This past Saturday, my friends and I decided to go to the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation. We had gone to Clambake last year and this year we were up to trying something different and new. This pleasant sunny day bore no trace of a winter to come – it was the perfect day to explore. The one hour drive from campus went by in a blink. We were ready for a day at the “Bates beach.”
I must confess I am not very adventurous. I don’t own a car, I don’t have hiking boots, and my home town is a thousand miles away from the sea. As a slightly out of shape international student, it took me almost a whole year to start appreciating Maine. However, it would be hard not to enjoy the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation and I wish I had visited it much sooner. The laid-back 30 minutes’ trail from the entrance of the conservation area to the beach was meditative. “I found that I had a much greater appreciation for the beach because of the hike in you have to take, so that when we eventually got to the beach it was a magnificent light,” says Madeline Schapiro ’20. The beach was truly magnificent; the balmy temperature created a fog that covered everything in glowing white sheets. The beach was slightly deserted and only a few silhouettes were visible in the distance.
As many other Batesies, I sometimes feel the sudden need to escape campus and create memories of a different sort. Everyday I realize that there is a priceless sensation in venturing into something new and exciting. On our hike back from the beach, we met a couple of Bowdoin alumni who quickly recognized us as college students. Even though they did not tell us their class, their white strands of hair seem to show a history that goes way back in time. They told us that when they were 20 or so a friendly Bates student introduced them to the “Bates beach” which they have sometimes visited ever since. For me, it was just refreshing to see the genuine looks on their eyes. I took the excited nostalgia of their voices as an unexpected part of what it means to have a liberal arts education. “It was just nice to see an enduring connection to a place because I can imagine us, as friends, doing the same one day when we are older,” mentioned Jesse Saffeir ’20 who had already visited the beach before.
As we headed back to Bates, I couldn’t help but think that my friends and I had found a place of our own. Not as physical spot but as a unique memory that will linger with us. You don’t have to be adventurous to appreciate Maine and its beautiful scenery. “I am upset that I hadn’t been there sooner. I think it would be a shame to go to Bates and never take the opportunity to go to a place as secluded and beautiful as that beach,” emphasized Schapiro. “The Maine coast has this Spartan, chill beauty to it that is really just a sight to behold,” mentioned Josh Andino ’20. Sometimes we just need to see the rush of the ocean breeze in the fall to understand that life is worth living. And, as it is often the case, it is a great day to be a Bobcat.