Thursday, June 23, 2005

Rrrrugged!!!

**Warning!! Vacation Synopsis. If you bore easily feel free to skip today's post.**

Greetings from Bath, Maine. Yes indeed - today marks my 3rd day of vacation along Maine's coastal Route 1. Specifically, I am writing you from a Holiday Inn overlooking a highway (so chosen because it offered free Internet access) not far from the Bath Ironworks and Shipyard. The trip so far has been a good one, although far more driving than I originally expected. Day One saw us (my father and I) drive up to Bangor and then turn towards the coast where we continued further north. On the way we stopped at the Schoodic Peninsula (part of Acadia National Park) which offered some great views of the Maine coast. In all the years I've been living in New England, the only word I've ever seen used to describe the coastline has been "rugged" and this place did nothing to prove that description wrong. It is indeed rugged... no sign of a beach anywhere - simply jagged rocks meeting the ocean. So we chilled by the ocean for a bit - not too long, it was only the ocean after all, and after hanging out with Larry the volunteer park ranger from New Orleans and asking him why the hell there were no sandy beaches (his answer: because sandy beaches are nothing but ground up seashells and the currents off the coast of Maine were such that they didn't carry any seashells she sells to the seashore) we made our way further north to Machias (pronounced Ma-CHAI-us for you phoneticists) not far from the Canadian border. There we stayed at a rather comfortable Bed & Breakfast overlooking the Machias River (home to various wildlife. We often saw both an Eagle and an Osprey flying around. Other guests claim to have seen a seal in the river during breakfast but I'm calling bullshit on that one. They were old. I'm guessing they saw a rock.)

The following day we went up to Campobello Island, which has the claim to fame of being the summer residence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The island is actually part of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and you actually have to go through customs to get to it. Once there, you get to see the "cottage" they summered in (it was really a big-ass house most of us would be envious of) and travel to various points around the island and catch some spectacular views. From there, we then traveled to Eastport, Maine which had little to offer - it was a depressed little town still trying to recover from the loss of their sardine cannerys nearly twenty five years ago. They appear to be making a good run at it though, as they're refurbishing all their vacant buildings, trying to bring in tourists through festivals and theatre projects, and putting n a good front in general. I, for one, hope they succeed. I liked the town's quaintness and potential. The only thing we really did there was eat at a Mexican restaurant, of all places, called La Sardina Loca which was covered in all sorts of kitsch and bizarre memorabilia. Definitely surreal..... good food though.

We liked our Bed & Breakfast so much (one of the owners was a gourmet cook) we decided to stay there a 2nd night and check out this morning. Once we did, we started making our way down the coast and hit Bar Harbor (I'd never been there before and was kind of expecting blah - it was actually pretty neat. Quaint, I guess you'd call it) and Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park which offered even more spectacular views. After that, we then hoofed it to Rockland and the Farnesworth Museum, which showcased many famous Maine artists, most notably Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer. Just some phenomenal art and well worth the trip - even if we only got to stay for an hour.

And so from there, our journey took us further down the coast looking for a place to stay when we happened upon this wonderful little chain hotel in Bath where I'm writing you from now. Tomorrow the plan is to hit Brunswick, and maybe some other little hamlets, and then make our way to Portland, where we'll take a city tour and walk around Old Port for a little while. Then, we'll continue down Route 1 and hope to make it back to Boston by late afternoon. All in all, an eventful yet tiring journey. The only real drawback so far has been the drive itself. I had incorrectly assumed that it would largely be a drive right up the coast with spectacular views to one side. Not so. Even the guidebook we followed offered detoured routes to get a more scenic drive and those offered little more than a glimpse. Nope - the drive is largely a boring one through forest, so if any of you are planning a trip up here, be warned. But that aside, it's been a good trip. Now, however, I'm going to stop writing and get some much needed sleep before I lose it and start snapping at the Mainiacs. Have a good night folks. Talk to you soon.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Eleanor said...

sounds like fun -
I hope you two boys are not partying too hard....

11:29 PM  
Blogger sara said...

It makes me miss New England. My best friend lives in Maine, Portland. I went to Acadia as a kid, what a beautiful place, great idea for the trip. Hope you guys got home safe.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key to Maine is SAILING. I am glad you had a shitty time......we do not want the typical tourist to return & fuck up the pristine Maine coast for us "blue water" sailors. Tell everyone you know you had a terrible time & would do not recomend Maine

11:20 PM  
Anonymous eoawb said...

Hey anonymous,

Whats your problem? If you don't like vacationers, then take Vacationland off your licence plates!!!!

I have made enough trips into Maine to know that their is plenty of room for everyone. It's a great state with a lot to see.

It's funny how the people who live in areas that rely on tourism to to fuel their economy seem to hate tourists.

9:20 PM  

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