For years one of our absolute favorite places is the State of Maine. In fact living there has been a serious consideration ever since our second visit (our first “visit” spring of 1978 was to stop on the side of the road so Ed could fry and eat the trout I’d caught in New Hampshire ~ long story). We’re still thinking about a six month rental there someday.
This trip we came from Quebec crossing the border (22 miles north of Jackman) at Canada’s 173 & US Route 201. This part of Maine and Canada is heavily wooded timber country and there were logging and lumber trucks going both directions. It’s great there’s shared commerce but it seems odd to us that both countries import/export what both have right in the same neck of their woods. The fall colors were lovely and at The Forks US Route 201 runs along the Kennebec River which just adds to the beauty.
We stopped for the night in Skowhegan and the next morning being a laundry day (Mr. Bubbles Laundromat is fine if you’re in need) we enjoyed this nice little town and highly recommend both the artist co-op River Roads Artisans Gallery and The Bankery a bakery in an old bank.
Heading for Down East we continued south (confused yet) on back roads until picking up US Rt. 1 and crossing at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge on our way to the Ellsworth/Trenton area for the night.
While we did not take the time this trip, put this bridge and its observation tower (on a clear day they say you can see Mt. Katahdin 94 miles to the north) and its neighbor Fort Knox on your MVL (must visit list). They are both excellent!
Most folks pretty much stop their Maine trips around Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. We have spent many wonderful times there and it is absolutely an MVL. The views, the hiking, the views, the sounds of the Atlantic, the views/hiking….fabulous, but this time we were going back to another of our favorite places. REALLY Down East, the town of Lubec is the furthest east one can go in the USA, and surprisingly in the contiguous United States the closest spot to Africa! This quaint fishing village has good places to eat, a fun market day, friendly people, an impressive 17 foot tide that brings in seals and whales chasing huge schools of fish, a good campground and the border crossing to Campobello Island, New Brunswick. Oh, and Quoddy Head Light complete with a nice mile long walk through the balsam fir woods or a low tide walk on the rocky shoreline. We love Lubec and would suggest it for your MVL, but sorta want to keep it a secret 🙂
Back down US 1 with a swing down St. Rt. 191 to Cutler another fishing village not on many folk’s radar we were headed to Belfast for a couple days visit with our good friend Susie Dexter and doggy Godfrey. Belfast is on our short list of places to live… at least in the warmer months 🙂 It has good places to eat, history, several book stores, friendly folks, local town feel rather than tourist feel, and good proximity to many wonderful places to hike.
Back out on the road on our way south we stopped in Rockland at the Farnsworth Museum and their wonderful collection of Wyeth paintings. We have been here before and it should be on your MVL too. Andrew Wyeth is one of our favorite artists and his father N.C.’s illustrations for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe etc. are some of the first artworks that I remember and loved. Andrew’s son Jamie’s beautiful art is also represented here.
This pretty much covers our Maine visit this time. We could write pages and pages about the state and fill a book with Ed’s gorgeous photographs from our trips over the years in this magnificent place. Although we didn’t do it much this time, if you come Down East be sure to drive up and down as many “fingers” as possible. The extra time involved is well worth it!