Reference to “manifest destiny” aside, the northeast is a fascinating change from the Southern California ecosystem. No sooner than 10 miles from the outskirts of Boston’s city limits does one enter the forests of New England. A trip along Hwy 95 North to Maine takes one through dense forests crossed by major rivers, river full of water, with the power to cut out and isolate wooded islands within its channel. Forests which would take over the Hwy if not for regular chopping and slashing the woods back. Traveling north, the communities become more rural, very quickly, such that there are no strip centers along the Hwy, just exits noting various town names, and if you took one of the exits you would find random farms with gabled barns, and clusters of wooden colonial residences.
Gardens are a bid deal in this part of the Northeast. Every residence we saw in rural Maine had a lot of land upon which were tilled private gardens, very much in use, and prolific. Small communities, i.e., groupings of homes, a church or two—one Catholic one Protestant, a school, and sundry stores for groceries and conveniences. Everyone knows everyone else, cars and bikes do not need to be locked, and your business may not be yours, but may be known to all.
And don’t forget the moose warning signs that dot the Why—“Attention, Beware of Moose Crossing the Hwy.” Not a laughing matter as moose v. car collisions traditionally end badly, not simply for the moose which towers some 8 feet off the ground, but for the driver as well that may topple this huge mammal across the hood and into his lap.
Such concerns aside, do go “North young man”! The alders, the chestnut, the poplars, and the pine all wave in the northern current, and fill your lungs with—just AHH!