Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Belfast,Stonington, Castine Maine and more

From Freeport, Maine we had followed our usual Route 1 route to Thomaston and then south to South Thomaston. We then drove back north towards Rockland after our coastal stay(previous blog)and then north on Route 1 to Belfast.
We always enjoy a walk through the shore area and marina. The large two master above was being worked on at the boatyard docks.
This picture is misleading. First-it is a very sleek catamaran.
Hard to tell the length until you look at the ladder by the stern. 
That is a 12 foot ladder which would make the cat at least 60 feet.

Along the main street a very classy 1937 Packard.

The interior with comfortable seats, wood steering wheel and fancy dash.  Note also the floor shift.
While in Belfast there is always a mandatory stop at Vinolio for olive oils and vinegar.  Jan's favorites this year are Raspberry Balsamic vinegar, Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil, and the new vinegar--Honey Ginger White Balsamic.  Check out the website for the recipes as well as products. Vinolio Website After picking up the olive oil and vinegar, we head north to  Young's Lobster Pound , right off Route 1.  Young's Lobster Pound Website This is where you can order your lobster which might have just come in on a boat such as the one above that unloaded while we were there.  From the outside deck there is a great view of Belfast Harbor.
From Belfast we still gladly follow Route 1 towards Bucksport and then follow Route 15 to 175 and back to 15 and over the Deer Isle bridge.  This route takes us more than 25 miles south of Route 1. This is how long some of the Maine fingers of land stretch into the ocean.

Still, a very modern impressive bridge for a rather remote region
The small village of Stonington is well worth the visit.  Not a huge tourist town. You will notice above that almost all of the boats are fishing boats.  Lobster boats to be exact.
Here and there a few sail boats.  While this used to be a fishing town, the fish like haddock,etc have played out to where they are very limited. But according to the gentleman at MCCF-The Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries in town, lobsters have made a huge increase the past few years.  So  most of the catch these days is shellfish.
The view above is from a wonderful small shop at one end of the main street.  It contained some great books from Maine authors and very good note cards and hand made sweaters.  The owner says he never gets tired of sitting in this chair(where he was when we arrived) and looking at the view.
From the shore in Stonington you can sometimes see Isle Au Haut to the south, Vinalhaven(island) to the west, and Swans Island and perhaps a bit of Mount Desert Island(Acadia National Park) to the east
Always a reminder of the rocky coast that is Maine.

The views go on and on.
From Stonington , we head back north on Route 175 all the way to Penobscot to take Route 199 and the Route 166A to Castine at the end of a different finger that juts into the ocean.
Jan and I had a great lunch at The Wharf above.  Some quite good Maine oysters and more.
We wanted to see Castine because a family friend, Dave, had spent some boyhood years here.  His Dad did some teaching here at the Maine Maritime Academy.  Since he lived here, the town has had considerable makeovers which have made it a definite tourist destination(much more so than Stonington).
Still  here and doing well is Pentagoet Inn, a Maine Bed and Breakfast. On the following website check out the vintage headboards under Rooms, the pictures under Dining of some of the plates, and the pictures of the pub(featured on the Travel Channel) The Pentagoet Website
Many of the homes and businesses have been upgraded and you will notice a number of high end homes in and near the beautiful town.
One of the older churches in town
It is a pretty ride along the main road to Dice Head Lighthouse.
Heading back off the peninsula, we once again cross the Penobscot River on the new Bucksport Bridge.  The far support is also an observatory. Visitors can go to the top (420 feet) to view the Penobscot Narrows and the area. Also next to the bridge from the same parking lot is the original Fort Knox 1844. Fort Knox Website
This is the second posting for pictures from late September to the end of October.  There are two more to follow in a few days.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Swan Pond,Freeport, South Thomaston,Maine

It has been a while, so a few notes to begin.
Jan, Lady Blue, and I are currently in Warriors' Path State Park in Northeastern Tennessee. 
The last few weeks we have been either on the road or in wonderful Corps of Engineer Parks , National Parks , or State Parks. But---often they have not had data signal.

We have so many pictures, that we have decided to divide them into four postings.  That is why the title is about Maine.
This picture is from our recent stop at Loft Mountain Campground in the Shenandoah National Park  on Skyline Drive. We almost didn't walk into the Amphitheater, but when we did------Wow! what a view!

The curmudgeon and his beautiful wife
on the Skyline Drive.
 A great visit with Alison and Keith at Swan Pond.
Had a chance to see the progress on their new house too.

  These are borrowed from Alison's pictures. 
Keith, Kevin and friends attaching the new roof.

Alison took this picture from way above.
The new house is in the lower left of the picture.

 Sean and Keith
Checking on electrics?
 Alison, enjoying the back porch at the camp.
With that beautiful smile!
We always enjoy a stop at Freeport, Maine.  Often we will try to stay at Winslow Park Campground, a community park on the water Winslow Park and Campground
But this time, we needed a campground with easy access to Route 295 for an appointment in Portland the next morning.  Cedar Haven was a very comfortable campground just north of Freeport and right off 295 Cedar Haven Website

A lot of antique farm equipmemt around the campground. The above shows its age with the iron wheels.  Since there is a power takeoff , we might assume it ran behind a really old style tractor. Just not sure what the gears were for. Any ideas?
For those who are not familiar with Freeport, Maine, it is the home of LL Bean as well as a number of other outlets.  There is parking for RVs and many, many cars.  Just be careful around Christmas shopping time. The LL Bean store has many displays such as fish tanks. They also run a number of Outdoor School sessions.  LL Bean website

 There were a number of logs set up on end in a taped off area. They were being used for some chainsaw carving. This bear in snorkel , goggles, and floatee was interesting.
Also in Freeport, besides a number of restaurants, were stores that we found interesting like When Pigs Fly--a great bread store.
Jan and I loved their Anadama Bread , Pumpernickel, and Honey Wheat. Check out the pictures on the website.  Also , Jan and I needed to stop at the Corningware, Corelle store for all kinds of kitchen stuff( we bought a new digital kitchen timer and a new digital meat thermometer.

 From Freeport, we headed up to South Thomaston on Route 1. 
As you head up the coast of Maine, you will notice a number of fingers of land that stretch down into the ocean. Boothbay Harbor is one.  South Thomaston is north of there and about 9 miles out of Rockland and Route 1.  Lobster Buoy is a great little campground overlooking the ocean.  Quite busy in the summer, we found a site easily in the off season. Lobster Buoy Website.
Above is a view from the water side of our site. 
We prefer the small cottage to the left. Note the mansion on the right. You may notice the dock is dry at the moment. The tides here in Maine are quite high.  You can see that high tide goes all the way to the rocks on shore.

This is our site.  The fog can come in quickly.
One of our favorite lobster shacks is about a mile from here. Unfortunately it was closed on the day we stopped by.
Lady Blue from the rocky shore.
Note Bruce's coffee cup as we enjoy our view from Lady Blue.
Note::Three more postings to follow. Next one in a few days.