Most people were surprised when they learned we were going to Maine for ten days. Why Maine they asked. What are you going to do there? Well, it turned out there is a lot to do in Maine. And I noticed lots of people doing lots of things.
Want to see? Click on any photo to see more details.
I can’t show you everything we saw in Maine. As I’ve said frequently, you need to go there yourself and explore. But here’s just a few more instances of things unique and/or fun that we ran across in our travels.
Did you know that Maine is the biggest exporter of wild blueberries? You would if you visited Blueberry World and talked to the owner for a bit. We noticed her shop as we were heading somewhere else.
It’s kind of hard to miss, or to resist! Inside were all things blueberry. We bought a few things and talked to her for a bit. She and her husband have a few hundred acres of wild blueberries. They used to be university professors, but they’ve ‘retired’ to become blueberry farmers.
She’s concerned that they can’t do it forever, that help to ‘rake’ the blueberries in the field is getting harder to find. She’s worried about foreign investors buying up all the farms. She’s wondering if she should develop her land, turn it into a subdivision. But she’d lose the wild blueberries, the view, her lifestyle. She says the only way they make it is through sales direct to tourists, that the blueberries going to processing plants don’t have enough profit margin.
We wished her and her 80 year old husband good luck.
Later in our trip, as we were driving through a small coastal town we saw this:
We learned a long time ago on our travels that if you see a crowd headed somewhere you should just fall in and see where it goes. So we turned around, parked the car and wandered up onto the bridge as well. Turns out the crowd was watching lobster boats race.
Now I ask you, where else but Maine could you see such an event?
And all along the way we saw pretty things, interesting things that just didn’t fit into any particular blog. But I thought you’d enjoy a few more shots. Wouldn’t you?
We saw lots of fishing shacks. Some looked like they were being used.
And some didn’t.
We saw lots and lots of boats on trailers in yards. Some had some pretty neat names.
I wonder how people are making a living if their boat is in the yard.
We saw beautiful buildings too, a school sitting in a field of clover….
…and a church along a river in a tiny town.
And finally, these birds just made us laugh.
I hope you chuckle too.
Soon I hope to give you an idea of what people do while in Maine. There’s really too much to share.
But I’ll try.
Just a short post to show you Moxie falls, another aspect of Maine. We drove two hour north of where we’re staying near Lisbon (I think we were only a couple of hours from Quebec!) where the country begins to roll with small mountains, and there is a beautiful 30 foot waterfall. It was way back in the woods, so after we applied the usual sunscreen we layered on bug spray. It’s a lovely combination.
The woods was cool and green and beautiful. But nothing compared to the falls.
The upper part of the river was beautiful too.
We had a very good day.
Thursday we visited two forts and a wonderful beach. Want to see?
First stop, the small Fort Edgecomb with it’s octagonal turret built in 1808.
It’s a small park now, along a bit of waterway that is filled with lobster buoys.
Then we headed out to Fort Popham, built in 1862 right on a most glorious beach! This fort is mostly intact and was a lot of fun to wander.
But of course I was most attracted to the beach…miles and miles of beautiful sand…
…with smaller pools of water for children to play in.
The water in the Atlantic was cold. It is Maine after all. But it was so much fun to play in the waves for a little bit.
Once you got in and remembered how to breath you could be a kid again! And really, it’s OK not to be able to feel your legs, it’s all part of summer at the beach in New England!
We ended the day at a waterfront tavern having dinner with friends.
Can’t get any better than that.
Maine has fifty-seven active lighthouses; we only saw five yesterday and it took us all day! But what a fun day it was. First up is the Rockland Breakwater light. It’s at the end of a breakwater, built in 1888 and 7/8 of a mile long. The lighthouse was built in 1902.
You walk along huge flat granite rocks, watching where you put your feet because there are large cracks and holes between the rocks. It’s something of a giant jigsaw puzzle and it takes longer than you expect to get out to the lighthouse.
It was a good way to start the morning, that long walk in the sea breezes.
Next was Owls Head Light Station. It’s located at the mouth of the Rockland harbor and was built in 1825.
The light itself sits on a rock bluff over what many people saw as the face of an owl etched by mother nature in the rock below. I looked hard at photos but I couldn’t see the owl.
The story is that Spot, the family dog of one of the keepers kept many ships off the rocks with his ceaseless barking. Katie would be an excellent lighthouse dog!
While we were at Owls Light we saw a brochure for Marshall Point Light, not to far away. So of course we headed right over. Turns out not to far away is further than you think as you ‘can’t get there from here’ and everything is up and around another bay.
But this is a beautiful lighthouse, built in 1858 near Port Clyde, a beautiful fishing village, the 30 foot light tower is out on the rocky point, accessible by a wooden bridge.
We moved on to our favorite lighthouse of the day; Pemaquid Point Light. Don’t you wonder how names come about? This lighthouse was built in 1827 on a beautiful rocky point.
The rocks look like liquid stone, with iron ore running through the dark base. It’s simply amazing. Exploring the rocks is almost as much fun as exploring the lighthouse.
This lighthouse also allows visitors up inside the tower. It’s quite tight up there, but it was worth the short wait to climb the stairs and look out over the ocean.
We spent a long time at this lighthouse. We could have sat on the rocks and watched the waves crash all day.
To break the lighthouse spell, and add some variety to our day we stopped at Fort William Henry, a restoration and a Pemaqid State Historic site on Pemaquid Beach.
Here we had a tour guide talk about some of the artifacts found at the site. They are still excavating here each summer.
I think she was bored before we arrived and started asking all sorts of questions. She really enjoyed telling us about the site and the work that was being done there.
Our last stop of the day was Hendricks Head Light. We drove a long time to find this one, and in the end the closest we could get was a public beach.
Still, it was beautiful and I’m glad we found it.
I hope you enjoyed our tour of a few of Maine’s lighthouses. We certainly did. Today we’re going to take it easy, after all, it is a vacation!
We’ll talk later.
Last night we stayed in a quaint cabin that had Wifi – - but it was so slow I couldn’t finish this post, much less publish it. So this one’s a day late. I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath! We stayed at Moody’s which is an institution around these parts. The original cabins were built in the 20′s and more were built in the 40′s, when they also added running water and electricity. No air conditioning, though there is a lovely little screened porch on the back and you can sleep with the windows open, listening to the breeze in the trees if you don’t mind the mosquitoes too much.
Moody’s diner is down at the bottom of the hill and has been in the family for at least three generations. The food is down home good; I recommend the rhubarb strawberry pie. Highly.
Anyway, yesterday we headed inland, on our way to Fort Knox. You know, where all the gold is housed. As we got close we saw a beautiful bridge over the Penobscot River. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before.
What’s even more amazing is how narrow the cable system is. Here’s what it looks like from the end of the bridge:
And in the top of one of the towers, which look like a skinny version of the Washington Monument, is an observation room!
How cool is that! And you just know that we went up there! How could we not! This is the way the bridge looks from the observatory:
The towers are 447 feet tall (The Washington Monument is 555 feet tall). From the observation tower at the top you can see views like this:
After we were back on the ground we went to visit the fort. It’s an engineering feat from another generation, and fascinating in a whole different way. Built from 1846 -1866 it’s a wonderful example of forts from that era. It’s all pretty much still there, the parade ground, the barracks, the officers quarters…
…and the tunnels below and behind the walls, filled with dark damp memories…
…and maybe the ghosts of soldiers past.
We spent a long time at Fort Knox, exploring all the nooks and crannies, thinking about what life might have been like back then, the conditions soldiers lived and died under.
It seemed strange to see the old fort with the new bridge in the background. An interesting contrast.
Then, because we could, we stopped by a lighthouse. Just for you, because we didn’t want you to have lighthouse withdrawal. After all, we are in Maine.
This is the Fort Point lighthouse.
It’s part of a State Park, but we found it on a road along the coast without going into the park. It has beautiful flowers, and sits high above the sea on a bluff. Such a pretty spot.
So that’s it for yesterday. Today we overdosed on lighthouses. I’ll post more on those tomorrow. Or later. Sometime anyway; it all depends on wifi. Most of you know how that goes.
I hope you enjoyed your tour of the Penobscot Bridge, Fort Knox and the lighthouse!
Acadia National Park is a splendid example of all that is right about America. It’s natural beauty defies description; the ocean, the craggy coastline, the mountains, even the people visiting there, are unique and interesting and special. We were only there one day, so we couldn’t hike all the trails or bike the carriage roads or even stop for lunch, but I saw enough to show you around.
First stop was one of my favorites – Sandy Beach. This is a must for all of you that want to dip your toes in the cold Maine Atlantic. Or even if you don’t. It’s a great place to people watch or simply veg out.
I, of course, was happiest strolling in the waves. There was a little stream flowing into the ocean that had the most beautiful patterns as the light hit the ripples.
It was warmer than the ocean so it made a good place for kids and adults to play. Or talk. Or just be.
I could have stayed on the beach for hours but we knew we had more park to explore. So off we went.
Next stop was Thunder Hole; a rectangular split in the granite where waves thunder and spray. Or not, depending on the tide. For us it was more a gurgle and thud. But still it was cool to see.
On to Littler Hunters Beach. At low tide it was a treasure trove of sea remnants.
And rocks covered in colorful stuff.
We tried to stop for lunch at Jordan’s Pond which has a restaurant, but there was nowhere to park, even in the ancillary parking lot. I guess that’s just the way it is at National Parks in the summer season. But that was OK, we were on to Cadillac Mountain!
A short drive up the winding road, with plenty of stops to enjoy the view and you will soon arrive at this:
The granite covered mountain reminded me so much of the mountain my family climbed in New Hampshire when we were kids. Lots of huge flat rocks with bits of green low lying foliage in between. And views that went on forever.
It was fun to watch all the families and think back over the years. I have to say I have a new appreciation for all the trips my folks took us on. How they managed four of us is beyond me. I watch and listen to families now and can see how much work it is to keep all the kids entertained and safe all day.
We ended our day at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, down at the tip of a peninsula. It is actually inhabited with a family, so you can’t go inside and you take care not to intrude. We hiked a bit up the coast and climbed out on some crazy beautiful rocks for this shot:
And here’s another view from the top of the driveway:
We had a wonderful day at Acadia. You just have to come and see for yourself. There’s so much more. I don’t want to spoil it for you!
I’ve been in a motel with no internet for the past two nights. But of course we haven’t spent much time in the hotel, we’ve been out exploring, so there’s a lot to show you. I’ll try to squish Saturday and Sunday into this post. We spent those two days driving through small fishing communities and along the rocky coast. But first, on Saturday we went out to the tip off Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Peninsula to see the wave action from Hurricane Arthur. Though by the time we got out there the hurricane was more a scattered storm, there were still some big waves. (Click on the photos to make them larger, you’ll see lots more detail!)
The wind was fierce but there were lots of people out there; you could hear they oooh and ahhh and squeal whenever a particularly big wave splashed high.
After that we ventured inland and wandered through many towns where lobster traps were piled high in yards and on wharfs. It seemed that many homes had a big boat in drydock in the yard and piles and piles of traps nearby. I wondered why the boat wasn’t in the water, and how people were making a living.
We also walked along a community wharf used by locals where the piles of lobster traps made a colorful collage. And where we ran into this guy:
Of course we also found a lighthouse too. This one was on Prospect Harbor, just across the way from Mr. Lobsterman.
But mostly on Saturday we were driving through communities looking for interesting things to photograph. There were so many I wish I could should you more, but here’s one quintessential Maine shot:
Sunday found us on the road again, in the search for more lighthouses. We found this beauty in Luboc. It’s the West Quoddy Head Light Station.
It sits high on a rocky bluff. We hiked a ways up the coast on the advice of an employee and saw wonderful views of the ocean and the waves crashing on the rocks below.
Much of our path was muddy because they’ve had so much rain, but it was worth it to climb so high. We ended up near the top of that mountain you see in the photo above, way out at the end, at a place called Green Point. Where we saw views like this:
On the way back we climbed down a stair to the beach and I got to get my feet wet in the Atlantic!
Yes. It was cold!
It was getting late, so we drove through a few more fishing communities and then headed back to the hotel.
We didn’t even have time to stop and see what ship was in the harbor, but it sure was huge!
To see everything you’re just going to have come on over to Maine yourself There’s lots of houses for sale, or if you just want to rent for awhile, this place is open:
Today we were at Acadia. That deserves it’s own post. I’ll try to get it together soon.