The Maine
An artful dialogue about the wonders of the state.

#TodayInMaine

 photograph by Kathi Bahr

Friday night surf fishing. Beats the sailor bars downtown. Tonight at least. #TodayInMaine — in Popham Beach, ME.

Friday night surf fishing. Beats the sailor bars downtown. Tonight at least. Popham Beach, ME.

Free For The Taking

an ongoing search by Shannon Thompson

Route 52, Lincolnville.

Ready To Go, Triathlon Tourism, & Hugging Some More Olympians

ironmantra by Shannon Thompson

Ready

All packed.
#organized #lakeplacid #holyshit

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lake placid

I’m a day or two early arriving at Lake Placid, and the athletes have not yet descended on the town. A band plays on the lakefront for a crowd of locals and normal-looking tourists. But the Olympic speed skating oval is full of Ironman tents, and Ironman flags hang from local businesses every where. It’s surreal and beautiful and so incredibly wonderful.

I’m just crying all the damn time.

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Damn, but I’m a good vacationer. Slept late, went for a bike ride on the Saranac road and cultivated a new appreciation for Maine drivers (generally don’t drive on the shoulder, rarely honk, don’t try to hit you with their beamy boat trailer). Stumbled upon the farmers’ market, dug out my list of low-residue/low fiber foods I’m allowed to eat this week (basically 1% of my usual diet, but critical for keeping my gut in shape on Sunday) and bought a gorgeous supply of local plums, cucumbers, carrots, beets, and spinach.

market guy

I’m staying at a cute little mom-and-pop motel owned by Anna and Bogdan, a couple originally from Poland. Bogdan has a bike shop out by the tiny swimming pool where he’s watching the Tour de France, and he’s got a bike stand set up out front under an Ironman tent. Anna says she likes it when “the Iron people come home”, and she gave me a free employee pass for all the Olympic venues. 

mom and pop

bike shop

The Olympic ski jumping complex has a “summer splashdown” freestyle demo series on Wednesdays, so I headed over to watch the kids show their stuff on the jumps above the pool.

jump

splash

They demo was almost over anyway when thunder and lightning chased us all indoors, where I chatted up all the members of the junior Olympic volleyball team who were saying at the training center nearby. The storm cleared, and they opened up the chair lifts for rides up to the big jumps, and a few Olympic team members did what they do on the 90-meter jump. Can I just tell you? No I cannot. Holy crap.

pointer

jump

LOOK HOW COOL:

And THIS:

And oh my:

Chris Lamb and Luke Daniels

 

Chris Lamb and Luke Daniels

A Postcard Home

mail art designed and sent by Margaret Rizzio

dear maine1

dear maine2

Maine Sprout: Sisters

painting and text by Colin Page

sister-picnic-48x36sm

I’m looking forwrad to the day when I can get the girls to sit still and pose for me, but for now, I paint them from photos. It’s still a bit tricky and involves using several different reference pics. This is one of my favorite paintings from this past year because it incorporates some of my favorite subjects; birch trees, adirondack chairs, patterned fabric, and of course my daughters. It’s fun when a painting like this starts to come together. I attempted a lot of family paintings this past year and only a few have been worth keeping. I’m hoping this is a series I can explore over many years.

Beaching With My Girls

photograph by Justin Gove

©Justin Gove

God Bless My Farmers

ironmantra by Shannon Thompson

beet2

Been a while since I did a food post, mainly because no one wants to read about how to eat chunks of tofu dipped in soy sauce standing over the stove picking the broccoli out of the steamer with burning fingers, followed by two bowls of granola with hemp milk in bed. Yep, that’s how bad it’s been. But here we are: I leave for Lake Placid on Tuesday, the race is a week from Sunday. My exercise this week has been cut in half and my nerves are jacked way up. Which means when I got home tonight, I had the time and energy to create a thoughtful meal. And I had some serious inspiration for it.

One of the highlights of my summer is my weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) share from Village Farm in Freedom. The CSA model offers mutual benefits to farmers and consumers alike. I send in my check in the spring, then every week from June to October, I receive a big bag of whatever’s ready for harvest. I’m honored to support the CSA because I think this kind of collaboration is good for people, because small farms are good for the planet, and because my farmer-friends Polly and Prentice are a couple of the finest people you could ever hope to meet.

I also have totally selfish reasons: I love feeling connected to the people who grew my food. I have such gratitude to them for creating this thing that gives me such joy and nourishment. I feel more respect for the food itself. This fresh, local produce is giving me the best nutrients I can get, straight from mama earth. I don’t have to think about what to buy, and I don’t have to go buy it. I get all kinds of things I wouldn’t buy myself. It tastes amazing. And I get an assortment of vegetables that inspire delicious creations. Which brings me to the point of this post: the best salad ever, with thanks to Polly for the recipe idea, which I’ve adapted based on the incredible bounty I found in this week’s share.

Toss together:
3 beets, peeled, sliced, and steamed
About a cup of peas, steamed (I used snap peas because I’m tired but I think shell peas would be nicer)
Fennel bulb, sliced thinly
Garlic scapes, chopped and roasted in a generous amount olive oil
2-3T chopped fresh dill, more if you’d like
Salt to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste
A little squeeze of lemon if your balsamic is too sweet
More olive oil if you think you need it (I had enough from roasting the scapes, plus I had just eaten a whole avocado when I got home, so, you know.)

Throw on a sprinkle of cashews and marvel at your good fortune.

And oh oh oh: do check out Village Farm’s website. It’s cool.

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What I did:
1.5 hour bike ride, 1/2 hour run

Too Cold To Eat On The Dock Tonight

photograph by Linda Zeigler

The Slipway