Pott’s Point Preserve: Flashback to Fantasy Land
By Jamie Pacheco
My parents both grew up on the coast: one a Mainer, the other a fortunate Massachusetts transplant. I grew up in inland Maine, since my parents’ work took them away from the sea. My parents missed the ocean and they spoke of it often throughout my childhood. To me, coastal living became some magical fairy tale equitable with supreme happiness. My dad’s family is Portuguese (Italian stereotypes nail my dad’s family). They still live in Gloucester, MA, which is essentially a glorified Portuguese-Italian fishing village. Not only were my visits to the coast full of eclectic beauty and salty air, they also contained a healthy dose of joy, and a lot of noise. We are talking about some very loud people here.
My partner, Nate, and I have been living on the Maine coast for two years now, right in the magic of my childhood, and we have become somewhat immune to its charm. Humans are adaptable, and I think it is one of our greatest and worst traits. We look at all of the beauty Harpswell has to offer and we don’t always see it.
I remember the first time I traveled Mountain Road. I was in awe, it was summer and I drove over Ewing Narrows, where a fleet or two of boats were moored. The sun was shining and the water sparkling. The trees were fully dressed and sunning themselves along the shore. The air smelled of ocean– that salty smell that seaweed holds as the tide goes out.
Every now and then I get a day or a moment that puts me right back in that first day in Harpswell. Recently Nate and I explored Pott’s Point Preserve and this was one such day. We were leaving Mitchell Field with Essex and instead of turning left for home, we turned right for Pott’s Point. Once we had parked at the end of Harpswell Neck Road, we moseyed along the shore (it being low tide) and then we rounded the corner. Before us was another glorious view of Maine’s coast.
There were huge peat shelves, feet thick. When do normal people get to see these sorts of things? There were immense tide pools, where I was educated on the recreational activities of shrimp-like creatures. The beach was made up of patches of sand, shells and shells and glass worn down to small bits. The beach had no single ecological feature, but melded many. It was like being in another land. We found an entire corroded engine lying among the rocks, with the tiny details of the gears clearly evident, and an immense wooden pole lying like a tightrope across the rocks.
The rocks themselves were massive, rusting, striated structures ideal for hide and go seek. Essex and I began one such game, and as I scrambled across seaweed-covered rocks, I could hear the voices of my parents calling back from my childhood: “Be careful on the seaweed, it’s slippery. I knew a kid who cracked their head open running across the rocks.” As threats go, it was fairly effective. To this day, I hear their voices of warning.
Being at Pott’s Point was like re-engaging with my childhood self, the eight-year-old version that joyously moved from one delightful find to the next, fiercely backed by a trusty imagination. I love moments like this, when the beauty in front of me lights up my whole life. I wish I could share this joy with everyone. So please come down and explore.
This article is one of many as part of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Outdoor Adventure Blog. Click here to browse others. We invite everyone who explores the outdoors in Harpswell to submit stories and photos of their adventures for inclusion. We reserve the right to edit submissions. Send your stories to Julia McLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!