Youthful Exuberance

By John-Paul Marciano 

“I know the perfect spot” Scott promised.

I drove up to Topsham, Maine with a couple friends of mine, Geoff and Phil, to visit another friend, Scott, who moved there a few months prior.  We left later than I would have liked and traffic didn’t cooperate so we didn’t arrive until after midnight.  We were all pretty tired so after exchanging pleasantries, Scott showed us where we could lay out our sleeping bags and we all turned in for the night.

The next morning Scott and I got up early and made breakfast for everyone.  We talked over breakfast about how we wanted to spend the week.  By the time the breakfast dishes were cleared we had a loose schedule laid out.  The highlight on the schedule was watching the sun come up over the Atlantic Ocean.

It was at this point of the conversation when Scott made his declaration.  “There’s a beach about 45 minutes from here,” Scott continued.  “It’ll be great.  You’ll love it.”

We all thought it was a great idea. So after checking the weather report for clear skies, the four of us decided Saturday morning would be perfect to go to Scott’s perfect place.  We agreed to leave at 4:30 a.m. to give ourselves plenty of time to get situated in time for the main event.

During the week Scott mentioned to some people he knew we were going to watch the sunrise.  By the time Saturday rolled around the four of us grew to seven of us.  Promptly at 4:30 a.m. we piled into two cars and made our way to Scott’s perfect place.  We got to the beach an hour later and, since the beach was deserted, we parked as close as we could.

Since Scott was the only one familiar with the place, the rest of us just looked around and shivered.  Did I forget to mention it was winter?  It was five below zero with a 10-mile-an-hour breeze coming off the ocean.  It was perfect weather for January in Maine.

“Where’s this perfect spot you were telling us about?” I asked Scott.

“Over there,” Scott said pointing to what looked like a wooded hill.  “It’s on the other side of that hill.  We should get moving.”

It took us about 20 quiet minutes over frozen sand to reach the hill and another 20 quiet minutes to climb to the crest and claim our perfect spot.  We toughed it out for another 45 minutes before the sun finally came up.  Despite the cold it was a sight to behold.  By the time the sun rose completely above the horizon we had forgotten we were cold and decided not to leave right away.

From our perch we saw two seals approaching the hill.  They spent some time diving into the water for what I presumed to be fish.  They hung around for a while and eventually left.  Not long after, a mama whale and her calf popped out of the water about 1,000 yards south of where we were sitting.  They gave us a show but they too eventually left.

When we finally decided to leave, we felt exhilarated.  As we made our way down the hill, we talked excitedly about what we saw.  I think it was Geoff who made it to the bottom of the hill first.

“Hey, guys.  I think we stayed too long,” Geoff announced.

“How do you figure?” someone asked.

“The tide is coming in and the water is ankle deep.”


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