Latitude: Wherever ••• Longitude: Who Cares
The Bill and Kit 2010 Fall Vacation-Issue #1
Disclaimer-We are keeping a travel journal for our enjoyment in later years and to share our life on the road with family and friends. If this is of no interest to you please feel free to delete without reading. You will not hurt our feelings. We are giving these travel notes wide distribution so we do not inadvertently leave anyone out. Also please feel free to forward these journals on as you wish.
Monday, October 04, 2010: Yep…..the crazy kids are at it again; off on an adventure that has no specific destination, no specific timetable, no specific agenda and very little prior planning.
Left the driveway at 1030 and headed up US Highway One toward Downeast Maine and points beyond. Our original intention was to head northwest into Canada, navigate around the Great Lakes and drop down into Minnesota by way of Duluth. Since most of our plans are, in reality, just something to deviate from we felt perfectly OK with heading in the exact opposite direction. Besides they are already experiencing “freeze warnings” in Min-a-so-ta.
So about that title…..why would a couple of retirees need a vacation anyway? Funny you should ask; being retired isn’t all fun and games, well actually it is but it is also a lot of work. So even retirees have to get out of the daily grind and recharge their batteries. And remember our batteries are not nearly as efficient as they used to be. At our age we contain a lot of lead and acid and not the new fangled lithium.
We decided to head up the coast or as Maine folks phrase it “upta downeast”. Why is it called downeast if it lies up to the northeast? Well it has something to do with the prevailing winds during the days of sailing commerce. The merchant schooners would sail downwind traveling northeast up the coast of Maine…..they sailed downeast.
So off we went up US-1 through Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle, and Waldoboro. At this point we took the US-90 shortcut through Warren to Rockport. Back on US-1 we traveled through Camden and Lincolnville Beach where we took our first break. Back under way we moved through Ducktrap, Northport and Belfast where we stopped at The Hannaford. After filling our cupboards we once again headed north on US-1 through Searsport, Stockton Springs, Bucksport and Ellsworth where we moved to US-180 north around Graham Lake to US-9 (Better known as the Airline…..not sure why it’s called that but I bet Randy will know). Traveled US-9 East where we turned North again on Great Pond Road. After 7 miles of backwoods travel we arrived around 1500 at Great Pond Outdoor Recreation Center, a military R&R facility.
This was a travel day to get to where our vacation really starts. We didn’t do any sightseeing today as the coast of Maine from Bath to Bar Harbor has been heavily explored by us over the years. Beyond that point however we rarely venture…..this trip is to rectify that.
Campground was mostly empty so we had our pick of sites. Decided on Site #12 as it was private and right across the road from the lake.
As you may be able to tell the leaves are beginning to change in these parts. Some of them are in the middle of that change such as the Maple leaves below.
Now a question for our nature wiz friends. And for our other friends as well…..you know…..the ones who don’t wiz in nature. Here it is; how can you tell from the photo above if this is a shot taken in the fall when the leaves turn from green to red or…..was the photo taken in the spring when they turn from red back to green?
Say goodnight, Bill.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010: Decided to explore the coast of Maine above Ellsworth today. The weather was clear and mild….a perfect Indian Summer day in Maine. We headed toward Winter Harbor and Schoodic Point. Coming to a nice view of a harbor with a lighthouse in the distance we stopped to take a photo.
As we stood enjoying the scenery another couple drove up to do the same. In taking to Skip and Jo we discovered they were retired Navy as well and the guy had the same job that I did. In fact it is likely our path’s crossed at some point. They are full time RV’r traveling in a 40 foot fifth wheel hauled by a Freightliner truck. The car they were driving is stored on the Freightliner when they are traveling. We exchanged contact information with them and hope to connect up in Arizona next winter…..after all there are lots of “sea stories” that are waiting to be told.
Back unerway and rounding a bend in the road we came upon this interesting sight.
And you thought sardines were small…..not in Maine they’re not! The fisherman’s no shrimp either. Sorry about the seafood metaphor.
We also noticed a number of cemeteries right along the coast overlooking the ocean. These folks sure know how to honor their dead. Folks who probably couldn’t afford a place with an ocean view during their lifetime now enjoy this multi-million dollar view for eternity…..go figure?!?!
On Schoodic Point lies the “other” Acadia National Park. It is wilder than and not as touristy as the main park over on Mount Dessert Island and some believe this side is much nicer.
Enjoyed walking among the rocks and peeking into the tide pools. Also had to dodge a few low flying and well fed seagulls.
Stopped for lunch at a nice little café in Winter Harbor and walked the two block downtown area. Noticed an older fellow with a Navy ball cap so, of course I had to investigate. Come to find out he was one of the last Commanding Officers of the local Navy Communication Station before it closed in 2002. He was an interesting gentleman and I learned quite a bit about the area from him.
Leaving Schoodic Point we journeyed east to Jonesport and Beals Island. Both are authentic Downeast fishing villages and neither looked to be set up to attract very many tourists. Most likely the way Southern Maine used to be. The following photo shows Jonesport as viewed from Beals.
Leaving Jonesport we came upon the National Sardine Museum.
It had already closed but did notice that befitting the collection the building was quite small……but I bet they could pack 500 tourists in the thing.
Returning to Great Pond we passed through the village of Cherryfield, The Blueberry Capital of the World. Not sure why the towns not called Blueberryfield…..Randy can you field this one as well?
The village was surrounded by Blueberry Barrens most of which belonged to some guy by the name of Wyman. Interspersed amongst the mile after mile of fields were large storage barns with hundreds of small migrant worker cottages in back. Not much going on in the fields this time of year but I bet a few months ago this place was hopping.
Here is a picture of a typical blueberry field.
Traveling back to camp up Great Pond Road a large bird swooped down from behind us and flew about 20 feet in front of the windshield before veering off. The white tail and white head of an American Bald Eagle was unmistakable. It was an exciting sight, even more so in that it was Kit’s first eagle sighting. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Tomorrow we head for Canada….eh.
Kit’s Corner: So far, the trip has gone well. We had seen Schoodic Point many years ago but it was nice to see it again. We always wanted to check out Great Pond, formerly Dow Pines. It’s a very nice campground with a great lodge to hang out in. The park is actually open year round. The highlight of the day was seeing the Bald Eagle! It was huge and just a few short feet in front of the truck. The second best thing of the day was meeting Skip & Jo, the full timers. They have a place in Quartzite, AZ. We hope to see them again after the holidays.
Love, Dad/Bill/Poppy and Mom/Kit/Guma