I'm from Away. Technically, so is my husband (he was born in CA, lived in Lawrence, MA until he was 15, then moved to Jay, Maine) but he blends in significantly better than I since he actually knows where a lot of places are. Or used to be (more on that in a different post). So, when we decided to get a dog, the choice was easy: a black lab or lab mix. It seems like the majority of Mainers have labs-- a practice sanctioned by L.L. Bean: black labs abound on a variety of their products (yes, so do lobsters, but those tricky crustaceans are much harder to hike with and you can never take them to the beach for fear of being boiled and then served up with butter).
Enter Moxie. Originally named Annie Mae (think either mint juleps on the front porch swing or a tough Japanese heroine who masquerades by day as a dutiful school girl with pink hair), we felt our precocious 1 year old pooch needed a name as spirited as she. And funnily enough, Moxie only goes after my drink if I'm drinking Moxie. It's like she knows it's technically her birthright. Or maybe she hated her original name as much as we did? Either way, she's embraced her name.
Three years later, we're thinking we should have named her Scout. She loves going hiking with us at Mount Apatite (named for the product of the quarry, not misspelled hunger pangs), but she rarely stays on the trail. In fact, even at the base of the trail, this is usually how we hike "with" our dog. That black spot in the distance is our Moxie Moops (yes, she has a lot of goofy nicknames. Don't judge us.):
She also can't stay out of the water, and the great thing about Mount Apatite is there is plenty of it-- some running, some "ponds"-- and since we are religious about getting Moxie's Lepto vaccine every year, we can let her romp around in almost all of it without worrying about her getting sick:
Per Maine State Park regulations, dogs at Mount Apatite are supposed to be on leash at all times, but almost nobody follows that rule and we've never seen it enforced or even mentioned by other park frequenters in the 3 years we've been hiking there. If you are in the area and looking for a good place to let your dog get some good exercise (without requiring a TON of fitness from you!), Mount Apatite is a great option and it even has ample parking.
Score one for the L/A area!