The Wooden Tram

Last functioning in the State of Maine.

Hold onto your hats!

It’s hard to know where to begin.  This is day four for me and France on Seguin Island two miles off the coast of Maine near Bath, at the mouth of the Kennebec River, where we have settled in as the caretakers of the Seguin Light for the summer.  This spot is a 64 acre paradise and I feel like the luckiest guy on the planet.  I write this from the front porch of the caretakers house at the top of the hill looking out at an expanse of ocean I will never tire of.  There is so much to see and do.

France and I met on the island of Vieques fourteen years ago.  We live on the island of Manhattan and we now find ourselves on the island of Seguin.  She discovered this place sailing in 2007, we applied a couple of years ago for the 2010 summer and forgot about it.  Eventually we got a letter that we didn’t get the job.  Last January a call came that the number one couple had baled and the number two guy had died.  Yikes!  Long story short, we’re the ones who landed the gig so coming in third wasn’t such a bad thing.

There’s so much I don’t know but am learning fast.  The history is fascinating and I believe there can be some violent lonely times here.  There certainly have been in the past.  We’ve been very fortunate so far; the weather has been fantastic.  I don’t suppose we’ll see many visitors today now that the holiday has come to an end.  Over the weekend, even as we were unloading our stuff off the wooden tram that powers to the top of this 183 foot hill, there were visitors and our guide guided them and us through the museum and gift shop and up to the top of the Light where the view is even more spectacular, if that’s possible.

Then we were left on our own.  I’ve whacked a lot of weeds on the south trail and thought I’d broken the thing just as my brother called to say hi from Oregon and told me how to fix it.  We’re currently filling the backup cistern which someone freshly painted white on the inside during a work weekend before we got here, but it’s taking already a day and there’s barely a foot at the bottom.  The breaker for the water heater kept shutting down.  David came out to show us a few things and replaced it.  Now the heater in the living room does the same.  We don’t really need that although if you could see how France and I bundle up in the evening you’d laugh.

I get a kick out of lowering and raising the flag every day and take it very seriously.  It is a Coast Guard station after all.  Yesterday I let it slip and David saw it hadn’t been done.  Just as well.  I didn’t know it needed to be at half staff until noon and then raised all the way.  It was Memorial Day.

I’m thinking of too many things and don’t really know how to proceed so I think I’ll post this and come back later to fill in the gaps and move forward.  Is it obvious I’ve never done this before?


7 Responses to The Wooden Tram

  1. Lucia says:

    Well done Michael. That’s quite a story. I had to laugh out loud when I saw that tram. The place looks beautiful and the garden sounds like fun. Look forward to hearing more. Best to both.

  2. One guy visitor was sure the tram was just a relic but in fact it’s the only surviving wooden tram of its kind left in the state of Maine which is fully operational. You should see France at the diesel controls in the donkey house aka engine room, with ear protectors looking through the window at me at the top of the hill signaling when to stop. Who could lug 48 pound 6 gallon water jugs up 183 feet without it. It just doesn’t take passengers.

  3. Marilynn says:

    Michael! Thanks for sharing with all of us! Have enjoyed what you’ve written so far. Will follow you two through this adventure. Soooo wish we could visit this summer. Enjoying it vicariously is second best.

    Love, Marilynn

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying it Marilynn. It’s really breathtaking. I could just sit and stare and not be bored but there’s so much to do. Sounds like you’ve got a great summer planned as well. Enjoy.

  4. gail burchard says:

    Hello again France and Michael, Sorry I have been off to such a slow start in connecting with you up on Sequin, especially, after your generous invite. What a wonderful adventure, and two more deserving folks couldn’t be found. I love the web pages and your blog. I’ll see what transpires with this house sale, and it may be “clear sailing” for me, when that is done.
    Enjoy both the sunrise and sunsets. Nice when you can follow the rhythm of nature.
    I can imagine you there, wanting to just suck it all in….. I know I’d want to.

    love to you both….gail

  5. Pingback: 2010 in review | Seguincaretaker's Blog

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