I finally made my first visit to Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. My beau, his pup and I were in high anticipation on the ferry ride over from Port Clyde for a day of exploring. As was promised, I was enchanted from the moment I glimpsed the raw beauty of Manana Island that sheltered the approaching harbor.

I have seen endless images of Monhegan in paintings and photos but nothing could beat the immediacy of finally being there in person. My partner quickly grabbed a map as we walked up the hill from the harbor and selected a hiking trail for us to follow. I nodded in agreement but was really in my own world taking it all in visually and snapping photos. We quickly lost each other as happens often in situations like these. I felt guilty but was happy to be on my own, exploring at my own pace without feeling the need to keep up.

I followed a narrow path past quaint artist studios and met a friendly meandering kitty with the unlikely name "Murderface" on  his name tag. Further down the path, I startled a resting laborer taking a lunchtime nap in his work truck down by Jamie Wyeth's house overlooking the coastline before finding my way back to my party at the beach.

We agreed to veer apart again back on the hiking trail. While they continued towards the coastal overlook, I headed towards the lighthouse museum on the hill and then down back into "town" to check out the art galleries. It's a small island so we hooked back up again soon enough and wrapped up our too short visit with an ice cream and a pint at the popular island brewery where we sat with a chatty summer resident who filled us in on all the island gossip. 

We reluctantly headed back towards the harbor. As the ferry pulled away, many kids were preparing to jump off the pier as a farewell to their departing guests. Flowers were thrown in after them and tradition says if the flowers float back towards the island, the friends and loved ones leaving on the ferry would return soon. I look forward to my return, perhaps on my own next time and in the off-season to fully take in more of this special place.