The Easternmost city of the continental U.S. is the little coastal town of Lubec Maine. The town is home to fishermen, marinas, a couple of restaurants and (in the summer) tourists. Amber and I visited there after visiting Acadia as the completion of one journey and the beginning of another. It was the completion of the cross county trek we began in January as we could go no farther East and remain in the U.S. (The road East out-of-town crossed the narrows and onto Campobello Island, Canada.) It was the beginning of another journey – as we headed West out-of-town – as we will be traveling West clear to China! The last building on the East end of town was the combination customs office and post office located next to the bridge to Canada. We stopped there to mail a post card to my dad. A postal worker just happened to be picking up the mail at that moment and I was able to deliver it to her personally. Yep, we got to send a post card from the Easternmost post office in the Easternmost building, of the Easternmost city in the U.S.! Woohoo!
Sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean at Acadia National Park! We crawled out of our tent about 4:30 in the morning to make sure we captured the moment. It was absolutely serene watching the sun come up over Otter Point and paint the sky and water, first in pastels and then in vivid blues and pinks. It was one of those moments when it was if all the elements of nature had converged to gift us with a picture perfect glimpse of this point in the universe. The tide, winds, clouds, sun, air, sea, salt, and even the passing gulls and geese, each played their part in turn, as if performing a dance to welcome the new day. It was a spectacular performance and it is even more amazing when you consider the fact that these same characters have been gathering every day for thousands of years to put on this same show morning after morning – not caring if any human is watching or not. It was an honor to be part of this day’s pageant, even if only as an observer.
We have learned from watching the X-Files that the truth is out there. I would have to catalog this specimen we photographed here in Maine as proof of the alien abduction of bovines for the purpose of hybridization.Alien abduction aside, we have seen little glimpses of spring – it has not decided, yet, to fully settle in. In between the rainy and windy and even snowy days we have seen lawns being mowed, brush piles burning and docks mysteriously migrating from their winter, beached, hibernation out into the lake.We took advantage of one sunny day. It was not as warm as it looked though and I only stayed out a little while. Amber went more prepared and was able to enjoy the lake longer.
The mid-coast region of Maine is a near labyrinth of inlets, coves, peninsulas, bays, harbors and islands. We have explored a number of areas attached to the mainland but had not yet ventured out to sea to see what we could see of the islands of Maine. We had been showing some mid-westerners around and thought, to make their visit complete, we should bid farewell, at least temporarily, to the mainland and head like real explorers into the East, into the sea, into the islands. So on a sunny Atlantic morning we booked walk-on passage on a ferry bound for Vinalhaven!
Well Amber and I have less than two weeks left of our house sitting gig here in mid-coast Maine. We have had a great time here during our wintertime stay and we did almost every activity available to us during the off-season. The last few weeks have been especially busy as we have been trying to visit all the places we had identified during the winter as things we would want to see in the ever elusive spring. One of our spring weather outings took us to the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse and Fort Preble in Southern Portland. As you know, I never get tired of exploring old coastal forts or a good lighthouse. In addition, since we have become somewhat versed in the local attractions, we have had several opportunities to show visitors some of the area’s best.
In Maine, the fourth Sunday of March is “Maple Sunday”. Sugar houses all over the state open their doors to let anyone who wants to come in and smell the syrup! Since Maple Sunday happened to fall on Easter this year, Rice Farms in Walpole offered an event on Saturday as well. We were able to double our experience by attending events there on Saturday and at Goranson Farm in Dresden on Sunday.
As we set out on this journey almost three months ago, many people expressed how much, they too, would like to have the opportunity to travel and relax. So we thought we should take a moment to clear up a few misconceptions. Our pictures and posts, of course, are all about the good food, beautiful scenery and wonderful experiences we are having. But what you see are just the highlights. In between those times there are hours of hard work. Amber spends her time, often simultaneously, identifying our next local adventure, researching international locations, analyzing travel details, cataloging renown eating establishments to visit, and finding new and tasty foods to create in the kitchen.
The weather of late has been a mixed bag of rain, gray, wind, gray, clouds, gray, sleet, gray, and then suddenly a day of sun! Amber has been compiling a list of things we want to see and do in the area so when we get a sunny day we can jump in the car and head out to take pictures in good lighting. Maine is home to about 70 lighthouses and we have visited at least five so far. The Owls Head Lighthouse was constructed in 1852 and manned until it was automated in 1989. It is still a working lighthouse today and the keepers house is home to the American Lighthouse Foundation, Interpretive Center & Gift Shop. This was the first Maine lighthouse we were able to actually spend much time walking around – our previous visits, it was just too dang cold! Whether you are looking out over the Pacific or Atlantic, a lighthouse is an enchanted place. Just stepping on to the grounds you feel a sense of history, purpose, substance and resolution. Lighthouses are built to withstand the absolute extreme of weather an ocean can conjure – and do it perched, purposely, atop the most exposed location their builders can secure. Because of this, a lighthouse generates much more than light waves in the visible spectrum. Their combination of hardy build, exposed location, gravity of mission, history, and pristine condition, cause a lighthouse to generate veneration as well. I always feel a sense of reverence when visiting a lighthouse.
Amber and I have seen so much of this amazing area lately it has been hard to keep up! But now that we have found our Moxie we have the energy to do some more sharing. There is so much beauty and variety and richness to life here it is difficult to explain. One of the mottos we see often is – “Maine, the way life should be” – I really get this. And it seems like the people that live here get it too. We have chatted with so many Mainers like the lovely couple who own the Airbnb right next to Fort Edgecomb that were so happy to take the time to fill us in on some history. Everyone seems to genuinely appreciate the life they have here and take a lot of pride in their community and history. Those of you from Maine that have been replying – we just can’t thank you enough! Amber is filling up our outing schedule with your “must see” recommendations and we really appreciate your explanations of mysteries – we now know how to use the “L” to access our bighouse-littlehouse-backhouse-barn and that the roads are crowned high to deal with the wicked rain!
We see a lot of boats here of course. This boat owner is going to be upset when he gets home to find he left the water running.
We visited the state capital, Augusta, just long enough to capture a picture of Amber doing her best Statue of Liberty impression.
With our time in Maine, we are trying to experience as much as possible. We’ve tried lobster rolls and whoopie pies and tonight we are trying Moxie. It’s been around since the late 1800’s and was named Maine’s official soft drink – Moxie.