Quick getaways are sometimes the best, those unplanned excursions that turn out to be picture perfect. Instead of staying home and waiting for the excavator (who know says maybe July 13th) we headed up the coast of Maine for some R&R.
Some trips work out, some trips don't like our recent planned one to Alaska. Camden ME has turned into tourism central and at times it is almost impossible to park a VW bug much less a TC. First piece of luck for the day - a back street parking place that we could just pull in and then pull out with no parking skills involved. Off we walked over to Cappy's which is a local seafood/bar/gathering place. Got a table immediately instead of waiting in line which is often out the door. Seafood chowder was excellent as usual as were their old fashioned biscuits made from scratch.
All along Route 1, local fishermen set up trucks to sell their seafood. prices aren't that different from the fish markets but it sure is fresh. We bought clams to steam for me and haddock to griddle for Joe that night.
Second luck of the day was another good parking place right in downtown Belfast. Now Belfast is not a big city being an old fishing community but it is built on steep hills and parking can be a job. We hadn't walked around Belfast in years and really enjoyed the mix of music/cafe type shops and the old fishing gear stores - plus a nice yarn store which is why we (I) stopped.
Maine has many finger peninsulas, separated by estuaries almost like fjords. This is one up by Bucksport.
Even at a distance, Cadillac Mountain is impressive. This is from Schoodic Point, still part of Acadia National Park but not crowded.
Ever wonder where your wild blueberries come from? From barrens in Maine scrapped almost to granite by the glaciers, leaving just enough soil for wild low bush blueberries. This is a major crop for a part of the state strapped for jobs and income.
On to the third and most unreal piece of luck. The gods were smiling yesterday. We knew this time of year we could get into Coobscook State Park up near Lubec, Maine but figured we would be in a wooded site. Site #8 was available which is right on Coobscook Bay which leads into the Bay of Fundy, on a peninsula tip with no one else near by - all for $14.00. Boondock of course but that is what we wanted. There are rare times in life you hear absolutely no motor noise of any type. Even the lobster boats were tied up and when eventually one went by, it was almost an event.
Tide was high when we pulled in. With a 25 foot rise/fall you can actually see the progress. Photos show a small island just off our campsite at high, then at low tide.
Lupine were everywhere with a mix of the usual purple into whites and pinks. A very cold winter and wet spring made the wildflowers riot. Canadian customs was very welcoming, friendly and quick. A few questions and a "have a great time". We'll see how the American customs is going back over.
We continued on to St. Andrews, New Brunswick to go to Kingsbrae Gardens, a 20 acre perennial garden. They recently held a garden sculpture contest. This is a huge weather vane made out of welded metal rods and wooden geese. When the wind hits, the wings go around and make honking goose sounds. !!
Tonight we are camped at a commercial campground on the tip of St. Andrews. Again we will feast on local seafood and then sit to watch the tide go out. A very lucky trip, gorgeous 75F weather with blue skies, light breeze and lowering diesel prices. Can life get much better?
We bought fish from that guy several times. Your trips make us green-eyed. We love that trip up route 1 and are looking forward to introducing Hannah soon.
As you said, Cappy's is always good for eats, if you can bare the Camden traffic.
If you are heading back down route 1, another good place for eats is Conte's. South of Camden in Rockland, Just south of the Harbor / pier on Main Street / RT 73. Conte's used to be located right on the pier and had some great character. Ambiance is different now, but the food is awesome and plentiful. They say if you do not leave with several containers, you are a glutton. Last year they still did not have a sign out, but look for the building wrapped in fish net and lobster traps. Any local should be able to direct you there. It was featured on Anthony Bourdain's Travel Channel show. Online reviews either show people loving it or hating it...no in between.
Bob & Dot - if you get up this way, please give a holler. We'd love to see you again.
Rich & Liz & now Hannah - haven't met the little one yet. Try to make a North East TC Rally soon. She'd have lots of "aunts". We're heading home via The Airline into Bangor but next time up to Rockland we'll look for Conte's. We get up that way fairly often (TC less) and want to go to the Wyeth Museum again this summer. World class!
Just grilled the seafood and had it with baked potato and will have some blueberries later over Cote's vanilla ice cream. Not native blueberries yet but they are coming.
It's been a long time since we put two perfect weather days together like this. It's been pretty special. Walked the mile into St. Andrews (and the mile back against a pretty stiff sudden wind) this afternoon and looked at the outside of the historic buildings and wharfs. Neither of us are "touristy" shoppers so no need to go into the gift shops. St. Andrews has kept its original charm and part of the fun in walking into town was looking at all the old houses.
Home tomorrow and back to MIL and weeding. Oh well.
* This post was
edited 06/21/11 04:35pm by TwoMaineiacs *
I hope that you didn't use up all of the scenery and that much gorgeousness will be left when I arrive there in a couple of weeks (minus RV, because it is a VERY long way from my home base). Thanks for a great trip report.
Mmmmmm, blueberries. It ties for my favorite fruit with black cherries. Fresh fish doesn't sound too bad either. The best we can do in land-locked Tennessee is fresh catfish. The scenery there isn't bad either Thanks for posting.