Walking a mile down a mountain to wait in line for a $5 shower is an adventure on its own—and not a situation I have often found myself in. But this is a scenario I have encountered for the past two years at the annual Mountain Jam Festival on Hunter Mountain in upstate New York. We travel to the festival in our converted van, which we refer to as the “Love Shack,” and I look forward to doing it again this June.
For the past few years, most of my adventurous travel has been in the Love Shack, touring different areas of the country to see music, meet new people and experience life on the road via the state park circuit.
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
1. Pack light. My family and friends who know me well are laughing out loud at this. I am never a light packer. But, when living out of a van, even I don’t need eight different pairs of shoes.
2. Don’t over-plan. Part of the adventure is exploring and changing course and finding great out-of-the-way hikes, shops, food spots and swimming holes. Enjoy the journey!
3. Double-check those campsites. Even if the state park says their campsites are all full, drive through and check things out. Many have sites that open up for just one night, and that information does not get posted anywhere. But you might score a site if you check for yourself.
4. Make new friends. We have met so many people and heard so many interesting stories on the road. I don’t remember half of their names and most I probably won’t see again—but it’s interesting to meet different people and share a meal, a story or a cab ride, just for the fun of it. Plus, if you’re traveling in a van for 30 days with your life partner, it gives you something different to talk about as you drive through the entire state of Texas from south to north.
In this issue of My Generation, we are looking at the way fellow mid-life Mainers enjoy their leisure time. We are introducing a couple of new writers: Will Cutlip is debuting our “Cool Rides” column, and this month features a story about a local man, Steve Penick, who has had a “love affair” with British motorcycles for the last six decades. Meet Steve and enjoy his story on page 32. We also welcome Clarke Canfield, a seasoned Maine journalist with an active lifestyle, to our pages. He writes about his annual birthday bike ride in this month’s “On The Go” column on page 34. He is married to Amy Canfield, also a longtime Maine writer and editor (she’s an editor for My Generation magazine, as well as its sister publications), who is introducing a new book column called “MyGenre.” Find it on page 25. You’ll also find great features in this issue on a few of our beautiful state parks, golfing on Chebeague Island and unique ideas for some R&R.
This issue is one of three for 2017 that we include content and information about the Maine Senior Guide, Senior Expo. The next Senior Expo is happening on May 3 in Scarborough at from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For all of the information, see pages 19-24. Thank you for taking some time out of your busy and adventurous life to read this issue of My Generation. Like us on Facebook to stay in touch with everything in between issue dates.
Lee Hews, Publisher