Down East

Maine week 6 074

(Editor’s Note: This week’s blog was prepared by Ed with no input from Patty because she is currently attending a “Sisters’ Weekend” get-together.  We will report on Sisters’ Weekend in the next blog assuming there are some aspects of the weekend that are suitable for publication on the Internet.)

This week we were Down East in Maine.    There seems to be several definitions of Down East but it is typically defined as the Maine Coast from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border.  We were very fortunate to have both friends and relatives in Maine so we spent most of the week parked in their driveways and sleeping in their guest rooms.  The only negative is that it reminded us how comfortable houses are as compared to our trailer Airstream (We have had a request from relatives to not use the word “trailer”.  I guess we should stop telling strangers we are homeless too.)

Our first Maine hosts were Don and Lee Holmes, our friends from the three years we lived in Puerto Rico.  They live in Sedgwick, right on the coast, with their sailboat moored a few minutes from their home.  Don works from home and we were impressed with his ability to work on a beautiful summer day with that sailboat just waiting to be used.  Here are some photos from our wonderful stay with Don and Lee:

Maine week 6 005Don and Lee on their sailboat—Ed is at the tiller!

Maine week 6 020Patty enjoying a beautiful day sailing on Eggemoggin Reach (We love these Maine names.)

Maine week 6 012_cropThe Pumpkin Island Lighthouse looking towards Penobscot Bay.

Maine week 6 018_cropPumpkin Island Lighthouse.  It is now privately owned—a nice little summer retreat.

Maine week 6 023_cropPatty and Lee walking along the water at low tide.

Maine week 6 054Patty prepares to kayak on Eggemoggin Reach.  Note the coordinated green kayak, shirt, and lifejacket.

Maine week 6 057Patty’s coordinated outfit in action.

Maine week 6 056Our destination is straight ahead, Torrey Island.  A seal popped his head up a few times and watched us—very cute.  It’s the first time we have kayaked with seals.

Maine week 6 065_cropLunch break on Torrey Island.

Maine week 6 066The tombolo on Torrey Island—a tombolo is a connecting piece of land that is underwater at high tide.

Maine week 6 073Patty walking on the tombolo—she collected sand dollars.

Maine week 6 078Ed on the way back.

Maine week 6 082Patty comparing her boat to our hosts’ boat.

Acadia National Park is just up the coast from Sedgwick so we went on a one-day whirlwind tour.  We should have known better because:

  • Our friends told us Acadia is overrun by tourists during the summer.
  • Ed’s first rule of enjoying nature is: “Go where the people aren’t.”

But, we were so close we had to go—here are some photos:

Maine week 6 024_cropPatty on a carriage road next to Eagle Lake.  Carriage roads were originally built by the Rockefellers and they run throughout the park.  They are wide, made of packed crushed rock and probably the best place to ride bikes we have ever found.

Maine week 6 045Jordan Pond with the two “Bubbles” in the background.

Maine week 6 052Patty on the carriage road next to Jordan Pond.

Acadia Week 6 006Patty on the “Parking Lot” trail.

Acadia Week 6 011Another beautiful Maine day at the beach—55-degree water and no chance of sunburn.  Yes, people were swimming even though it would have taken the lifeguards some time to take off their sweatpants, sweatshirts, etc. if they actually had to rescue somebody.

Acadia Week 6 027Patty attempts to straighten up the Maine coast.

Acadia Week 6 024The most predominant summer species in Acadia—homo sapiens.

Seriously, Acadia is a beautiful National Park and we plan to go back.  However, next time it will be after Labor Day when, as everyone tells us, the crowds are greatly reduced.

Our stay at Don and Lee’s was better than any Bed & Breakfast we have stayed at and the company was even better.   If their homeowners association doesn’t ban parking Airstreams in driveways, we will definitely be back.  By the way, their poodle Watson is the smartest dog we have ever met—we are told he understands more than 100 words.

Our next Maine stop was at the home of Patty’s cousin, Jill Bixby, who lives on a lake near Oakland.  Although our stay was short we had a great time, with a dinner feast and more great company.  Here are a couple of photos:

Maine week 6 088Great food fresh off the grill.

Maine week 6 090Patty and her cousin, Jill.

All in all, we have to say that Maine is the favorite place we have visited so far on our trip.  Certainly the scenery was beautiful but the people we visited really made it memorable.  Thanks to all the Mainers!

We are now back at Winhall Brook in Vermont (see the last blog).  We have returned here because Patty’s Sisters’ Weekend get-together is being held at her sister Eleanor’s Vermont house, about 30 minutes away.  While we cannot yet report on Patty’s weekend we can tell you what Ed has been doing on his self-declared “Bachelor’s Weekend”.  Without you-know-who to slow Ed down, he has been looking for more challenging outdoor activities.  Here are some photos:

White Rocks Week 6 001The trail to the White Rocks Cliffs in Green Mountains National Forest.  Green is the right word.

White Rocks Week 6 006Vermonters seem to pile up rocks a lot.  These are near the Cliffs.

White Rocks Week 6 013View from the Cliffs.

White Rocks Week 6 016View looking down the Cliffs that were formed when the side of the mountain fell off.  At the left-hand bottom of the photo is a field of boulders that were originally part of the mountain.

White Rocks Week 6 021_textA view of the White Rocks from below.

White Rocks Week 6 025More rock-piling by Vermonters—this time in a river.

You may wonder if Patty worries about Ed going on these solo excursions considering both his age and the fact that he had an incident of heart arrhythmia last year.  The answer is yes and, due to her concern, she approved purchasing a satellite emergency notification device that, when activated, would allow Ed to be rescued by Forest Rangers, Park Police, Coast Guard or whoever the appropriate rescue agency would be.  It’s sort of like the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” device but for more adventurous people.  It’s more like “I’ve fallen off a mountain and I have a compound fracture.”

Ed decided to get in some kayaking today and here are some photos:

Grout Pond Week 6 004_editGetting ready to launch on Grout Pond near the Town of Stratton.

Grout Pond Week 6 008On Grout Pond.  Not as good a movie title as “On Golden Pond” but Grout Pond has been compared favorably to the pond in the movie (at least by the woman in the campground office who suggested we go there).

Maybe feeling a little too adventurous on his Bachelor’s Weekend, Ed picked up two hitchhikers near Stratton Ski Resort on the trip back to our campground.  They had hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to the top of Stratton Mountain but then decided to take the ski lift down the mountain because it was free.  Unfortunately, taking the ski lift up is not free so they were now trying to get back to the AT to complete their hike to the end of the trail in Maine.  Judging from the length of their beards and the aroma that remained in the car after they left, they definitely had been on the trail a long time.

This afternoon Ed biked and hiked a few miles to Angel Falls for some relaxation and solitude (there had been two canoes on Grout Pond).  Here are a couple of photos:

Grout Pond Week 6 023Angel Falls which flows to the West River.

Grout Pond Week 6 029Ed rereading Walden on his Kindle next to Angel Falls—Thoreau would not approve of the Kindle.  As he wrote, our inventions are often only “…improved means to an unimproved end.”  But our Kindles are essential on this 9-month trip with no access to public libraries except through the Internet.

That’s it for this week’s blog—tune in next week to find out (hopefully) what happened during Patty’s Sisters’ Weekend.  Until then, here’s another of Ed’s favorite Thoreau quotes:  “That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

5 thoughts on “Down East

  1. Wonderful information. I love reading your blogs and Ed did a great job! Looking forward to hearing about “sisters weekend”.

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