Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A MONTH IN MID-COAST MAINE

Before embarking on this RV adventure, we knew we wanted to spend a lot of time in Maine. It turns out that we will have spent over three and a half months in the state. We decided to spend a full month in a small town called Warren because it was near Rockland where the Annual Lobster Fest is held. Warren is located in what Mainers call “Mid-coast.” The area encompasses the bigger towns of Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Thomaston, Lincolnville, Belfast, and a host of smaller towns. Our month flew by as we found so much to do.

The month kicked off with a stint volunteering at the 64th Annual Rockland Lobster Festival – it has been a dream of Betsy’s to visit for a long time. (Check out more information and photos in a previous post 64th-maine-lobster-festival)

Our lust for hiking in the Maine woods led us to Camden Hill State Park, a gem with hiking trails, picnic spots, a beach, and a few mountains to climb. One clear day we felt ambitious enough to climb Mount Megunticook. This challenging vertical climb rewarded us with some of the most spectacular views of Penobscot Bay and the surrounding harbors. After our climb that seemed like a three-hour session on a stair master, we discovered the auto road that summited nearby Mount Battie. Just a three minute car ride and we were up a mountain with equally spectacular views and far less taxing on the legs and buttocks. This park is a “don’t miss” if you are in the area and don’t worry there are easier trails. If nothing else, take a picnic lunch and enjoy the view.
Panoramic view of Camden Harbor and Vinalhaven Island from the top of
Mt. Megunticook.
One is rewarded with spectacular views for climbing to the top of Mt. Megunticook.
We were thrilled when our good friends, Sandy and Kim, called to say they were coming to visit us in Maine for an escape of the New Orleans heat. We promised them lots to do and see and started planning their short week. Since they wanted to hike and swim, we made the quick trip to Fernald’s Neck Preserve which sits on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Megunticook. The trails are pleasant and not too strenuous with vistas of the lake and nearby mountains. We found a spot down by the lake that was perfect for some fishing, swimming, and a picnic lunch. Kim enjoyed the cool lake waters while we tried desperately to catch something with fins. The day was perfect and we were glad we could share the beauty of Maine with our good friends.

Lake Menticook (as seen from our lunch spot).

Field of goldenrod at the Preserve.


Not even big enough to feed the cat!

The next morning started off with a visit to the Union Fair and Blueberry Festival. We found very few blueberries but lots of chickens, sheep, and cows (including the Belted Galloways). After our outing at the fair, we raced to the “Olson House” which was made famous in an Andrew Wyeth painting. The house was featured in Wyeth’s famous painting called “Christina’s World” and has been preserved as a museum. Betsy, Sandy, and I reluctantly went along with this little jaunt – as we are not the appreciators of American art that Kim is. Our hesitation was clearly displayed as we slowly climbed out of the car to venture inside the museum. When the tour started we plopped down in the hard chairs, folded our arms, and settled in for our fate (meanwhile Kim sat there with a grin on her face). After a few minutes, our enchanting tour guide captured our attention and transformed us slugs to eager students of art. We were juxtaposed to the time and place that was Andrew Wyeth’s art set for over 30 years and produced some 300 pieces. His work centered on Christina Olson and her brother Alvero and their daily struggles living in rural coastal Maine. The tour moved us so much that we raced back to Rockland to visit the Farnsworth Museum and see the collection of Wyeth paintings (which also included N.C. and Jamie Wyeth). The day was capped off with a spectacular dinner and a soothing bottle of wine. We thanked Kim for introducing us to an American art icon.
Too much art can really make a girl hungry (and thirsty)!
(From left to right: Nancy, Kim, Sandy, and Betsy)
Image of "Christina's World" - one of Wyeth's most famous paintings. Wyeth sold
the painting to the Museum of Modern Art for $1,400.
The Olson House in listed on the National Historic Register and
administered by the Farnsworth Museum.
The following day we found ourselves on a “mail boat” heading to Monhegan Island. The trip was a terrific way to spend a day in Maine. This adorable little island has galleries, restaurants, inns, gift shops, museums, and some of the most breathtaking views of the rocky coast of Maine. Just 100 year-round residents and only four or five cars make this a very unique island. Although hilly, it is definitely worth the walk up the hills to explore the island. The Monhegan Lighthouse and Cultural and Historical museums are located just outside of the village on a hill overlooking the harbor and downtown. The museums explain the islands past and life on the island. Old buildings have been converted to house modern exhibits, including one that features artists that paint on Monhegan. The back side of the island is very rocky and an extensive 11-mile trail system leads you through dense maritime forest that provides some of the best views.
Overlooking the "Village" and harbor on Monhegan Island.
Just one of the spectacular views from one of the trails.
The lighthouse and museum.
This is the central location for all happenings on Monhegan. 
Just a few of the galleries and boutiques on the island. 
We were so glad our friends came for a visit and got to share Maine with us. When we left New Orleans, people told us how much we were going to miss the food. We always said it was not the food we were going to miss, it was the friends. And that statement has proven true!
Of course, we had lobster!
More pictures from the fair....






More pictures from Monhegan Island....









More pictures of the Olson House.....




2 comments:

  1. Wow! I dipped into Maine once to attend a friend's wedding, but now I want to spend a whole summer there. What a memorable time you're having!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The pictures are so beautiful. We can't wait to visit Maine too. We plan to stay awhile as well.

    ReplyDelete

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