One Island One Magical Hour
Sears Island, two miles long by one mile wide, is one of the largest uninhabited islands on the East Coast. It is a gem of a place in the pristine Upper Penobscot Bay. Most days after leaving the causeway leading to the island and heading in any direction will provide solitude in few minutes. Today I am doing an hour long trail run, so come with me; it’s become my new favorite. I’ve run in a lot of different cities, towns and trails and to have solitude for a full hour to convene with nature is very special. It’s the last day of October but it is a balmy 62 degrees thanks to tropical air transported by Hurricane Sandy. It’s been raining on and off all day but stopped now and the ground is soft, with some small puddles. The route up the road to the cell tower at the far end of the island is about 2 miles, and every scent is enhanced by the moist air.
Up about 12 minutes to the loop trail the fir trees that line the path are especially fragrant; the pine smell of Christmas combined with the salt sea air is a great mix, a welcome antidote to the danger and smell of running on Rte. 1 and other city runs. The trail here is especially nice with soft pine needles and some leaves on grass. It's spongy like running on a mattress. Today I have some extra late day energy and I am just flying down this trail that loops back to the main dirt road; further down as the road descends my pace quickens with more energy. I touch the metal chain link fence that houses the buildings and the cell tower. 18:34: a good time.
Up from the tower around the loop trail again to the road and I’m still holding a strong pace; I think it really is the ideal late October day with little wind and not hot, not cold. I should admit I do like inclement weather to run in, especially a warm rain. Timecheck: 15:03
I head back up and take a left up the hill on the paved road to the jetty on the west side running by streams that trickle, and birds and hawks that call out,
Who is this stranger and what is he doing here? And it’s down, down, down along the dirt road to the end. The island is a large mound— it's about running up a large hill to the crown and down to the edges at the shore. I am announced at the trail-end by three different tones of sea buoys. I realize I am enormously fortunate to be able to run this well so well into middle age.
I feel a strong connection to nature and the entire earth. My mind wanders and I visualize the Charles and Ray Eames film, “Powers of Ten”. This film documents a couple having a picnic lunch alongside Lake Michigan and ten seconds later the camera moves ten feet up and keeps moving up into space exponentially by ten feet every 10 seconds until by the tenth time the earth nearly disappears. And that is how I feel here, just a very very small organism on a very small planet and its humbling. I come back to running and I’m experiencing power not entirely effortless—that is a very rare experience—but I am flying down the central road hill from the crest of the island to the cutoff onto the Homestead Trail on the right side.
I’ve only run the Homestead Trail in one direction -- center to shore – and its breezy-easy and one of the best trails to run anywhere, scenic and fun. I wind past the large pine tree, then the remnants of a foundation of a long abandoned homestead. Alongside there are rock walls that were created decades ago yet still mark property lines.
Further down are a series of wood planks; I haven’t counted how many there are but my guess is about 10 or so and I love them and think most hikers and trail runners do as well. But the sad part is that by the time you reach the planks you know your run is about to end. Its all just down, down, down, lower and lower, heading to sea level. The terrain is somewhat challenging as the trail has many rocks and roots, the footing is not easy, especially at a fast pace. The boards are great because they are wide enough and cover the streams that now are flowing after all the rain. Check watch after run on the beach to the stairs: 7.17, bringing the run to a lean, efficient 58:42. This has to be the best run I’ve had on Sears Island. I know I will be back as this is by far one of the most special places to run anywhere.
New Circle Action
The new circle footprint action will take place on Saturday, January 5 at 1pm at Mosman Park in Searsport. Save time for this exciting event—we are planning this to be an interactive good time. Please look for a more detailed email midweek giving directions, where to park, etc. Encourage all your friends to come—we’re looking forward to a great showing.
It’s not too late to make a year-end donation to TBNT. We do have a significant amount of legal bills that add up to considerable amount. Your help is always appreciated. Link here for online donation.
Here is wishing a Happy New Year to all our members and friends. You may not realize, but you just have read an email that did not use the words: LPG, Mega-tank, DCP Midstream, Planning Board, Public Hearing, DEP, permit, or even safety. Until now. May 2013 be filled with health, happiness, peace, prosperity and be LPG tank-free.
To see a video and learn more about Sears Island, please click the link below: