Sticking to tradition, Sandy and I ventured for the coast to celebrate my birthday. I had already done some research as to where I wanted to go and found an amazing hidden gem called East Point Sanctuary.
We decided to wait and eat when we got close to our destination, thinking in over 100 miles we should run across something. The hangriness started to set in as I was driving through Saco during an unexpected car show. Both sides of the street were lined with old cars and traffic felt like it was backed up forever. We made it through that little bump in the road unscathed and still smiling and joking but very hungry. Still believing we would find something we kept on driving. (Note to self do not keep driving, check Google Maps for a place to eat if you are hungry.) We made it within a mile of our destination and still nothing. Now we decide to check for a place to eat. I had my heart set on Olive Garden, another tradition. 38 minutes away is what the phone told us. So back the way we came we go haha. I decided to pick my own route to avoid the car show mess and ended up saving 10 minutes thankfully as I could have eaten the steering wheel at this point. We arrived and had an amazing meal as usual and things got much happier haha.
East point sanctuary
From looking at Google Maps I could see there was a trail along the coast around the sanctuary. I couldn’t quite tell how accessible it would be but it looked doable. Disclaimer: My definition of doable may be different than yours. Google Maps is a good place to start so you can decide. When we arrived we had to park on Lester B. Orcutt Rd which had been described on the website. It looked as though there were going to be a lot more people than I had imagined. We didn’t park all that far away but it was a bit of a walk to the trailhead. Another note to self, if you think you might need your gloves take them don’t leave them in the van. You will see what I mean in a minute.
We started up the trail and came to what looked like a tunnel that was formed by trees and bushes. In the distance we could hear kids coming so we stopped and waited. The kids were on bikes which the sign expressly forbade but I suspect the local kids don’t follow that rule to the letter. The first kid in line stopped and said I don’t think you are going to make it up through there. He clearly didn’t know me haha. He suggested we take the grass trail around through the golf course. Not knowing what was ahead and thinking he might I decided to take the grass. It was a good call. That way was super easy. We continued on after coming to the actual trail and finding a fairly well-done gravel trail. I keep forgetting to take pictures of the trails but I promise to do better with that in the future. The trail is about 2 miles in length and is mostly flat for the first section that brings you to the edge of the coast overlooking the ocean. We stopped at that point for a bit to take pictures of birds and the scenery and then decided to continue on. We came to where the boat docks for the tours out to Wood Island Lighthouse and there was an old wooden walk way down to the beach. I decided not to bother with that as I had scoped out what I thought was a possible spot to make my way to a rocky beach almost at the end of the trail. As we continued on further the trail gets a bit rougher with a trench on one side filled with sticks. I was able to navigate this section on my own but it took a lot of front wheels in the air and tricky maneuvering. It is unlikely a power chair would make it and anyone with limited upper body strength or trouble walking might have a tougher experience. It would still be possible with help though. There was also a few places that were uphill with large rocks protruding from the ground but was still passable on my own with quite a bit of effort. We stopped at various points along the way to take more pictures and admire a lot of the various flowers and other plant life as well as more birds.
We came to the beach that I had found in my research and sure enough, it was going to be possible for me to access it. Here is where those gloves would have been handy. I got out of my chair and had Sandy take it down to the rocks, although I actually could have lowered it down myself if I was alone. There were 3 rocks that had made natural steps down to where my chair was situated. I proceeded to crawl down through the steps and what I found out were rose bushes. As my hands were starting to bleed and hurt from the thorns I realized gloves would have been good haha. I made it through though and got into my chair. As I started to push it was obvious the rocks were not so solid. It was an awesome workout just getting around to a spot to take a 360 video of the surrounding area and the amazing sounds of the ocean and birds. This is also something that might be quite difficult for someone with less strength. I love the cool breeze and relaxing sounds of the ocean. We spent probably a half hour there but could have spent all day.
Once we had enough of sitting on the beach and were getting tired we made our way back along the trail. We came to the part that the kids have previously warned us about and curiosity overcame me. I had to see what they thought was so bad. The trail through the trees was actually quite magical looking. It was like being in a totally different world. The trail was actually very easy and smooth until the very end and was only inhibited by a couple large roots. No big deal. It would be pretty easy to push that section of the trail but definitely easier to take the grass around to the top of that section. We ended up at the trailhead where there was an elderly man with a walker and his family. I hope he was able to make the trek out to the point but I have a feeling he was in for quite a difficult time. The surface of the trail is not really suitable for walker wheels. We made it back to the van and decided to take a look around the area before pointing for home. The houses are unbelievable. Definitely out of our price range haha. At least until we win the lottery or I sell that app I haven’t started working on yet.
I always love the feeling I get when I have visited the ocean. It is the most relaxing and rejuvenating experience there is. I sleep better and feel better. I do hope to spend more time near the ocean in my life but I also need the mountains to give me that sense of adventure that I crave. It was definitely an amazing day and I would highly recommend visiting East Point Sanctuary.