Finally – the Maine Coast!
Here we are another month and another 1500 miles under the wheels with lots of memories and a huge loss.
And we finally made it to Maine! Definitely the best part of this trip – although it’s all wonderful.
We loved Maine. Booth Bay, Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park), Calais, Camden, Rockport – all of it. We could live there.
So we shall. Not on the coast though. This winter the plan is to head to Hanover, Maine (and Sunday River Ski Mountain) to teach some skiing. Why not?
But for the next two weeks, we continue westward through Pennsylvania towards Gettysburg. I can’t wait to see that historic site! Later this week we pick up our next service dog in training. I can’t believe we are adding another puppy to the household! “It’ll be fun” she says!
Yea right. We need a bigger RV!
It has been a very relaxing and enjoyable month since we left Lake Placid. We’ve put some miles under us for sure!
From Lake Placid, little, skinny, windy, hilly roads took us through Vermont, New Hampshire to Mt Washington and on into Maine,looking for a ski mountain we liked with an RV park nearby open all winter. Not in Lake Placid, nor Sugarbush but in the little town of Hanover, Maine we found an RV park we liked just a few miles from a mountain we also liked called Sunday River. Kinda cool that it is named liked Red River in New Mexico!
Here comes the hard part and one of the reasons I have not written in a while. While we were in this RV park, on our 34th anniversary, having almost decided to come back for the winter – we lost our beloved Goose. God took Goose for some reason at 8 years old at 2am. He went from perfectly healthy to not in one evening. We miss him more than tears can say. When I can, I will make an awesome video for and about him. This is going to make Shelly cry again but I have to put it in.
But life goes on and we must also.
We headed east for a lobster roll. Our long time friends Sue & Mark told us to visit BoothBay and see their buddies Tim and Liz Brown so we found a brewery that let us stay and headed that way. We spent two days and had a great time. We love the Maine coast! Both days we went to a little bitty country store next to an old drawbridge and splurged.
Lobster rolls (you would not believe how good these things are!), crab rolls, and clam chowder. We had to leave as the $60 lunches were killing us! We found the Staley’s friends and had a good time talking memories.
One night we went into town on the waterfront for cocktails and appetizers, stumbled into an open mic night, and got to play a few songs with the band. Fun!
From there we headed north along the coast through Rockport, Camden and Searsport where we stopped to check out the history museum. This area was the home of the sailing fleets of old and Searsport had more captains at sea than any other town in America.
All along the old highway 1 are the most amazing homes, barn and rock walls. We loved just driving the roads. In another example of how things seem to (almost) always work out perfect is that we originally were going to be here in mid July when we got the job at the Indiana State Fair. That pushed our timeline to arriving the day after Labor day.
We had no idea how touristy this whole area is and were super pleased to have missed July and August! Traffic was bad enough in September! The other interesting thing we found was how close everything is once you get to the coast. From Boston to Calais, Maine at the Canadian border just is not that far! But the tolls are awful. Prices are ridiculous. Produce is amazing. People are nice.
Mount Desert Island holds both Bar Harbor and Acadia National Area. If you have never been – put it on your bucket list. Especially if you like to hike. There are some absolutely stunning hikes and paths throughout Acadia.
On up to Calais after a stop at a very old state park we barely fit into, with almost no one else around and lots of hiking. The tides are starting to get closer to 25 feet so the difference between low and high is hard to imagine.
Calais, Maine is a very small town right at the tip of downeast Maine on the Canadian border and sits on the St Croix River. In the 1800s, this area boomed with river traffic and the remains of the log and mud docks are fascinating. No river traffic now though!
From Calais we turned back south towards Camden again. In 1978 I was an engineer on a 120’ private yacht from Acapulco to Southampton, England. The crew were mostly from a town in Maine and for some reason I thought it was Camden. Although I had not spoken to any of these guys since 1979, I thought it worth a try to see if they were to be found. It took me 30 minutes and two people to find Alden Cole who was the first mate. We talked about old times and old friends and headed on down the road. Pretty cool.
Our next planned stop was west of Philadelphia at our friend David’s house. We were going to crash his yard for a week, get some work done (the truck is STILL overheating on steep hills!) and Shelly has a full weekend to complete her service dog Team Facilitator certification with Atlas Service Dogs.
But first we (I) wanted to see Boston. How could we be so close and not go see where it all started? We found a place to park the RV at a really old State Park (expensive!) and drove the truck in that afternoon for a quick looksee.
First – do not take a dually truck into Boston. Just saying. There is not enough room. We could not even fit in any of the garages! We drove around Boston Commons (right by the “Cheers” bar) 7 or 8 times and finally found a parking space just big enough to squeeze in just because the guy behind us moved back! My rear wheels were on the sidewalk just to stay out of the road!
We paid for a tour and although interesting I recommend if you go, just take a map and follow the clearly laid out brick walk for the 2.5 mile real tour on your own.
Still – to be able to see the graves of the men who started it all – to see the long wharf where the shots were fired – the churches etc. It was awesome. If I had the money I would get a hotel downtown, and stay for two or three days. We stayed three hours and fought our way out of the 4pm traffic. Awful!
On the way through southern Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania we stayed at several farms. These were really cool farms that reminded of us High Country Stables on a grand scale. 4th and 5th generation families who had hundreds of acres planted in all kinds of fruits (mostly apples, peaches, blueberries, raspberries etc) and facilities to sell direct to the public by making it fun. Hay wagons, bands, u-pick, country stores with fresh bakery and bbq and much more. We had a great time! Even got to play some more music.
Today we are headed for Gettysburg, then circling around back up to Maine to get set up for winter and skiing! The leaves are falling like crazy, and we seem to have missed the fall colors somewhat. Maybe in the next two weeks as the weather changes..