Wednesday, September 11, 2013

maine...



Maine...almost in Canada.  It is bordered by Quebec and New Brunswick.  It is the most northerly and easterly state...and is larger than the other five New England states combined.  We did just a 'sampling' of all that Maine has to offer! 
 

As I mentioned previously...we had a welcoming committee when we arrived in Maine.  They were most hospitable...told us a little of what to see and do in their state...and then escorted us to the highway for our trek to Bar Harbor.  Thanks, Vee and John!  Every state should have such good ambassadors.

We checked into the KOA at Bar Harbour...where we had a lovely ocean view.  Let me do a quick ad for Kampgrounds of America.  They have campsites in almost every state and we have always found them clean and accommodating.  We travel with our KOA directory...and usually land up at one of their campsites.  We rarely make reservations.


Some walked their dogs along the shoreline in the morning.  We walked each other. :)  By the way...I thought this photo of hubby on a pedestal was appropriate for today.  He's celebrating a birthday.   For many decades we have been singing the song..

Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

Today he is 64.  I'm still needing and feeding. :)
 

We had our bikes with us...and somehow thought if we were staying at Bar Harbour KOA...we could ride our bikes into town.  In the end we realized it was quite a distance...and caught the shuttle bus for an hour long ride into town.

From the visitor's center...we rode a shuttle bus into Acadia National Park.  It is a 49,000 acre park on Mount Dessert Island...a paradise for hikers, bikers and sight-seers.  We did the 27-mile scenic Loop Road...another hop-on/hop-off  excursion.



We hopped off at Sand Beach...nestled in a small inlet along the coast.  We heard one had to be really brave to swim there...since the water temperature rarely reaches 55°F. 


There were a lot of brave souls there that day!


Jordan Pond...with its crystal clear water...was another one of our stops within the park.  The pond was formed by an ice-sheet once upon a time...and is flanked on several sides by mountains.  The two 'bumps' pictured above are mountains known as 'the Bubbles'. 

Jordan Pond is also the name of my cousin's son (is that a cousin once-removed?)...and so I took a picture of the sign for his sake. 


We spent the evening in Bar Harbour...and decided that we really should have lobster.


We saw restaurants everywhere with pots of steaming water outside...ready to cook fresh lobster for anyone passing by.  We opted for a restaurant at the dock...



...where I had a lobster roll.  Pondside said I should be sure to have one while in Maine...and think of her when I did!  I had no idea what a lobster roll was.  Now I know.  So good!



While we enjoyed lobster on the dock...others were cruising the harbour as the sun set.


It was a peaceful place to be!  A few blocks away it wasn't quite so quiet...where throngs of tourists milled through the shops.

The next morning we carried on down the coast.


Freeport, Maine.  I had never heard of the town...but was told by a friend that we had to stop by there.  We are glad we did.  Our first stop was this McDonald's...for coffee and wi-fi.  It was totally un-like any McD's I had ever been to.  In keeping with he heritage look of the entire town...McDonald's is in an old house.  There are no large golden arches...just a wee sign at the road. Customers enjoy their meals in the original rooms of the old house.  Lovely!

Freeport is best known for great shopping.  The world famous LL Bean flagship store is located in the centre of town...along with several LL Bean outlet stores. The entire town is like an outlet mall...but all the shops are in heritage buildings.  Quite lovely!  I shopped a bit...he read a bit.  There was free RV parking right downtown. 


Maine is known as the lighthouse state for good reason.   One hundred years ago...at least 70 lighthouses guarded the coastline of Maine. Sixty-five of those beacons are still standing. There are more coastal lighthouses in Maine than anywhere in the nation.  So we thought we should at least check out a few.


We took the Casco Bay Bridge at Portland...a draw bridge across the river leading to the waterfront. No sooner were we across than we saw the bridge open up behind us...to allow some ships to pass through.   


The first lighthouse we checked out was the Portland Breakwater Light...usually called the Bug Light (due to its small size).  It was originally built in 1855...then rebuilt of cast iron in 1875 to resemble a Greek monument with six Corinthian columns. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1942, it was extinguished to protect the harbor during World War II; it was reactivated in 2002. We walked to the lighthouse and chatted with some locals who were fishing there.



We wondered aloud what the old building in Casco Bay might be.  The fisherman told us it was Fort Gorges...built in the 1800's and last used by the army during World War 2.  It is now owned by the city of Portland and is also on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is open to visitors...though they would need a boat to go visit!


Not far away is the Portland Head Light...in Cape Elizabeth. The lighthouse was built in 1791...it was commissioned by George Washington and was the country’s first lighthouse built under the new government. Whale oil lamps were originally used for illumination. It is apparently Maine’s most famous and photographed lighthouse. It sits at the entrance to Portland Harbor...and has a great view of more than 200 islands from its deck. The keeper’s quarters are now a museum.


Ram Island Ledge Light was built in 1855 to protect sailors from the dangerous underwater ledges of the island.  It can be seen from Portland Head Light...and is also a National Historic Place.


Along the shore near the Portland Head lighthouse we found a rock commemorating a Christmas Eve shipwreck in 1886.  Thankfully the lighthouse keeper and his family were able to rescue the entire crew of the Annie Maguire by using a ladder as a gangplank.  That would have been a most memorable Christmas!



Sun drenched rocks...and waves crashing onto the shore.  We came.  We saw.  We are glad we did.


Oh...and before I close the door on Maine...let me leave you with one more image.  Moose watching is apparently a popular thing to do.  Maine has a sizable moose population...and so the chances of spotting a moose are apparently very good.  We saw signs...and souvenirs...and t-shirts...all things moose except the real thing!  My favorite was the moose screen door at the KOA campsite near Freeport.

Next port of call...Newport, Rhode Island.

20 comments:

  1. We both want to wish your husband a happy 64th birthday! We are still talking about how impressed we were that you and your friends hiked that huge mountain a few weeks ago. We are convinced that "sixty" is the new "forty":)

    You gave a pitch for Kampgrounds of America, but
    with this informative and beautiful post, you most certainly gave a pitch for the state of Maine. In fact, I put it near the top of my bucket list since reading your post. Thanks so much for sharing your photography and writing skills with us.

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  2. Judy - your pictures are exquisite! I love the sailboat sunset one - WOW!
    Happy 64th to your hubby - the farmer's 64th is coming up this Spring and we plan to have a Beatles themed party - we've been singing that song too for all these years! I think we need to get on the ball, buy a trailer and head out to Maine - that Lobster roll is calling me!!! Thanks for your sharing your travel"blog".

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  3. Happy Birthday special guy - Let us HOLD unswervingly to the HOPE we PROFESS , for He who promised is FAITHFUL. Heb. 10:23

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  4. And now you've seen more of Maine than I have! = D Such crisp, beautiful pictures!

    Happy birthday to Elmer! Glad that the answers have been discovered.

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  5. Happy Birthday to Elmer! For a few short months he and The Great Dane will be the same age - and then TGD will acquire that get-on-the-ferry-for-free card!
    I'm glad you liked the lobster roll - the photo had me drooling. I'd love a real, down-east lobster roll! I love Maine. It has always seemed to me, with its lovely architecture and relative prosperity, of Nova Scotia, if Nova Scotia had grown and prospered just a little more. So many of us from that province and that state are related by blood and history. I'm loving your travel diary!

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  6. Happy Birthday to the Groom :-)
    Beautiful photos as always, now I really want to see Maine....and maybe have a lobster roll......

    Hugs!

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  7. Oh I'm singing along with you and sending our best wishes for your dear husband's birthday. He's probably working hard out in the fields. These are such beautiful photos of this part of the U.S.A. I'm sending these links to our friends Dave and Beth who leave to this part of the U.S. Sept 21st. (you met Beth in Blaine at the Library)

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  8. Dear Judy...always love your posts - I don't follow too many bloggers, but you are exceptional in that you write so beautifully about where you have been. You write beautifully, period! There is always something interesting to learn and read about - definitely a most worthwhile 'favorite'! Thank you so much, and thanks also for the camping/campground tips, etc. for the time when we (hopefully) can try RV'ing! Also, several of your recipes have made it into our 'family favorites' cookbook - thanks for the wonderful recipes as well.
    Guess you'll have lovely day after all this praise! Here's hoping you do!

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  9. Now I really, really, really want to go to Maine!

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  10. Happy Birthday! This RV trip has taken you to so many beautiful destinations. That beach looks amazing...and how nice to meet up with others along the road. That lobster...yum! Loved the pictures of the sailboats.

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  11. Beautiful, beautiful photos, Judy. I love lighthouses - they have a romance about them that always appeals to me. Now I want to go to Maine even more!

    Happy Birthday to your 64-year-old! Funny how we're all getting closer to that song we sang when blithely young!

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  12. My mom and dad LOVE Maine as well!

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  13. I have been enjoying going on your cross-country trip with you and sampling all the states. I think I have chosen Maine as my next place to live. Very beautiful pictures. I really liked the clear water in Jordan Lake.

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  14. Happy birthday to your hubby. Isn't it great that you still need him and the other way I'm sure is true.. as you feed him! I saw a sailboat with rust colored sails - just like the one on your photo - in the Vancouver harbor recently... I had to quicly think of where you were... nope ... not the same ocean.

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  15. Thanks for the great tour Judy. You saw some things I have yet to see. It's so beautiful there. We are planning a little trip down to Bar Harbour at the end of the month. Happy Birthday to Elmer.

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  16. I love Maine's craggy, rocky coast and all the deep inland forests. It truly is a beautiful state. I'm so glad you had a good Maine lobster! How I miss them, as they were easily found in my area.

    Happy birthday to Elmer! He caught up with my husband :)

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  17. Maine looks like the kind of place I could really enjoy...beaches, flat land, and lots of forests. I love lobster...especially fresh lobster.
    I like the song that you are still singing to Elmer...Best wishes to him for the next year! At least he will remember this day for record breaking temperatures here in the valley.

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  18. I have a teacher friend who spends every summer in Maine; I'm beginning to understand why! You've shared lovely pictures of many spots in that state-thanks!

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  19. Hi Judy
    I just found your blog through the MGCC blog which I came across recently also. I have been getting a bit acquainted by visiting everyone's personal blogs. I live in Central Maine Just outside Bangor, you can find that on a map. I would like to invite you back to Maine and I would happy to be your tour guide to visit the crown of Maine and show you some of our wildlife and spectacular scenery away from the coast. My husband and I met played in that area for 50 years. The coast is awesome but the interior is spectacular in it's own special unique way.

    Judy of Maine

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'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson