There is no hiding that this semester is different. Students wear masks, have classes in tents, and get tested multiple times per week. There is a deficiency of social interaction and a surplus of alone time. Sometimes, these changes feel quite drastic. I personally find myself missing the fun Colby of years past––the one where we dartied behind Heights or partied Downtown. This semester, though, is an opportunity to experience a different kind of fun. Rather than rushing to the senior apartments on a Saturday, you can go on a hike, visit a beach, or go out to dinner. Maine is such a beautiful state with so much to explore, and this is the semester to take advantage of it. Here are some ~excursions~ to go on this fall.
- Northern Soltice Alpaca Farm
This excursion is a gem. It is only 20 minutes from campus, and you can have your own, personal tour of an alpaca farm. There are so many alpacas, and they are all cute and a little sassy. On my tour, the farm hand even gave us the inside scoop on the alpaca drama. She told us who stirred the pot, who was pregnant, and who was a baby daddy. In case you were wondering, yes, there were male alpacas that were baby daddies for multiple female alpacas. The tour is free, but you can support the farm through their gift shop with alpaca products. I personally got an alpaca stuffed animal named Gerry (with real alpaca hair), and he sits on my bed and accompanies me through my alone time.
- Mount Katahdin
As my amazing rocks 4 jocks professor once told me, “You will never live closer to Katahdin than you do right now, so these are your four years to take advantage of it.” Indeed, Katahdin is far from just about everywhere, including Colby College where it’s about a three hour drive, but now, you live closer than you probably ever will. So follow Bruce Rueger’s advice and witness the geological masterpiece that it is.
This is an obvious option, but there is truly nothing that brightens my day like a trip to Portland. The cobblestone streets and cute, little shops will uplift you from any angsty mood. This excursion is also the closest thing you will get to an urban experience in the state of Maine, so take advantage of it. A little first year tip, though, if you are looking up places for brunch, make sure you clarify that it is Portland Maine; otherwise, you will make a reservation for a restaurant in Oregon. I can speak from experience. My store recommendations include but are not limited to: Find, Blanche & Mimi, and Gus & Ruby Letterpress. I would also stop by Whole Foods and Trader Joes to load up on snacks for when the Dana options aren’t cutting it (no thank you to @ petrified green beans). Personally, those grocery stores alone are worth the hour and fifteen minute drive.
Camden is a cute little coastal town about an hour and ten minutes from Colby. You can stroll through the town, pick up a sandwich at Camden Deli, and have a little picnic. If you do go to the deli, I personally recommend their double chocolate cupcake. There are a bunch of beaches to visit, but it’s a little late in the season for that. Camden State Park also has scenic hikes with views of the trees and coast. Mount Megunticook is a good intermediate hike in Camden State Park, and Mount Battie is an easier option.
- Breakfast anywhere
There is no better way to start the day than eating out for breakfast. Also, places near campus are gooooood and #cheap. Stop by Purple Cow Pancake House in Fairfield or Big G’s in Winslow for fire pancakes or breakfast sandwiches. These will for sure soak up your hangover from the night in with your roommates.
- Acadia National Park
This is an obvious excursion, but it’s worth a mention. Acadia is a little less than two hours from campus, and you can go on numerous hikes or even just drive up Cadillac Mountain.
Hopefully, these excursions will bring some wholesome fun to your semester. Remember to wear your mask, get tested, and remain six feet apart. Stay safe and have fun!