Coast of Maine
I survived my stay at Walmart last night. I don’t recall ever spending the night in a parking lot, thus I was slightly nervous. Despite a few other campers being around and security cameras everywhere, I didn’t pop the top to VANilla last night just in case I needed to drive away quickly. The dogs and I fit snuggly and warmly together downstairs! I think VANilla may stay 10 degrees warmer with the top down which is nice when it is 39 degrees outside.
We left Rockport (not Rockland as reported in yesterday’s blog) and made Camden our first stop. We walked around downtown, through a park, and by the harbor. We tried for a cache by the harbor, but there were too many muggles. It was a magnetic, micro cache which meant it was small and probably attached below a bench seat that someone was warming up. I’m certain I would have gotten a few stares if I crouched down and looked underneath them, so maybe I’ll get it on my way back down the coast. Camden was a great town of little shops and restaurants right on the harbor and Camden Hills State Park could be found only a few miles away.
Camden Hills State Park is home to Mt. Battie where I met Betty. Betty just celebrated her granddaughter’s wedding in Kennebunk, Maine, and was spending the next week with her college roommate traveling Maine and Quebec. They are in Bar Harbor tonight, not far from the Walmart parking lot I’m camping in, though I’m certain they are enjoying a bed and breakfast! Betty lives in Scottsdale and offered me a bed and shower when I pass through next February. Mt. Battie offers a fabulous view of Camden Harbor and trails abound through the park. My mutts dragged me over the boulders, past the ferns and through the fall foliage for an hour before we returned to VANilla to find our next destination, Castine.
The highway curved along the coast, passed through inlets one foot above sea level and crossed many bridges along the way. One bridge is known as the Penobscot Narrows Bridge where a pullout aside the road is accesible to photo the scene. A small cache is also located at this overlook and despite all the tourists, I was able to grab it from the guard rail without being noticed as everyone was staring in awe at the bridge. In addition, the waterway here marks a historical event. In 1779, the largest combined infantry-naval operation undertaken by the American colonists met with disaster. Two thousand colonials failed to capture Fort George at Castine, and the Americans burned or sank over 40 of their own vessels before they fled the site.
Reader’s Digest describes Castine as a place to “spend time sitting on the benches that overlook the town’s peaceful dock”. I thought this town would be just the right place to find a bowl of clam chowder or a lobster roll at a seafood shack on the harbor…maybe on the weekends or in the summer as most places were closed up. I don’t even think I took a picture!
We pressed on to Holbrook Island Sanctuary…wow, was it remote. I felt like I was at the Indian Conservation Area in Missouri again except I did find a picnic area and pit toilet. This may sound morbid, but anytime I arrive at a place like this I think of how easily a pshyco could dispose of my body or just simply trip, fall, and never be found. Maine probably doesn’t want such a description used in a travel blog, but when traveling alone, I can’t help but contend with “caution alerts” once in awhile. I can imagine with a group of friends it would be a wonderful place to enjoy nature’s tranquility without many tourists or for that matter without many locals. I bet half the home owners in Maine don’t know Holbrook Island Sanctuary exists…Gina my GPS doesn’t! At least the dogs got to enjoy a few minutes running around off leash.
Before reaching our final resting place, the Walmart in Ellsworth, we took a long
drive to another harbor town called Stonington. In the late 1800’s, Stonington was a bustling mining town where pink granite was extracted from the quarries and used in several structures along the East Coast. Currently, Stonington is geared toward the sea as evidenced by the fishing boats, lobster traps, and canneries lining the harbor, as well as, the fish smell wafting through the brisk air. I’m certain I could have found a fresh fish dinner here. Tomorrow I’m spending the day at Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. ETB