If you've never traveled past the Mason Dixon line don't worry you aren't missing much. From Washington to Boston it's a lot of the same, copious amounts of traffic and endless high rise buildings covered with years of grit and smog.
I-95 pushes over the Potomac and past Washington, into New Jersey and slows to a crawl as it rolls past Yankee Stadium and follows the shore of the Long Island Sound to before turning north to Boston. If you continue to follow I-95 north,venture past the New Hampshire state line and press on to Maine you are in for a real surprise.
After the well known coastal towns of Portland, Rockport and Kennebunkport I-95 heads toward Bangor, a small city that lies along the Penobscot River. It is in Bangor that I-95 takes on a whole new perspective. The traffic that makes I-95 an interstate from Miami to Manhattan vanishes. The distance between exits is no longer measured in 1/2 miles or miles but in 1/2 hours with 30 miles between exits being common.
Two Kayaks a Fall Afternoon Bar Harbor Maine Photo by the Author
Just outside of Bangor you begin to enter the "North Woods" of Maine, miles of empty space that is home to Moose, Bear and not much else. But the scenic beauty is breathtaking you can actually drive for miles on I-95 and not see anyone.
About an hour north of Bangor lies Lincoln, once the nickname of "Stinking Lincoln" was pretty fitting since the paper mill that has sustained the town for decades packed a pretty strong odor. But modern technology has all but eliminated the stinking in Lincoln and the town is beginning to thrive on ecotourism.
Lincoln is surrounded by 13 or maybe 12 lakes depending on who you ask, many are as odd as it may seem called "ponds" but trust me they are lakes.
Silver Maple in the Lincoln Maine Cemetery Photo by the Author
In Lincoln you get a real sense of what Maine and the North Woods is all about, "lumber". The area was settled and other nearby towns sprung up because of lumber and today the log trucks still roll up and down the highways in all directions and for good reason as the massive forests of Maine go on for miles in every direction.
One thing you notice about the North Woods is that even private land is without fencing. It took me a while to figure it out, after all I've spent my entire life living around and this blog is about fences.
Well the reason there are no fences is that livestock don't fair well in the long, harsh and always endless Maine winters. Miles of open land, no fences, no cattle, no cedar posts and no barbed wire fences.