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The Maine Attraction

July 30, 2013

Looking skyward among the birches along the Messalonskee Stream

Succulent lobster, sweet blueberries, cool water, and rocky shorelines  – that’s how I remember Maine. The Pine Tree State’s salty charm, untamed vastness and nonconforming nature have always held appeal.

So when asked to be a plus one for a good friend housesitting for her niece, I had my suitcase packed even before discussing it with my family.

“Did I mention the house is on the water, there are kayaks and….”she said.

”Oh, I’m in,” I told her.  “You had me at Maine.”

Aside from reveling in this much needed girl time, I’d hoped to explore, shoot some gorgeous scenery and maybe even capture a moose. In anticipation, I hung my camera around my neck en route. Playing with shutter speeds to photograph the passing pines, I merely stared, mouth agape, as a dog-like-creature leapt in front of us and soared across Interstate 95.

At least a moose would have been easier to catch, I thought. We figured out later it was a coyote, not an endangered red wolf as I’d imagined. Seeing either one though, said one Mainer, was a pretty rare thing.

That night we consumed luscious lobster rolls and fries amid live music on the dock at Portland Lobster Company. Eyelids closing as we reached McGrath Pond, I just found my bedroom, dropped the suitcase and called it a night.

Waking with the sun and seeing our backyard view was a glorious gift. We were actually mere feet from the water, with a canoe launch, dock and two beckoning Adirondack chairs. Dinner and the sunset were enjoyed right there.

But first we explored nearby Waterville, hiked easy and expert trails along the Messalonskee Stream, crossed the two-penny bridge and finally found a Starbucks to quell my iced green tea addiction.

This view used to cost pedestrians two cents. I think it's worth more now that it's free.

View from the Two Penny Bridge

Our day trip to Acadia National Park was even more amazing than my childhood memories. So much to see and with only six hours we drove the Park Loop Road, lunched on quiche at the lovely Jordan Pond House and climbed to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Perfect day! Moderate temps, no humidity and plenty to photograph.

Kids running along Cadillac Mountain at Acadia, where as you can see, the vistas are breathtaking.

Kids running along Cadillac Mountain at Acadia, where as you can see, the vistas are breathtaking.

Torrential rains followed us to Two Lights State Park, in Cape Elizabeth, on day three. As I shot the waves, shoreline, birds, and slick rocks, fighting the wind and the wet, my bundled-up friend frolicked the myriad paths trimmed with Virginia rose and honeysuckle. She envisioned on sunnier days the habitat being overrun with giggling, wide-eyed children.

Great Blue Heron above the crashing waves at Two Lights State Park

Great Blue Heron above the crashing waves at Two Lights State Park

The behemoth L.L. Bean Factory Store, in Freeport, was a must-see, even though I hadn’t brought money to shop. I savored an amazing mocha lovingly created at Coffee By Design though.

I held and had my photo taken with a lobster at the adorable Salty Lobster (just across the street). My crusty pal was from the store’s touch tank and as I stared into the little guy’s eyes, my friend quipped that it was now the only safe one in the state.

Hopes for enjoying that delicacy now crushed, I instead satiated myself with sweets – perhaps a little too much. Homemade ice cream at North Street Dairy Cone, in Waterville, was so damn good we went back twice. My favorite flavor: pumpkin chocolate chip.

Unfortunately wild blueberries weren’t in season, so when it was still raining and we were still craving we drove 20 miles in search of baked goods.

We landed in sleepy Skowhegan, hungry and grumpy, but found The Bankery – a florist, tuxedo, bake shop set inside an old bank – a satisfying surprise.

Three friendly decorators were precisely trimming sheet confections behind a glass partition inside the large, wood-furnished structure. Chocolate, coffee and a chat calmed us and cookies and granola bars were tucked away for the drive back home.

I broke my take-out treat in two hoping to make it last just a little bit longer, like our too-quick trip up to Maine.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2013 10:13 pm

    I love all of the photographs..the first one at the top stands out. One of the artists at the Uncorked Artist Studio created a tree painting just like your photograph, oddly enough. Its called, “looking up”.. What a beautiful place to house sit.. lucky gal..
    we have a couple of different versions of this…

    • July 31, 2013 8:16 am

      It would be a great image to paint. Perhaps it can be my first foray into the medium! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. 🙂

  2. July 31, 2013 6:15 pm

    Reblogged this on kenncf and commented:
    I love Maine. Such a beautiful place.

  3. July 31, 2013 11:12 pm

    One of my favorite places with one of my favorite people! Perfectly captured by one of my favorite bloggers!

  4. August 1, 2013 1:21 pm

    Reblogged this on Bucks County Playbook and commented:
    A quick road trip to Maine with my best bud. Ahh, to return…even if it means leaving Bucks behind.

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