Wanderer – Hiking Monhegan Island

18monheganhikes16Once situated on the island, we were ready to explore.  Armed with a map and nature guide book of the island, we plotted our course and off we went.  First of all, have you ever been in a place so silent, that it’s actually distracting?  There were numerous trails within the heart of the island like that.

At one point, Becky mentioned ‘this is where the fairies live’.  I don’t know much about fairies, but imagine my surprise when we actually hiked a trail that had ‘fairy houses’ scattered about.  It appears that this one trail on the island is known for this.  There are a few photos in the enclosed gallery showing some of those.

We also hiked some of the more difficult trails along the shoreline, which presented their own beautiful views.

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Wanderer – Around Town on Monhegan

18monhegan05From the moment we stepped off the boat on Monhegan Island, I felt at peace.  The island is situated 10 miles off the coast and has a year round population of around 60 people.  An immediate sense of relaxation took over as we wheeled our luggage from the dock to the Island Inn, where we were staying.

I couldn’t wait to drop our things off at the room and start exploring, but it’s hard to explore on an empty stomach!  Little did I know that relaxation I was feeling earlier would be replaced with fear.

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Wanderer – Onward to Monhegan Island!

090618portclyde05From Portland, Maine, we traveled up the coast two hours to catch a ferry to our next destination, Monhegan Island.  Approximately 10 miles off the mainland, Monhegan Island has no paved roads and with 12 miles of hiking trails, it makes for a perfect destination to explore.

The ferry ride itself was an hour long, and with it going out over open ocean, created an opportunity to photograph wildlife I’ve never encountered.  I ended up seeing two species of bird I’ve never seen before, a Laughing Gull and Northern Gannet.  The ocean was a bit rough and made for a challenging photo shoot.

They weren’t the only animals we saw either.  I hope you enjoy the attached gallery (click photos to enlarge), and there will be plenty more photos from Monhegan Island over the coming days.

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Wanderer – Wildlife at Fort Williams (Gallery)

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Eastern Tailed Blue

If I am outside, there is nearly a 100% chance a camera with a large telephoto lens is hanging off my shoulder.  I can’t help it, I am obsessed with photographing wildlife that people have no idea are right in front of them.  It has increased my enjoyment of the outdoors significantly by just slowing down and soaking in the surroundings.

For example, the photo to the right is of an eastern tailed blue butterfly that was sitting on a blade of grass.  It isn’t much larger than my thumbnail.

This is just one of the many things I spotted and captured at Fort Williams Park.  I had a few animals I was hoping to catch a glimpse of, like seals and porpoise, and within our first few hours in Maine, I had already seen both.  The seals in particular were much closer to shore than I expected to see them.

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Wanderer – Lighthouses of Cape Elizabeth & South Portland, Maine (Gallery)

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Portland Head Light

I’ve always had a fascination with lighthouses, and as I sit here and type this, I’m not even entirely sure where that originates from.  Perhaps I saw pictures when I was really young and they were imprinted in my brain.  Maybe it’s something more simple, such as their unique shape.  When I was teen 100 years ago (slight exaggeration :P), I got into painting ceramic sculptures, and meticulously painted a series of famous lighthouses once I got good at it.

Whatever the origin is, part of our excursion to Maine was to at least visit a single lighthouse.  We were limited in time as we had a ferry to catch to our next destination the next day, so we picked the Portland Head Light, known as one of the most photographed lighthouses in America and is also the oldest lighthouse in Maine.  According to Wikipedia, the lighthouse was constructed at the directive of George Washington, our first President, in 1787!  Seemed like a good place to start for our lighthouse tour!

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Wanderer – Fort Williams Park (Gallery)

The state of Maine has always held a special place in my heart.  As a kid, we camped at Hadley’s Point Campground just outside of Bar Harbor, Maine constantly.  When I was able to take my wife Becky to Acadia National Park 10 years ago, it was when I made my decision to invest in camera equipment to showcase the wildlife I came across during my hiking and outdoor escapades.

We were fortunate enough to be able to take a long vacation this year, the first in roughly 5 years.  In typical form, we had a lot planned, but left plenty of wiggle room in case our plan took a scenic detour.  Not wanting to lose a half day to driving, we got up at 1:30am(!) to reach our first stop at daybreak – Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  You know I had my Ningxia and Ningxia Nitro before starting that drive to keep me on point. 😛

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Goddard Mansion @ Fort Williams Park , built in 1853-1859

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Debut of The YL Wanderer

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Not all Who Wander are Lost…

Greetings!  My name is Derrick and I am a self-proclaimed wanderer.  I hike, I explore, I live.  Fueled by Young Living supplements and a desire to see and experience as much as possible, I want to share my journey and sights with you.

Whether I am photographing nature and wildlife, hiking the great outdoors, experiencing local food and drink, or traveling… there should be something for everyone in my eclectic wild lifestyle.

Future Wanderer posts can be found under the new category ‘Wanderer’ on the YL & Free website.  Below is a brief teaser of a place we recently stopped at, and turned into much more than a visit to a popular lighthouse…

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Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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How To Clean a White Kitchen Sink Without Bleach

First, let me start by saying how much I hate this! No, I am not Cinderella and I do not have a song and dance with cute little animals helping me clean the house every day. And #icanteven hire a cleaning service because HELLO!, type A / OCD / germaphobe / you’re cleaning that wrong / don’t cross contaminate the entire house personality is in FULL CONTROL FREAK MODE! I just HAAAADDDD to have an 1870s Farmhouse as our first home with a big white kitchen sink. W H A T  T H E  F R E N C H  T O A S T?!! How am I going to clean this without asphyxiating myself with chemical-filled cleaners and choking to death? Been there, done that. Hence, what you see in the before pictures … Grossness because I was trying to figure out a BETTER WAY!

Dirty sink

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Why is the “Family Wound” so deep?

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As I write this I may still be coming from the wounded place. I am writing this for your wounds. I see them. I hear them. I feel them. The pain family can inflict can be traumatic, horrific, make you feel black out rage & hurt, literally strip you of everything you thought you were, and make you feel like you don’t exist in the world all at the same time. All of these feelings I am talking about are caused by emotional pain. I am not talking about physical pain.

With every ounce of my soul I firmly believe that “blood is NOT thicker than water.” As a child I never understood the “correct” way to say that quote. Why? Because I knew from a very young age what a garbage human was. It never made sense to me. We have the same blood yet you treat me like I don’t exist – or you are mad at me that I exist. Continue reading

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Summertime Skincare Routine

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This post is a month or two late. We had forever Winter and no Spring so by the time warmer weather arrived it took me longer than planned to get out of my Winter funk. Once I got out of my funk my priority was running out the door spending lots of time outside like I typically do in Summer. The longer nights, more energy, and staying outside till 4:00 am in front on the fire pit with friends are the nights I long for! Well, maybe not staying up till 4:00 am like I used to because now in my 30’s this girl needs as much beauty sleep as she can get especially for great skincare.

This post will be your holy grail to all your summertime skincare needs. I’m going to jump around all over the place because that’s what this Gemini girl does in the Summer, but it will be packed with loads of quality information for you to use and tons of my favorite, must-have summertime product recommendations. Keep in mind I use even more products in the Summer because the heat, humidity and living in air conditioning on those dangerously hot days does a number on my skin. Going from freezing AC if you’re in the office aka 2nd winter to going outside into Summer sweatfest. The drastic temperature change is a rough one for my sensitive self. And yes … sweatfest just became a word! Continue reading

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