MAINE: LOBSTERS, LIGHTHOUSES AND LANDSCAPES
A lobster lover’s paradise awaits you along the coast of Maine. Tonight, Mare and I camp outside of Bar Harbor with a view of Frenchman Bay. We order a lobster dinner for two ($29.00) delivered to our site. Heaven. For the past week we have been living on lobster rolls, bisques, and omelets.
“Back in the day when you could walk out in the bay and rake in the lobsters, they would feed them daily to the inmates at the penitentiary,” John, a local friend explains. “Then, the state mandated that lobster be served only two times per week, because daily was cruel and unusual punishment.” Punish me baby!
This northern coastal drive unmasks mansions, like the George H. Bush’s family shack in Kennebunkport. Down the way, lighthouses stand sturdy on rocky coastal ledges.
In-between, we find plenty of beaches for Jack and Mare to frolic.
We mainly camp, lodging at a motel once in a while just to “clean-up,” and watch some football, but much prefer the colorful views and fresh air of campsites. By the way, the Pier Fries at Lisa’s Pizza in Scarborough are “wicked” delicious.
Work-off some of those fries and lobster rolls with a hike up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Atlantic Coast.
A divisive Congress shut down all Federal Parks, which actually works to our advantage…no vehicle traffic or fee booths are present to pollute Acadia National Park.
Hikers and bicyclists enjoy the relative solitude and un-obscured views.
While driving through the town of Lubec, we ask a random pedestrian for directions to The West Quoddy Head Light. Philip spends time talking with us, as do most of the friendly folks in Maine, and sends us in the right direction.
The lighthouse continues to provide a point of navigation for sailors from a strategic spot, on the easternmost point of the Atlantic coast. As we leave the lighthouse, who should appear but Philip. “Hey, if you guys aren’t on a tight schedule, you should backtrack to Cutler.” He pulls out a map. “When we sailed up from Florida, we found this area to be the most dramatic coastline in all of Maine.” We shall heed his advice, and check it out.
At the turn-off to the Cutler Coast Preserve, there is Philip… again, waiting in his truck to escort us to the trail head. This is really nice, but Mare and I are getting spooked, wondering if he is a serial killer trying to lure us into the woods.
Could it be the too many years working as Probation Officers, or have we been watching too many TV episodes of Criminal Minds? “I’m taking the gun with me on this hike,” I say to Mare. We laugh, but if Philip does appear in the woods, I will immediately pick up a thick stick and a rock.
The trail twists through the forest of Cutler Coast Preserve, and leads to a section of coastline where Maine earns its rocky reputation. Numerous black precipices jet out into clear, cold waters that separate the US from Canada. Thank you for the tip, Philip.
As autumn colors the landscape, we head inland and northbound to the beginning of America’s First Mile…aptly named “Route 1.” Initially just a footpath for the thirteen Colonies, George Washington even traveled here.
We could stay in Maine forever, but the colors of New Hampshire and Vermont call. Thank you abundant universe! Ron Mitchell