South Berwick, just across the Salmon River from us, has a downtown block that retains an iconic appearance. The town is also home to Berwick Academy, a private prep school.
Yes, you expect a range of ethnic foods in any big city, and many smaller ones, including the place I call home, now feature a range of international dining options. But when you’re driving mile after mile inhabited mostly by cows, you’re surprised to find anywhere to eat, apart from the occasional convenience store gas station. You know, hot dogs accompanied by potato chips and soda.
This, though, was enough to make me swing around for a second look. As it turned out, they weren’t serving breakfast.
Here’s a bit of scale for the town I call home.
The Salmon Falls, a river separating a section of Maine and New Hampshire, once powered mills along its way.
My fondness for old mills, by the way, did prompt a novel, Big Inca.
The deck of the Chatham Fish Pier is ideal for viewing gray seals in motion.
The town at the elbow of Cape Cod also includes Monomoy Island, an 8-mile-long sand spit that is home to thousands of the seals, as well as great white sharks feeding on them in recent years.
The rear of the stone structure supporting the Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw Memorial and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment is worth a close examination in its own right. Engraved here are the names of the soldiers, most of them from humble beginnings and circumstances, who would otherwise be lost to history if not for their heroic service and sacrifice.
Boston is a rich and varied destination – the Hub of New England, or the Universe, as they used to say. Living a little more than an hour to the north, we’re well within its orb.