In Maine, men once upon a time carved huge blocks of granite from the islands, using mostly muscle, and they called the grain structure they worked “the Run, the Rift, and the Hard Way.” The evocative phrase also serves to describe cruising this coast’s thousands of isles today. It’s relatively easy to run Down East from Portland to Cutler enjoying nearly innumerable secure harbors, both inhabited and wild. Instead of a continuous coastline you’ll find one rifted by tall Bays, like Penobscot and Blue Hill, that let you meander into the state’s more pastoral interior; picture gentle shores overhung by birch and oak trees rather than the stereotypical salt-stunted spruce. And you’ll delight in the long veins of gray-and-pink granite where molten magma once bubbled up through rifts in the planet’s skin and then was smoothed by millennia of sea action to form sculpture you can walk on. But what’s hard is visiting the outermost islands that arguably host the most intense flavor of Maine’s natural beauty.