It’s Been A Maine Minute But Look At That I’m In Maine

maine

The past week in Maine has been like visiting an English, pretty-American country. So like an English-speaking Puerto Rico.

I’m going to start by saying the overall belief that Northerners have no manners and are a crisp, cold kind; is something I have yet to run into.

Everyone I have met from the postal office workers to the people at the laundry mat have been kind to an almost fault.

Example: I needed a box. There is not a place to buy a box in Rangeley Maine. A random lady heard my cries and told me to follow her in her 4 by 4. Next thing I know, I’m on a dirt road about 15 miles from Rangeley on an overlook talking to a weird lady about her son’s upcoming wedding with a box in my hand.

This keeps happening. Little acts of kindness and I pass it on as much as I can. Which lead me to meeting an infamous online poker player from Florida. He is doing the Appalachian Trail to escape the digital realm but he spends time between Florida and Las Vegas. Not sure if I believe him but he gave a good story regardless.

Being a bartender has allowed me to meet people. And it’s my y’all and yes mam’s that have people having a constant flow of conversation.

A week in and I’m a little tired of telling my story. There have been majorly 3 outcomes of people learning that I’m traveling and doing a work exchange program: oh you’re trying to find yourself, tell me everything because I need to tell my son/daughter, and wonder how your parents are feeling.

A couple days into being in small-town Maine, I decided to go to a BBQ joint. The moment the waitress found out where I was from, she immediately went into a spiel about how different the BBQ was. That I shouldn’t expect what I know. It’s sweeter, lighter (somehow, I mean it’s the same meat).

Probably one of the biggest cultural breakdowns I have seen (semi-joking).

Between working and working, I haven’t had much time for much else. I’ve hiked a couple trails and seen some waterfalls. I can’t get over the views I have seen. You can never decide what is better; day or night.

During the day, you can go to overlooks and hike to the tops of mountains and you are literally in the clouds.

During the night, Rangeley is an unpolluted sky and you can spot the Milky Way.

Life in Rangeley is a small town. Everyone knows everyone else. I see people stopping in the middle of the street to have a full conversation with each other. Sometimes it feels like I’m in a Stephen King movie. Low-key segue, Stephen King owns a house over here. I’m floored and on a daily mission to not fangirl and try to find it.

 

Alabama: The Series

Alabama

killamockI Know As A Minority I Shouldn’t, But I Love Alabama

My first taste of Alabama was by far a better experience than Florida. Plus, all the literary goals.

 


I Got Yelled At By Alabamians For Not Knowing Who Nick Saban Waspostal office montgomery alabama

Had one of the best times in Montgomery. Met some wild people and saw some great sites. Alabama, I definitely appreciate ya’.

Call Me A Manie-iac

maine, Uncategorized

My first day in Maine was me sleeping. The drive was brutal and if it weren’t for Binge Mode: Harry Potter, I probably would have crashed at hour 17. Instead, I made the trip in 26 hours and slept away on Friday.

A cool thing that happened to me on my trip was stopping at a Bojangles in Tennessee. Nothing special about that restaurant. I wanted to see a Tennessee classic in action. It was the manager who changed the restaurant chain.

We went through the normal polite banter while he was helping me and I told him a little about what I was doing. Next thing I know, I was about to start eating and he joins me.

He begins to tell me about his life. 72 years old, in and around Air Force bases throughout America. He then told me to visit with an artist in Knoxville. Tell Rochelle that you know Paul, she will know what to do.

Five minutes later into the conversation, he tells me that she is his wife. He waits and explains. Her art is currently in the Vatican, she was the first solo female artist for the Olympics in the 80’s, and has done multiple sets of Olympics both winter and summer.

My jaw slowly dropped as he continued giving me her past art history.

“Well, heck, when you go see her, give her a call. I will let her know to set something aside for you. You just remind me of her and she would go bonkers just meeting you. A young lady traveling like you, it’s something she would do.”

The drive after that, was pretty standard. Drove through mountains then cities then mountains again.

On Friday, getting closer to the Rangeley Inn, the streets turned to 35 mph and winded in around each other. It took a couple hours in the foothills and mountains of Northern Maine before I arrived. But not before seeing a “Moose Crossing” sign. An icon to me now.

Welcome to Rangeley, a town of 2 stop lights and known for the the landscape. Later I would find out that Stephen King has a house somewhere near here (*insert hyperventilation*).

The second I arrived, my head hit the pillow and took a nap. Woke up to talk to Travis, the owner of Rangeley Inn.

I have never met an owner of an inn but I did not expect someone who looks like he just stepped off a trail somewhere in California. Complete with the easy going nature, my temporary boss gave me my schedule. A quick tour and I ran back to bed.

florida travels

Florida Must Be The Swamp Trump Was Talking About

The Wasteland

*Let me start off by giving this disclosure: I went to Florida 2 days before a tropical storm came through. I had also just finished a week in a house with one of my friends. My expectations were high, I guess. *

I truly hate Florida. It was a swamp. Literally.

I heard people say expect that from Louisiana or Mississippi but not Florida. It literally was a wet, humid, insect-driven place.

The place I first went to was this tiny towns. I love tiny towns. I live for tiny towns on this trip. This scenery on the way out was pretty. Full of lush greenery and white people.

Pulling in, it wasn’t bad and the dude let me use one of his fancy tents. (Oh yeah, went back to camping, probably another personal reason of me hating Florida).

When the night came, apparently so did a thousand insects. I was huddled in the corner of my tent like in a scary movie with my shoe in my hand. I was a killer on a rampage and my target mosquitoes, weird bugs, and spiders.

The SPIDERS…

I finally passed out from exhaustion for 2 hours and opened my tent. Again, I was not prepared for the amount of spider webs in this place.

I grabbed all my stuff and left for Destin.

Destin, is another word for beach in Floridanese. Honestly, I was picturing those white beaches and blue sea. I got Galveston.

Gal-freaking-stan. Why?

Pensacola was next on the list for the day. I figure why not check mark all of them off before heading out of this humid hell.

The one good thing I can say about this place is the food. I tried Donut Hole and Shark Bite Tacos, both hella recommend. Donut Hole is something of a classic in Florida, I had no idea and was just looking for something that was opened early so I wouldn’t have to be in my tent.

I cancelled my night at the camping spot and went to this cute little camper on the border of Alabama and Florida.

Leaps and bounds my friends, leaps and bounds. It was even called Biscuit, and just like it’s name, it was overly cutsy but homey. The owner and I ended up talking about politics. (Political talk with people over 50= 2). She was a Bernie fan, so it went well.

Overall, Florida is a useless state and the beaches in photos are lies.

Day 1: Guess it really is a hot hell in Shreveport

Louisiana

Today was a day where a lot of minor things kept happening. All of them separately and I would have handled them like a pro. Spit-balled them out, used a think tank to come up with ideas to break out of them. But instead, they happened back to back. Leaving me wondering if I should just turn around and head back for Texas.

The day I woke up and found out I drove to the DMV for no reason- minor inconvenience, right. The day proceeded with bad, over priced gas station food (I never realized that was a thing) and me stopping at Walmart for a lot of items I had forgetton. It was not till I hit Shreveport, LA at a post station when I was truly mailed to the wall (ha pun).

My starter just stopped. So, like any millennial I tried to get it fixed but I did not want to pay for towing. But damn it, I am a strong independent woman who don’t need no mechanic. So I bought a starter and attempted to take apart my car. Background: I know nothing about cars and have only put oil in my car previously. I literally was that meme of a girl hitting a wrench to her car to make it open up but at least trying to follow YouTube videos.

About 4 cars passed by me, each with a single male yelling, “Hey honey, you need some help?” or variations of that, this include; darling, sweetie, sweet looking. I needed help but my feminism pride and suspicion of these fellows left me alone.

Then a man in a huge decked out truck just got out and started to help me. Didn’t even ask, and the best part he had a wedding ring. He ended up doing all the work for me, while I just sat there.

Every time I tried to help, I was met with a, “ oh honey you are just going to get in the way.”

He fixed my car and refused the money I tried to pay him for it. Pulling out of the driveway, I literally sat in my car and thought,” Thank God for Southern men.”

I made it to my campsite before dark and was able to set up my tent, relax, and get started on my next assignment before I passed out at the earliest I have ever passed out: 9:30.

All in all, I figure that somehow that was a sign. Whether it was a sign saying, shit is like this so keep moving or yeah, you’re anxiety is not going to be able to handle this trip. Regardless, I made the decision to keep on moving.