Maine. My hometown.
Emily Mraz, segment producer
When it was decided that there was going to be a Maine show I couldn’t have been happier. Maine is my home state and a place that I am very proud of. Basically isolated from the rest of the country and tucked into the far Northeast corner we tend to like to do things our own way. Yankee ingenuity, jack-of-all-trades and strong constitution are all things that come to mind when I describe Mainers.
Maine is almost like three states in one, Southern Maine, Central Maine and Northern Maine. Each one is distinct. Landscapes, accents, livelihoods, diet and economy change depending on which region you are in. Lobstermen, sailboats, lighthouses, and Maine’s largest city Portland are what most people know about the state. hat we set out to do in this episode however, was highlight the parts that people haven’t seen and to do that you have to drive north.
Away from the port towns and the restaurant-laden Portland we traveled northeast up the coast. It was a slow immersion for Tony that would begin on the water and then work its way northwest into the heart of the state where pine trees, snowmobiles and logging trucks abound; where population thins and tiny towns spread themselves further and further apart. This is the Maine that most people never have the luxury of exploring.
There was one particular challenge we had to face. It was the middle of the winter. The day that Tony arrived in Portland we were in the early stages of a nor’easter. For those of you not from the East Coast that translates as “a really big storm” mostly associated with huge amounts of snow, wind, hail, flooding, etc. Luckily his plane landed and filming began despite inches of snow on the roads and flooding on the coast. Further proof that Maine and its people are pretty tough and above all that the show must go on whether figuratively or literally in our case.
Without giving the show away I will say that the journey was epic, the ending poetic and the people prophetic. Maybe the most surprising part for me, having spent more than half my life in Maine, was that there was still so much to discover. The world is becoming a very homogenous place. A place where mom and pop restaurants have all but disappeared, where people are losing touch with the natural world that surrounds them and where you can’t see the night sky due to light pollution, but this is not the case in Maine. This is what makes it one of the most special places on earth and a place that I will always want to return.