We arrived in Maine, the state known for rocky shorelines, lobster, wild blueberries, fishing villages and green forests. A state I had been looking forward to exploring and one of the states we had never visited before. Initially I made reservations to stay at two different campgrounds for two weeks each. After arriving in Maine, we decided we should stay a week longer and travel further up the coast. We would end up staying here for 5 weeks, our longest stay yet in one state. We first landed at an RV park called Cedar Haven in the town of Freeport, about 20 minutes north of Portland, the largest city. This would be our home for two weeks and a fine place it was out in the country. Throughout the park were cute wood carved figures like the bear tying his shoelace below.
I was looking forward to seeing the Maine coast so on our first exploring day we took a drive. The coastline here is great for sightseeing as there are peninsulas jutting out into the ocean with many bays and islands in between. Some of the islands have bridges across and some can only be accessed by boat. We drove down one of the peninsulas and across the Cribstone Bridge to Bailey Island. The scenery was lovely as we drove past villages with homes of wood shingled siding and picturesque small white churches. Maine is a very green state with ample forests, meadows, marshlands and rivers flowing to the many bays. We drove as far as we could to Land’s End, appropriately named because it was as far as the road could go on this island.
It was one of those perfect days that is hard to capture in photographs. The air was warm with just the right amount of a cooling coastal breeze. The ocean was a beautiful blue color and the sky wonderfully clear. A few people were kayaking and fishing. Occasionally a motor boat sped past. Although I would see many amazing coastal scenes as we traveled through Maine, this first glimpse was a real delight.
One of the first things that struck me were the beautiful rock formations, a theme throughout our Maine explorations. These are rocks that beg to be walked and climbed on – shelf-like formations jutting out into the water. These rocks on the coast turned out to be a favorite thing for me about Maine.
A profusion of wild roses were growing along the shore and although I have seen wild roses in other places, these seemed larger and brighter than I have seen any where else. Rose bushes, large rock formations and blue ocean made for a lovely setting.
The Lands End gift shop has whirligigs all along their long porch rail, a popular sight in Maine. Below is a picture of some of them. Seeing them I developed an attraction for these cute wooden spinners. Although I resisted getting one here, soon after I gave in and got one to put outside our trailer, a snappy pirate captain complete with parrot.
After leaving Lands End we headed to Cooks Lobster and Ale House, a favorite seafood eatery on Bailey Island. Of course I had to try a lobster meal which came with steamed clams. We shared it as lobster is pricey! Plus Mark decided that he wasn’t that interested in eating much lobster.
Our waitress was such a darling and when our lobster meal came to the table she asked us if we knew how to ready a lobster for eating. We had to admit we did not. She said it was no problem and returning with gloves grabbed up the lobster twisting and pulling to show us how to get the meat out. It was probably as much fun watching her work on the lobster as it was eating it! It was tasty although there really is not much meat in a lobster. For dessert we shared an awesome piece of wild Maine blueberry pie.
Cook’s Restaurant is surrounded on three sides by water so we had great views while eating our dinner. Walking around afterwards I could see lobster traps on the wharf and boats in the small harbor. The Cribstone Bridge, built in 1928, connects Bailey Island to the mainland and is rather famous. It is one of a kind and considered an engineering marvel as it is held together by gravity. The bridge was built using granite slabs from nearby quarries that are laid horizontally and then crosswise in several layers using no mortar or cement. The slabs are heavy enough to withstand the pounding of wind and waves and the open crib allows the tide to ebb and flow freely through. Below is a picture of the small harbor with the bridge in the background.
I am always partial to a beautiful sky and there was a rather remarkable one that early evening on the Island. I liked how the clouds parted to form almost a rectangular shape.
Thanks for reading! In the next blog article, I will write about a fun lobster boat tour.