Well, It's the Maine thing

Trip Start Jul 10, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Pumpkin Patch RV Resort

Flag of United States  , Maine
Friday, August 31, 2012

Fri, Aug 31 -  How challenging are the winds?  Well, today there was a very stiff southerly cross wind from Truro to Moncton - high profile vehicles do not take kindly to that! Turning toward Saint John, we encountered head winds that we pushed into all the way to Bangor, ME. Slowing down is the best way to handle that situation, so we drove between 55 and 60 mph for almost 400 miles.  After fighting the winds all day, we were so tired when we got to the Pumpkin Patch RV Park outside of Bangor that we just set up and went out to dinner. 

We removed one more item from our "Bucket List" which was to eat "lotssa lobstah" in Maine. We each had a 1 pound lobster, salad, baked potato, rolls and a beer each for $35.  YUM! Well, I guess we'll just have to reach back into that bucket list item and try a few more Maine lobsters.

Labor Day Weekend - We wanted to avoid the holiday crowds so we hunkered down.  Our food supplies had dwindled because of the 15% sales tax in Canada, and many fresh produce items can't be brought back into the USA.  

Saturday morning, we went to a Farmers Market and got some local produce, mostly organic stuff.  Enjoyed talking to the people there, both vendors and customers.  Then we went to Sam's; while there I saw they had their cell phones on sale.  The phone I've been looking at (Samsung Galaxy S III) was on sale for 25% less than Verizon.  I got some rate info to study.  

It rained Sunday until about 2 PM, so we drove back into downtown Bangor to go to another Farmers Market. A pattern seems to be developing here.  We bought some veggies and some "artisan" bread from a lady. She was about to close, so she gave us 4 open containers of hummus she had made for samples.  The Sunday rain zapped the market, so the samples were virtually untouched.  She gave us some info about where we could go look for moose.  

After the market, we went back to Sam's and I bought that new cell phone and signed onto Verizon's "Share Everything" Plan.  About 5 we took the Kalamata Olive bread, hummus, and a couple of beers and went driving in the country looking for moose.  To say "country" is misleading, there are houses everywhere and no moose.  Finally about dark, we pulled into a park overlooking a lake and had our meal.  
On Monday, we took a drive down the Penobscot River south of Bangor to visit Fort Knox (not the one with the gold) and the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory.  After rising 420 feet above the river, we were provided interesting views of the area.  Then we visited the old fort, whose construction began in the mid 1840's as a part of the nation's coastal defense. It is well preserved and still has a number of the old guns of the era. 

Tue, Sep 4 - Drove to Bar Harbor for a quick look around.  This is a picturesque location.  The town is crowded, touristy, and busy, but interesting.  We passed several lobster pounds, which for the most part look like dumps, but I think that is supposed to be part of their charm.  Though it was still a little early for lunch, we stopped at one and ordered lobster rolls. The waitress told us about a local ale that was very smooth.  And yes it was!  The lobster rolls were great too.  

Then we went into Acadia National Park.  National Parks are so designated for very good reasons.  This park is truly a national treasure and exceeded our expectations.  W.O.W., those powerful waves hammering the gorgeous rocky Maine coast!  We could sit and watch that for hours.  The few hours we spent there convinced us to come back again and again.  

The luncheon waitress also told us where to find the Atlantic Brewing Company.  We got there just in time to make the last beer tasting. Sampled 5 brews and decided we want more of the Atlantic Real Ale we had for lunch, so we bought a case. I am not sure that it will make it home. They had a barbecue restaurant. It was nearly 6, so we split a delicious BBQ sandwich and another Real Ale.  I think Nancy is developing a taste for beer.  Drove home in the rain.

Wed, Sep 5 - The remnants of Hurricane Issac passed over today.  It rained hard all night and most of the day.  We washed, cleaned the RV and finally got out late to buy another lobster to make a salad for our picnic tomorrow in Acadia National Park.  This just seemed like a great time to color Nancy's hair, which she had been begging me to do.  She is so beautiful to me.

Thr, Sep 6 - We went back to Acadia NP today and drove up on top of Cadillac Mountain.  It is the highest point along the coast from Canada to Mexico.  Wonderful view from there.  This is such a picturesque area; beautiful coves, bays and islands.  The surf crashes upon rocky shores, with lots of wave action.  We spent a couple hours doing what we've always said we would do; that is sitting in a beautiful location, just absorbing it.  That is so good for your soul! We took a walk along the coast line and found a number of sites overlooking the crashing surf, so we got our chairs, iPads, something to drink, and just soaked it in.  It was great!!!

It got late so we headed back to the RV, about a 90 minute drive away.  Darkness descended. The roads weren't lighted, the GPS wasn't on and neither were my glasses. When I came to a crucial turn in a road construction area; I somehow took a wrong turn.  It is important to realize, I am never lost; ... maybe?  After a while, I realized something was wrong, so we plugged in the GPS and discovered we still had an hour and a half drive back home.  Surely this was an aberration.  I subsequently learned this was a really gorgeous drive, but on that black night there were no houses, no lights, and very few cars.

Fri, Sep 7 - What a great day to explore the fishing villages along the coast of Maine!  We stopped in Belfast at Young's Lobster Pound (recommended by Frommers) and had lobster for lunch on their patio/pier overlooking the Passagassawakeag River where it empties into Penobscot Bay. The river is close to a mile wide there, and there were dozens and dozens of sailboats anchored in it. A great view!  Nancy got lobster stew which was phenomenal.  To see this place from the road, you would think it was like an old barn on the river.  It certainly wasn't a fancy place, but the food was excellent!

After lunch we drove to Camden, ME a truly beautiful seaport.  The city park behind the public library (designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York City's Central Park) opens down to the harbor, and we spent quite some time just looking at the comings and goings there, which included an outdoor wedding rehearsal, water fowl trying to swallow the fish they caught, and two giant yachts easing into the harbor.  One private yacht, we mistook for a Navy vessel, was 7 decks tall.  

Camden has tons of old restored houses, treelined streets and just a wonderful feel about the place.  Yes, there were a couple of tee shirt shops, but mainly it was boutiques and eateries. A stream runs through the town which has been captured and forms a lovely waterfall down into the harbor.  This is a place that would be easy to visit again.

On the way back to the RV, we stopped again in Belfast to stretch our legs, and as fate would have it, a Friday evening "art walk" was just starting.  Lots of open art galleries, several groups of musicians performing on the sidewalks, a couple of girls doing various modern dance routines on the corner, and a lady sketching a picture of two girls in a store window acting like manikins.  They were also having an old car rally, and those were driving up and down the streets honking like maniacs.  A little after 7, we decided to have supper and went to a vegetarian restaurant the guide book recommended. We could not get a reservation until 8:30 -must be really good vegetarian food.  So, we found a Thai restaurant that was excellent.

Sat, Sep 8 - rainy and windy day.  Our son, Brett sent our accumulated mail to us, so we made good use of the rainy day catching up on our "bid-ness" stuff.

Sun, Sep 9 - "Bummer"...  We had been told that Baxter State Park in the middle of Maine was a wonderful and beautiful place.  So, we drove about 2 hours up there, and when we visited with the park ranger at the south entrance, he told us we could take the 45 mile dirt road to the north entrance.  But - the road was canopied with trees so we probably would not see much at all.  He said this park was wonderful for hiking and tent camping, but not as a drive through. We did go out behind the park office to the banks of a large lake where we could see Mount Katahdin (actually a cluster of mountains) that is the predominate feature of the park.  It was cold and windy, so that was a short visit.  We drove 2 hours back, but at least we got to go to Sam's Club - once again.

Mon, Sep 10 - Acadia National Park occupies most of Mount Desert Island which is divided into 2 lobes separated by Somes Sound, the only Fjord on the east coast.  It was carved out by the receding ice at the end of the last ice age.  

Most of the tourism occurs on the eastern lobe, so today we drove to the western lobe of the island and found it to house some very exclusive properties, undoubtedly for the very rich.  But there are many well kept modest homes, one of which belongs to the "cookie lady", Maureen at the Manset Little Farm.  

We stopped and bought a couple of cookies, chatted her up and then went to a beach for a our picnic lunch.  Her cookies were so good, that we went back and visited with Maureen again, and of course bought a couple more cookies.  She told us of some drives that took us along the fjord and into Northeast Harbor, where we saw some mansions (probably summer homes), and an absolutely gorgeous harbor.  Then we went over to the eastern lobe where the really big crashing waves beat upon the rocky shores.  We took our lawn chairs, found a great perch, and spent an hour or so just soaking up the majesty of it. 

As we were leaving, we came across a large complex of red buildings, which we discovered was Jackson Laboratories.  We "googled it" on my new cell phone (which I love) and found out that it is a leading genetics and medical research laboratory located on the outskirts of Bar Harbor. 

Today is our last day in Maine.  We must say Maine has been a terrific destination. Sure, we ate a number of lobsters, but we were really taken by the beauty of the coastline.  This ranks near the top of all the places we have visited on this trip.  While we are staying in a great RV park, it is about one and a half hours from the coast, and in the event we come back this way, we will find an RV park closer to the shoreline.

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Linda Bloom on

Pug & Nancy,

I love reading of your adventures and the pictures are wonderful. Continue having fun and send some of that great weather down our way.

Joyce Shipp on

You make me envious!!! I know you've had a WONDERFUL time!!! The pictures are truly worth a THOUSAND WORDS !!!! I've really ENJOYED your pictures and your remarks !!!!

Helen Brandt on

Maine lobster & beer.....can't get much better!

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