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.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Way Downeast in Lubec, Maine

"Downeast" is shaded in red.
“Downeast” is the term you hear that refers to the uppermost coastal portion of Maine encompassing the towns between Penobscot Bay and Canada.  The term was attributed to the fact that when ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which are east of Boston) their backs were to the wind, thus they were sailing downwind and so the term “downeast” arose.  There is some loose interpretation of the word.  In fact, the premier Maine magazine is called “Downeast” and they cover the entire state.

When we were able to string five days in a row off from work, we decided to head “downeast” to explore some of the little towns that are perched in the easternmost section of Maine.  We pulled up the jacks, tucked in the slides, and fired up the engine on the rig – the house was going on vacation with us (which was actually a strange feeling since we haven't moved in two months).  It looked like there were plenty of things to do for those days off so we knew this was not just going to be a day trip.  Boy were we right.

We scored a great waterfront site right along the Bay of Fundy at Sunset Point RV Park. The cold water provided cool breezes perfect for evening fires.
The little town of Lubec (population 1,300) with its artistic charm, miles of gorgeous water views, seafaring history, and natural beauty has become a unique and popular travel destination in Downeast Maine.  The town was founded in 1811 and the connection with the sea has always been strong.  A plentiful bounty of cod, pollack, and herring adequately supported twenty sardine canneries and smokehouses dating back to 1880.  The waterfront was alive and bustling.  Lubec was once the sardine canning capital of the world until the last cannery closed its doors in 2001.

Today, the downtown is a mix of hotels, restaurants, galleries, shops, hotels and whatever business can survive during the short tourist season.  Many of the historic buildings have been restored and make for attractive and inviting storefronts.  We checked out the chocolate shop, bought a wonderful smelling lavender candle, and snapped a few pictures on the glorious sunny day.

As with any coastal Maine town, there is plenty of things to do downtown.  Whale watching
is very popular with numerous species passing through the area.
Historic McCurdy's Herring Smokehouse is one of Lubecs' landmarks.  The museum promotes the
understanding and appreciation of the areas' maritime and coastal heritage. 
Since we are on the coast of Maine, we always know there has to be a lighthouse around.  The West Quoddy Head Light is the easternmost lighthouse in the United States and its colorful red and white candy stripes make it Lubec's most popular tourist destinations.  The light was first erected in 1808 and its light and primitive fog cannons have been safely guiding mariners through this dangerous passage for centuries.  Although the tower is closed, there is a small visitor center and plenty of hiking trails to explore near the grounds.  The claim-to-fame of the light house is that it is the "Easternmost Point in the U.S.A."

Lubec is surrounded by 96 miles of coastline and all that water meant that lobster boats and buoys were ever present. Unfortunately, those visual images are subliminal messages that manifest in Betsy's taste buds which work their way to the brain. The brain thinks “dinner,” at which time mindful thoughts are transformed to the mouth which results in the ever present phrase “I want lobster for dinner.”  Big sigh from me.  I don't fight it anymore, I give in.  So off we went to the coastal town of Cutler in search of a lobster pound.  Turns out the 17-mile drive to Cutler yielded a pretty harbor but also a “closed” lobster pound.


No fear, we headed back up the 17 miles to Lubec, drove the one lonely mile it took us to reach downtown Lubec and picked up two beauties at a local seafood restaurant. Yep, it was lobster for dinner again.  I'll spare you the picture of the gorgeous lobster and melted butter - I think you have seen enough!  How about a sunset picture from our campsite instead?


2 comments:

  1. Looks like a great area to visit.

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  2. Loved every minute in Lubec. . .visited Campobello a couple of times. . .saw the Easternmost City, Easternmost Town, Easternmost Point. . .really a wonderful experience. . . glad you are loving it!

    http://readytogofulltimerving.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-most-easternmost-of-easternmost-you.html

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