A Great Nor’easter of a Trip

I hadn’t seen the ocean in nearly 20 years.

It’s interesting, that while I’ve spent my entire life with constant access to the Great Lakes, any time we go on a trip, I’m still drawn to water. We went to the Great Smoky Mountains and ended up hiking along rivers. We went to Chicago and always seemed to gravitate away from the city, to the shoreline. Any time we venture into Northern Michigan we go hiking – but we always hike toward the water.

Last fall, we undertook our greatest journey yet: New England and the Atlantic seaboard.

I gotta tell you, the best way to start your first day seeing the ocean in two decades is a seaside breakfast in Rockport, Massachusetts. If you’re out that way, I highly recommend Roy Moore Lobster Co. (My advice – park at the entrance to the warf and walk the rest of the way.) Also, if your girlfriend had a heightened aversion to eating mollusks, be sure to record the event for posterity (example here.)

Not only did I get to see and smell the ocean, I also managed to cross five new states off my bucket list (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York).

A few interesting things I learned:

The tide – it exists. Yes, yes. I know that everyone knows that, but if you’ve never really spent an entire day on the ocean coast line, it’s rather off putting the first time you see it. It’s kind of like going hiking in the mountains for the first time. You probably know the air is thinner at altitude, but you don’t really know what the experience is like until you’re there. That being said…

As I mentioned, I have a strong familiarity with the Great Lakes. For many practical purposes, they’re an ocean: you can’t see across them, they support their own commerce and travel, they create weather, etc.  A couple fairly important differences: The ocean is salt water (yes – duh again), but that means it affects all types of photographic gear differently (meaning it leaves salt all over and inside EVERYTHING.) Let’s go back to the tide: Want that one shot of that section? Well you better not plan to get it at golden hour, because it’s gonna look totally different. You want waves? Well, you got ‘em. How far can the wind travel and build up waves on the Great Lakes? About 100 miles? Well the ocean Atlantic has roughly 5,000 miles to get those waves movin’.

Considering the culinary adventures of the New England, you’ve probably heard they like their lobster. Nope. Incorrect. The LOVE that stuff. If you live in Metro Detroit, you probably fancy a Coney Island pretty regularly. Now imagine each and every Coney Island was suddenly a lobster shack. That’s about what it’s like. If you’re in Wiscasset, Maine and fancy a crustacean, Red’s Eats is the name of the game. (Just don’t plan on a “quick lunch.” It’s about a 40 minutes wait.)

I also got to take my fun new Rhino Camera Slider for the trip. Check it out!

  • Jon

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