September in Maine

In an effort to stay somewhat current in my blogging, I write about this past summer before the year ends. After moving from Japan to Maine in August, I was eager to get back into the swing of things here and explore an old home state.

Back in September, I made my first visit to Old Orchard Beach. Prepared for cooler weather, my friend Natalie and I went unprepared for a hot, beach day. Old Orchard Beach is famous for its boardwalk, and it draws a lot of French Canadian tourists for the thrills and waves. By the time we visited, the amusement park was closed. There was a Harley Davidson convention and people rode up to the boardwalk on beefed up motorcycles. Others dove into the cold water. A cyclist with a fannypack walked along the shore. We got Dairy Queen because it felt like summer, and then we returned to the city.

September in Maine is also fair season. One of the most famous is the Common Ground Fair. Some say the Common Ground Fair draws people who are just coming out of the woods for the first time since Woodstock. In Unity, the fair is a bit of a drive from Portland. People rave about the food, which is good, but you have to be ready to pay a lot on top of the $15 admission.

The grounds are huge, and there are several agriculture and livestock demonstrations throughout the weekend. We went to the sheepdog demonstration, and it was life-changing. Never before had I seen border collies in action or sheep hiding their heads under a table to avoid the heat.

The Cumberland Fair is another popular one, and it seems to draw more Mainers than the crunchy Bowdoin-Colby crowd. The rides here were functioning, the string fries greasy, and the fried oreos plenty. The livestock here were also impressive, and it, in many ways, felt more worth it than the Common Ground Fair.

One night after work, some coworkers and I went to see Bandaloop, a show in which dancers glide along the side of a building, hopping, leaping, and twirling above the city. It drew a big crowd, and we collectively held our breath with their riskier moves.

And on one of those warmer days, some friends and I went to Sewell Pond in Arrowsic. There’s a great rope swing over the water, and a couple small clusters of rock to sit on and read.

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