We have been traveling around mid coast Maine long enough now to get a sense for some of the differences between the northeastern most state and the northwest. Some things make sense, like the fact there are lobster places everywhere and you watch the sun rise out of the ocean rather than watch it set. But some things are just mysteries. One of the first things you notice is the difference in houses. There are a lot of these stately looking ones that have been well maintained since they were built one or two hundred years ago.DSC_0026Then there are these straight wall, no eve, shingle sided places absolutely everywhere! When you consider how much rain and snow these structures are subjected to and the fact that humans have been contending with weather here for hundreds of years it is hard to understand why there appears to be zero thought put into roof lines, eves, or where the snow will dump.DSC_0407
And there are lots of these places that look like they had a house and they had a garage and decided one day  they would just build a little piece of house in between to connect them because they got tired of the Maine weather on the way out to the car.
DSC_0421 (1) DSC_0427 (1)The rural roads are a real mystery. We have walked, ran and driven over miles of them in our exploring. Unlike our experience in the Midwest where the roads are laid out like a quilt, these roads snake and arc through the forest and farms and wetlands, following the contour of the terrain exactly. They are very high and solid in the middle and absolutely disintegrating on the outside half of each lane. It appears that it was a one lane road for like 200 years and then one day, maybe 30 years ago, they just decided to make it a two lane road by setting down a half a lane more pavement on each side with virtually zero preparation. (Maybe they pulled the weeds). And all the locals hurtle along doing at least 45. Seriously, it is like taking a roller coaster ride every trip. I have no idea how they keep their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in the cup on the way home.
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Two franchises that appear in virtually every town, hamlet and village we have passed through are Dunkin’ Donuts and Family Dollar/Dollar Tree or any other variation there is.
DSC_0428 DSC_0429 DSC_0430Every town, no matter how small has a real working post office with at least two people manning it during business hours. And precisely what town you are in appears to be of great importance. There is sign on every road, no matter how obscure, that crosses a boundary.
DSC_0423 DSC_0426 DSC_0437 DSC_0445 DSC_0446There are businesses in seemingly random places – dentists, massage therapists, accountants, well drillers – they just turn any random house or barn into a business just anyplace along a country road.
DSC_0411 DSC_0413 DSC_0418 (2) DSC_0419 (1) DSC_0427Rock walls and small family cemeteries are ubiquitous. When the property lines were fist set out a couple hundred years ago, they used rock walls to mark the boundaries. They are still here today. Along with the small cemeteries. About every half mile there is a cemetery surrounded by a rock wall. We have seen headstones with dates as far back as 1845. And the town pounds appear indestructible!DSC_0038 DSC_0040 DSC_0439 DSC_0442
DSC_0410 DSC_0444 (1) DSC_0445 (1)Businesses love to work the word Maine into their title. (It is easy to see why. I mean we did it with our last post!)
DSC_0404 DSC_0421 DSC_0431 DSC_0433 DSC_0438 DSC_0440And we see way more personalized license plates per capita than any place we have ever been. We would love to get some help interpreting this one. Feel free to leave a reply with your idea.