II. DAY ONE: Wednesday, July 7, 2004
I arrived at Portland, Maine a little after 1:00 PM. Ground transportation had been provided to Darmariscotta, the town where my research scientist, Betsy Grannis resides. The drive was beautiful, the amount of wetlands in the area surprised me. I saw several osprey nests and as we drove the driver gave me a little background information on the area. The mid-coast area of Maine is dotted with scenic villages. The rugged coastline is home to picturesque lighthouses, inns, museums, art galleries and antique shops.
We arrived in town about 2:45 PM and Betsy was there waiting for me. It was about a half an hour drive to the Marine Center which was in a remote wooded area. The Darling Marine Center was founded in 1965. The campus had once been a 227 acre farm belonging to Ira C. Darling , a retired Chicago insurance executive who donated the property with the purpose of establishing a marine laboratory. Today the center occupies 170 acres of largely wooded property bordering two kilometers of pristine water frontage on the Damariscotta River estuary. It is a small campus which houses approximately sixty people year round including faculty, postdoctoral students, graduate student, technicians and support staff. During the summer the center offers a wide variety of programs and the numbers usually double.
On our arrival Betsy took me to the cabin I would be occupying during my visit. It was a one room cottage with adjoining bath and an efficiency type kitchen. It was very cozy and airy and I knew I would be very comfortable there. It had no modern conveniences like AC, phone or TV. I knew this would be 10 days of peace and quiet and was glad for the chance to catch up on my reading with no disturbances.
We then went to the lab facility which was about a half mile walk from the cabin. I thought to myself walking this everyday would surely help me kept in shape. The lab was located right on the water with a magnificent view of the Damariscotta River and dock facilities. Betsy told me that we would be attending several lectures this week in the evenings that were sponsored by the center. The first was that evening at 4 PM and was on invasive. After the lecture we had a great dinner. It was good food, beautiful surrounding and stimulating conversation. I am looking forward to tomorrow when I will meet Betsy in the lab to start my lab experience.
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