The Beauty Around Us

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Maine Vacation: More Island Hopping, Red’s Eats, Another Lighthouse and More Ice Cream

We got up shortly before 6:00 am, got showered and dressed.  We departed Pioneer Motel at 7:00 am to embark on today’s adventures.  With the exception of arriving at Pioneer Motel and leaving for home, today was the only day we drove in the direction of Wiscasset.  We purposely chose lodging east of Wiscasset, as that was the direction for the majority of the places that we wished to see during vacation.

We stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s in Bath and, then, drove to Land’s End on Bailey Island.

The Scenic Mackeral Cove on Bailey Island

 

Land’s End on Bailey Island

Land’s End and the Lobsterman Statue

Lobsterman Statue at Land’s End

Portland sculptor Victor Kahill created a lobsterman statue in 1939 for the New York World’s Fair. The statue at Land’s End is a replica of the one created for the World’s Fair. A plaque on the base reads: “A memorial to all Maine fishermen who have devoted their lives to the sea.”

Land’s End Beach and a Clifftop House

While I was taking pictures, Bob was looking through binoculars.  He spotted a lighthouse way, way, way out in Casco Bay.

Halfway Rock Lighthouse in Casco Bay

I took this photograph of the Halfway Rock Lighthouse with a lens having a 35 mm equivalent focal length of 600mm.  The photograph is heavily cropped.  Like I wrote earlier, this lighthouse was way, way out there!  If you click on the link “Halfway Rock Lighthouse” (in red), there is a map that shows where in Casco Bay the Halfway Rock Lighthouse is located.

Before starting our drive back to Route 1, we browsed the Land’s End Gift Shop.  We made two purchases: a packet of Downeast Maine Wild Lupine Seeds and a small pillow for Stacey that reads “Shut the Duck Up”. 

Leaving Land’s End, we stopped at the trail to Giant’s Stairs.  Bob walked part of the very narrow trail, which was waterlogged in places. 

He didn’t find the stairs.  He kept seeing houses and didn’t want to go on private property. 

We stopped at Mackeral Cove, both coming and going.  On our way back to Route 1 we drove down to the cove.

Mackeral Cove

Our last stop before leaving Bailey Island was at the Cribstone Bridge.  This bridge connects Bailey and Orr’s Islands.

Cribstone Bridge

We walked across the bridge to Orr’s Island and walked back to Bailey Island.

It was only 10:30 am when we completed our planned sightseeing activities, so we decided to add another point of interest–Pemaquid Lighthouse.

As we were driving through Wiscasset we decided to stop for lunch at Red’s Eats.

Red’s Eats

After a 2-hour wait in line, we got our food.  We ordered two lobster rolls and one large order of onion rings. 

Red’s Eats Lobster Rolls and Onion Rings

Was it worth the long wait in line?  YES!

I had some leftover lobster.  We dropped it off in the refrigerator in our motel room and continued to Pemaquid Point Light, which is located in Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park.

Pemaquid Lighthouse and Keepers House

Bob hiked below the lighthouse to the ledges.  I felt my balance was off, so I didn’t make the descent.  On hindsight, I believe I could have made this hike, if we had taken our hiking poles out of the car!

Bob’s view of the lighthouse from the ledges

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

We stopped at Harbor Ice Cream in New Harbor, shortly after leaving Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.  Bob ordered sugar-free vanilla ice cream.  He said it was the best vanilla ice cream he has ever eaten.

This blog post concludes Day 4 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Lighthouses, Island Hopping, Boothbay Harbor, a Fort and a Museum

We got up around 5:00 am naturally, without an alarm.  We slept well.  Our king-sized bed was firm and comfortable.  The room temperature was comfortable.  We were showered and dressed by 6:30 am.  The bathroom is small, the shower stall smaller still.  The bathroom is adequate, though, with hot water, sufficient lighting, an exhaust fan, a new vanity, and clean.  I am, once again, thankful that we booked a room at Pioneer Motel for our week-long stay in Maine.

It rained (and thundered) overnight.  Sitting outside on our covered porch at 6:30 am this morning I hear birdsong and see water puddles all over.  Across the highway the trees are shrouded in fog.  It is early enough on a Sunday morning that there are moments when there is no traffic noise from the highway.  

The weather forecast for today calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms, with a high of 68 degrees.  There is a 50% chance for rain.  I believe today will be our worse day weather wise.  The rest of the week looks lovely.

We went shopping at Hannaford Supermarket in Damariscotta and then went to breakfast at McDonald’s.

We spent half the day sightseeing in the Boothbay Harbor Region and half the day relaxing.  It was a long 2 days travel to get here.  A little downtime is good.

Our first sightseeing stop was on Southport Island, where we saw the Cuckolds Lighthouse.

The Cuckolds Lighthouse can be seen in the distance from the Newagen Boat Dock at Cape Newagen on Southport Island.

Our second stop was at Capitol Island. 

I searched online for a description of Capitol Island.  I found a perfect description of the island on a Knickerbocker Project Stories page. Capitol Island is:

“a quintessential summer community on an island just three-quarters of a mile long and 700 feet at its widest point. It is a place where everyone-knows-everyone, and the main dirt road of 15 mph is busier with local foot traffic than cars. By and large, the properties on Capitol Island are owned by the original families of the 1870s—translating to one of Maine’s most intact historic summer communities.”

I visited Capitol Island for the first time in May 1983 with my ex-husband.  We stayed several nights at Boulder Lodge, a cottage owned by his mother’s family.  Between 1983 and 1990 my ex-husband and I spent several vacations at Capitol Island.  With the exception of one year, when we spent an extended vacation on the island alone, we vacationed with my in-laws.  In 1987 my parents visited us at Capitol Island.  In 1989 friends visited us at Capitol Island.  In 1990 my sister-in-law and two nephews visited us at Capitol Island.  I loved it on the island.  My vacations were always peaceful and restful.  I am thankful for the opportunity I had to revisit Capitol Island one more time.  I am happy that I was able to show Bob the island that I have talked about with him over the 20 years that we have been married.

We parked the car at the “casino”, just over the Capitol Island Bridge.  The casino is a community center, not a gambling institution. 

Capitol Island Bridge

We walked from the casino to the dock at the end of island and back.  The island has changed very little since I was last here.  The landscaping is different, with more flowering bushes now.  Some of the homes have been updated.  I noticed no cottages that had fallen into disrepair.  I noticed that Boulder Lodge still belongs to my ex-husband’s mother’s family, as evidenced by a sign posted at the cottage. 

a place on Capitol Island called “Pig Cove”

Boulder Lodge

Turtle Rock

I, and others, have walked out to Turtle Rock at low tide.

The dock at the end of Capitol Island

Capitol Island’s “Back Beach” — Boulder Lodge and this place were my favorite places on Capital Island.

We stayed here only a few minutes.  I would have stayed longer, explored a bit, if the mosquitoes and gnats weren’t so bad.

This is the main dirt road on Capitol Island

Boulder Lodge is the cottage on the left, surrounded by trees.

This beautiful home was formerly known as the Albonegon Inn.  It is now a family owned home and available for rental through Airbnb.

I don’t know how I managed to see the sailboat to the left of the Albonegon Inn.  It was so foggy!  Fog horns were blowing the entire time we were on the island.

On our way back to our car a man and woman were approaching their car parked at Boulder Lodge.  I couldn’t help myself.  I asked if they knew my ex-husband’s mother’s family.  Not only did they know the family, they WERE members of the family.  My ex-husband’s maternal uncle owned the cottage, when we stayed there.  The man walking to his car was my ex-husband’s cousin, the uncle’s son! We chatted for a few minutes, reminiscing.  We soon went our separate ways.  We returned to our car; the cousin and his wife began their drive to Portland ME.

Our third stop was in Boothbay Harbor, where we walked from our car, across the footbridge and back to our car.  We will be visiting Boothbay Harbor a few more times this vacation.

Boothbay Harbor Footbridge

Boothbay Harbor Footbridge

Lupines

Our last sightseeing stop this morning was at the Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site in Edgecomb ME.

Fort Edgecomb was built in 1808–1809. The two-story octagonal wooden blockhouse is the centerpiece of the historic site.

This map shows this morning’s sightseeing route.

We finished sightseeing around 11:30 am and returned to Pioneer Motel.  We relaxed until 4:30 pm, at which time we went out to find Hendricks Head Lighthouse, located on Southport Island, and to get something to eat.  We saw Hendricks Head Lighthouse twice, once before dinner and once after dinner.  Before dinner, rain and fog impacted our viewing of the lighthouse.  At times we could barely see the lighthouse. 

Hendricks Head Lighthouse

Bob took this picture of me, while I was photographing Hendricks Head Lighthouse.

The picture that I took from that vantage point is displayed below.

Hendricks Head Lighthouse

After dinner the fog and rain were replaced with cloudy skies and sunshine. 

Hendricks Head Lighthouse

Note also that before dinner that the tide was pretty low.  After dinner the tide was in.  Remember the picture that Bob took of me out by these rocks?  I walked out on the beach to the base of the rocks that you see in the foreground, when I took the close-up before dinner picture of the lighthouse.  Water surrounds those rocks in the after dinner picture.

We ate dinner at Robinson’s Wharf (Lobster roll for Bob and a fish fry for me).   We ate inside, although we would have preferred outdoor seating.  Unfortunately it was raining.

On our way back to Pioneer Motel we stopped at the Ice Cream Hut in Boothbay for dessert.  

Ice Cream Hut and Shell Museum

In addition to ice cream there is a shell museum, miniature golf and arcade games.  We had ice cream and walked through the seashell museum, which is housed in the covered bridge.

This blog post concludes Day 3 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Peru VT to Edgecomb ME

We got up at 4:45 am this morning, which isn’t surprising as we were in bed by 9:30 pm last night.  I had hoped to see the sunrise.  We had a good vantage point from which to see the sunrise, but it was raining.  We did enjoy sitting outside on our covered balcony, though, while it rained.

The Lodge at Bromley provided a complimentary hot breakfast beginning at 7:00 am.  We were disappointed with breakfast.  We expected scrambled eggs, hot potatoes, a breakfast meat, waffles and a variety of pastries (donuts, muffins, etc.).  I guess Best Western and other chain hotels have spoiled us.  The Lodge at Bromley provided hard boiled eggs, miniature waffles because the amount of batter was insufficient, plain bagels, breads, yogurt, cereal, juices and hot beverages. You would think that the hot water would be hot at 7:00 am.  It was lukewarm.  I had to request hot water, which the staff quickly took care of.  With the exception of breakfast, our stay at The Lodge at Bromley was good.

We checked out of the hotel and was on our way to Edgecomb ME at 7:40 am.  As we did the prior day, we instructed the GPS to avoid highways.

Our first stop was in Springfield VT, where we went for a short walk.  The highlight of our walk was seeing a waterfall.

Black River Falls

Before reaching Springfield I read that the town had a waterfall and that it had been selected to host the premiere of The Simpsons Movie, which, like the Simpsons TV show, is set in a town called Springfield.  I saw a photograph of the Springfield Movie Theater taken on July 21, 2007. The photo showed the marquee displaying the premiere for The Simpsons Movie as well as a giant pink donut.  During our walk I looked for a place resembling the photograph.  I found the movie theater but no marquee.  As we were walking back to our car, I stopped a policeman who was walking towards us.  I asked the policeman about the marquee.  I learned that the marquee and any other memorabilia from the premiere of The Simpsons Movie was on display in the Chamber of Commerce, which was closed when we passed by it.

Sign seen when leaving Springfield … OH, there’s the Simpson marquee!

Our second stop was at the Goode Shoppe Lollipop in New Hampton NH, where I purchased a lawn ornament.

Goode Shoppe Lollipop

Oh my!  So much to choose from!

Goode Shoppe Lollipop

The lawn ornament, though, that prompted a stop here was a lawn ornament that I had spotted in someone’s yard a ways back — a yellow cat on a bicycle spinner.

A new home for Kitty Bike Spinner

 

Our third stop was for lunch at Subway in Moultonboro NH.  We saw a baby bear run across the road, in front of us, less than a mile from Subway!

Our fourth stop was in Standish ME, at the Sebago Lake Overlook.

Lower Bay of Sebago Lake

This is a fairly new overlook. In January 2018 the Standish Town Council voted unanimously to approve a lease agreement with the Portland Water District to allow the overlook to be built on district property and maintained by the town.

The mountains seen beyond the lake are New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

We checked into Pioneer Motel in Edgecomb, ME at 3:30 pm.  We will spend the next 7 nights here, while we explore MidCoast Maine.  Pioneer Motel is a work in progress.  There are three single story buildings of rooms, two buildings in the front and one building in the back.  The two buildings in front have been turned into rental apartments.  The building in the back is the motel.  The owner is actively cleaning up the grounds and renovating motel rooms. 

Pioneer Motel
Our room is the first one on the left.

Pioneer Motel (expanded view)
Our room is the first room on the left.

Three rooms were renovated this Spring.  Our room has a new door, new windows, a patio door, new flooring, new furnishings and is newly painted throughout.  It was tastefully decorated with a white, gray and black theme. 

Our Motel Room
Before (Bottom) and After (photos provided by Pioneer Motel)

Our Motel Room
Before (Bottom) and After (photos provided by Pioneer Motel)

 

This is the view from our room. The two buildings are rental apartments.

I took that previous photograph from the porch. The porch is really LONG!

The owner said that he plans to create a screened-in porch for each of the room, with individual stairs leading to each room.

The owner is in the process of installing decks on the back of each motel room.

The owner said that he plans to place a bistro set (table and two chairs) on each deck.

At a cost of $350.00+tax for the week our room is a real bargain.  

 

We left in search of dinner around 5:00 PM.  We drove the short distance to the town of Damariscotta.  We ate dinner at Schooner Landing Restaurant. 

Schooner Landing Restaurant

We sat outside, on the dock.  Our view was the Damariscotta River.  I had a classic fish fry; Bob had Cajun blackened fish.  Schooner Landing Restaurant was a good choice for dinner.

We returned to Pioneer Motel at 6:00 pm, where we stayed for rest of the evening.

This blog post concludes Day 2 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Amsterdam NY to Peru VT

We set the GPS to avoid highways for our drive from Amsterdam NY to Peru VT.

Our first stop was for lunch at Sunset Grill in Ballston Spa, NY. Bob ordered a Cobb Salad; I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich.  Our lunches were good.  What caught my attention, though, were the salt and pepper shakers at the tables near us.

Salt ‘n Pepper Shakers

Our waitress said that the salt and pepper shakers were brought to them as gifts when patrons returned from travels all over the world.

In May this year Ballston Spa held its second annual birdhouse competition.

I like how the birdhouses are displayed in the park.

The Soldiers Monument is located at Front and Low Streets.  The monument lists the names of local soldiers from the towns of Milton, Ballston, and Malta who served in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War.

The Soldiers Monument

The Soldiers Monument

The monument features a Union Army infantryman, known to local residents as “Civil Sam”.  Soldiers Monument was first dedicated on June 16,1888.  Over the years the monument fell into a state of disrepair.  Soldiers Monument was restored and rededicated in June 2013.

As an aside, I learned recently that my maternal second cousin, Dr. Naton D. Leslie, Jr., lived in Ballston Spa.  Naton died in December 2013.  I never met him.

Our second stop was at Buskirks Covered Bridge.

Buskirks Covered Bridge is 165 feet long and crosses over the Hoosick River.

Buskirks Bridge is in the town of Hoosick but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our third stop was at Eagleville Covered Bridge.  

Eagleville Covered Bridge is 100 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Eagleville Bridge is in the town of Jackson-Salem, NY but takes its name from the hamlet in which it is located.

Our fourth stop was at Arlington Covered Bridge.

Arlington Covered Bridge is 80 feet long and crosses over the Battenkill River.

Arlington Bridge is in the town of Arlington, VT.  According to the people at this bridge, the river here was a fine place to swim.  On the other side of the bridge we saw lots more people in the water, swimming and using inner tubes.

The Norman Rockwell House is very near Arlington Covered Bridge.  We drove in front of the house.  I wasn’t impressed, so I didn’t take any photographs.

We arrived at our night’s accommodation, the Lodge at Bromley (Peru, VT), at 6:00 pm — 12 1/2 hours after leaving home.  After checking in and carrying in our bags, we went in search of dinner.  But, first, I took a couple pictures of the view from our balcony.

We could see Mountain Adventure Park from our balcony.

We had a corner room, so we could see the mountains across the road from our balcony too.

 

There are a few restaurants nearby.  The first place we went to — J.J. Hapgood — was very crowded.  We opted to turn around and go to Bromley Market Country Store that we had passed on our way to J.J. Hapgood.  The country store was closing, as we arrived.  We ended up eating at Raven’s Den, located in Manchester Center, VT.  It was an excellent restaurant choice.  We ordered a 12-oz prime rib dinner with split plate.  For an additional $19.00 we shared the prime rib and had full portions of the unlimited salad bar and three vegetable side dishes (carrots, green beans and corn on the cob).  Our meals were delicious; the service was excellent; and the split plate option was a good deal.  

This post concludes Day 1 of our 10-day vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Warren PA to Amsterdam NY

Our Maine vacation officially began at 5:30 am this morning, when we departed home.  We programmed the GPS to not avoid highways (and to avoid tolls) between our home in North Warren, PA and Amsterdam, NY.  The predominant routes (all Interstate) that we followed were I-86, I-81, and I-88.

The only deviations from our drive to Amsterdam happened when we went in search of a Mobil Fuel Station.  The most notable out-of-the-way drive for fuel happened in Oneonta, NY.  We passed Cooperstown All Star Village.

Cooperstown All Star Village

Cooperstown All Star Village Ball Fields

This out-of-the-way drive for fuel took us 6 miles out of our way.  When we reached the Mobil station, it wasn’t even a Mobil station.  It was a Mirabito station, as was the previous out-of-the-way fuel station.  Bob has $40.00 in his Exxon Mobil Rewards+ program account that he wants to use to pay for gas.  

The last 20 miles to Amsterdam were via NY State Route 30.  We arrived in the City of Amsterdam around 12:30 pm and spent an hour walking on the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge and in Riverlink Park.

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge Artwork

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
“Mother and Child at the Mohawk River” by Sculptur Dimitar Lukanov

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge

There were flower beds all along both sides of the bridge, which was very pleasant to see and smell.

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
Wheel of Life

Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
The beautiful Wheel of Life

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge
More flowers

Amsterdam, NY
Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook (MVGO) Bridge (as seen from Riverlink Park)

There were two imposing sights to see at Riverlink Park: the Painted Rocks of Amsterdam and the 9-11 Memorial.

Amsterdam, NY
Riverlink Park: Painted Rocks

The Painted Rocks of Amsterdam are Alice Manzi’s re-creation of a famous Mohawk Indian rock painting.

 

Amsterdam, NY
Riverlink Park: 9-11 Memorial

The 9-11 Memorial tells the narrative of that day, and Amsterdam’s connection to it.

Amsterdam, NY
Riverlink Park: 9-11 Memorial

This concrete and steel column from the P3 parking level of the North Tower survived mainly intact from the 2001 attack of the World Trade Center.  On the edging of the base are escribed two dates and two times: the date of the attack (September 11, 2001), date of dedication (September 11, 2015), the time that American Airlines Flight 11 turned south over Amsterdam (8:26 am), and the time it struck the North Tower (8:46 am).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Blossoms

Bob and I went for a bicycle ride late this afternoon / early evening.  We rode to Pioneer Arboretum, located at the north end of the Warren-North Warren Bike/Hike Trail.

Aren’t the blossoms on these trees beautiful?

There are many beautiful trees in the arboretum; however, many of the trees were in the shade and would not photograph well.

I LOVED how the blossoms were climbing up the branches of this tree!

Total bicycle miles ridden: 3.40 miles.

Back Yard Photos

This week, on nice days, I began walking around our back yard and three of our neighbor’s back yards (with permission).  I carry my camera with me.

Sue’s Primose

Chipmunk on Greg and Mary’s Bird Feeder

This is the first Baltimore Oriole that I have seen this year.
I haven’t seen any hummingbirds … yet.
These bird feeders are in our back yard.

I plan to share more back yard photos, from time to time, with you.

 

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