Archive for the ‘concord’ tag
The site’s been like small thistle-blown Texas town the last week, I know. Sorry about that. I have been scurrying to and fro in parts — pretty much all of them — in the Northeast.
The trip, while quite pleasant and relaxing for the most part, has not been without its annoyances, not the least of which has been the near relentless attempts to snag tourists. I understand that it’s costly to maintain the Concord Museum near Boston ($10 admission to that tiny facility) and other such historic sites, but at times, it just got absurd. Parking near Walden Pond, for instance, is $5 — a fair enough price — but I was quite appalled that swimming, tubing, fishing and other recreational activities are allowed on and around the pond. To me, perhaps among 1 percent of the visitors to this area who actually hold the pond in a venerated state, this is like dancing on sacred ground — and not in the worshiping since as with David dancing before the Lord. I had envisioned that the pond would be roped off and with hiking allowed around the perimeter. I’m not sure the current maintenance of the land is what Thoreau had in mind when he said:
In wilderness is the preservation of the world.
But hey. Call me old-fashioned.
I’m not one to marvel at or even patronize typical historic attractions anyway — as I told one friendly, simply being in this lovely and historic part of the nation is enough for me — but it is distressing that so many sites that should be perusable to any proud American or nature lover, poor nor not, are not. Perhaps the most frustrating experience was a couple days ago in Ogunquit, Maine. I had just had eggs benedict at a café called Eggs & I and had seen a road sign for beach access. I must have taken a wrong turn and didn’t see a beach, but I did find a little cove with some restaurants and shopping areas. At the opening of the cove was a little turnaround area with some parking spaces for $3 per hour. After waiting a good two minutes for a carload of older folks to pull out of a space, I pulled in. I had planned to pay the $3 and walk around for a few minutes, but when I realized that, unless I was interested in looking inside shops or eating, there was nowhere to walk around. I was, however, interested in a little opening overlooking some rocks and the ocean beyond. Thus, I decided to simply grab the camera, hop out, keep the car running and take, literally three shots of the ocean and immediately leave. After all, walking to the ticket booth, paying and walking back to the car would have taken longer than what I had planned. So, I jumped out, took a photo to the left, then to the center, then down the shoreline to the right. Just as I clicked the final shot, a ticket official walked up and said something to the effect of, “You have a ticket?” With blood pressure rising at this point, I said, “No. I’m leaving. I’m done.” He said, “Thank you,” and I pulled away, wondering why a simple view of the ocean is worth $3 or $1 or 25 cents. I cared nought for the bourgeois shops nearby. I just wanted to see the ocean, and if I had had a moment longer, perhaps reflect on the crashing waves before me. I didn’t, after all, see anyone else stopping to take in the scene. I believe my thoughts in a previous Twitter post expressed it adequately about this and other miles and miles of shoreline that are no longer “free” to enjoy at all.
Here is the shot I snapped seconds before being interrupted:
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea | By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown | Till human voices wake us, and we drown. — T.S. Eliot