog and radio station. On her site Coffee & Lipstick she shares some of the pieces she is working on with info about her materials and methods as well. Without further ado, here’s Liz.

Hey there, Misadventurers! It’s Elizabeth Snowdon. My blog is an artsy one, but I realize the focus on things that are purely art-related is not everyone’s cup of tea. For that reason, my goal for my guest posts here is to keep you, the travel-hungry reader, sated with pictures, reviews, facts, and tips, but also to guide you through my experience with an artistic flair. This could be in the form of travel sketching, or simply through photography.

So while Michael takes the blog on the road in the States and abroad, I’m holding down the fort (heh heh) here in Maine. I’ve lived in the Brunswick area all of my life and I’m a rising junior at Bowdoin College. I don’t know everything there is to know about Maine, but I know a lot, and for that reason, it can be hard for me to find new places that catch my interest. My most recent excursion to Fort Edgecomb and Ocean Point Walk in East Boothbay reaffirmed my belief that no matter where you are in Maine, you’re bound to find something unique, inspiring, and beautiful.

Barnacles in a tidal pool:crevice
Barnacles in a tidal pool/crevice
Sailboats along Fisherman's Passage
Sailboats along Fisherman’s Passage

Fort Edgecomb

My family and I set out to Fort Edgecomb as the first stop in our weekend daytrip. Fort Edgecomb in Edgecomb, ME was built in 1808 to defend Wiscasset and the Sheepscot River against the English. It saw its heaviest action during (the end of) the War of 1812. As English ships attacked neighboring islands and towns, the fort remained so well-stocked in artillery and men that it was never directly threatened. During times of peace, the troops and cannons were transferred to other forts until the Civil War when Fort Edgecomb again became an active fort.

What remains visible on the fort’s grounds is the blockhouse–where troops sheltered and took aim with muskets–and an “earthwork” that originally housed cannon poised for enemies approaching along the Sheepscot River.

Fort Edgecomb Blockhouse (entrance to left)
Fort Edgecomb Blockhouse (entrance to left)
Inside the Blockhouse
Inside the Blockhouse
3rd and upper-most level of the Blockhouse
3rd and upper-most level of the Blockhouse
The view from the 2nd floor of the Blockhouse with earthwork and Sheepscot River in distance (and yes, that is the park ranger mowing the lawn)
The view from the 2nd floor of the Blockhouse with earthwork and Sheepscot River in distance (and yes, that is the park ranger mowing the lawn)

The interior of the block is well-preserved, with one exception: carved initials.

At the base of the staircase to the 2nd level
At the base of the staircase to the 2nd level

Oddly enough, the vandalism of the blockhouse is what made us stay so long––partly because we were looking for my grandfather’s initials, but also because the style of the carvings, the messages within them, and the oldest dates were fun to hunt down. The earliest one we found was from the 1820s.

Initials and musket hole
Initials and musket hole
Polar Bears, Represent!
Polar Bears, Represent!

Also, it’s in this blogger’s opinion that the blockhouse is all kinds of crazy-haunted, but you can take that with as many grains of salt as you wish.

Ocean Point Walk

Since our family excursion was to celebrate my father’s birthday, and my dad likes trails, we came to Ocean Point in East Boothbay on a whim after a quick drive-thru people-watching Boothbay adventure (which was three minutes long and, side note: Boothbay is a tourist hotspot in Maine summer, and the streets are clogged with pedestrians like a zombie movie).

The trailhead is not very long, maybe 200 feet or so, and is lined with beach roses. When you get to the end of the trailhead, your adventure is your own. You come to this:

Ocean Point Walk
Ocean Point Walk

Ocean Point Walk was our last stop for the day, and it was a fitting choice, as being by the ocean is always a mental game changer.

My roots in Maine have lent me a particular intimacy with the coast; it is one that I don’t imagine as being unique to me, but rather one that allows me to play a role in the collective of those who also find themselves entranced by the sea. It’s not hard to find yourself absorbed in a postcard view, but the lasting impressions of beauty are not what you can see in my photos. There is beauty in the kind of letting go I can only find by the wild, insatiable ocean. There is beauty about allowing yourself to be lost and to surrender yourself to something greater, vast, and engulfing. There is beauty in enjoying, relishing, indulging in a coexistence with something you can know but never quite understand.

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant called this “the Sublime.”

I call it “home.”