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Published: June 25th 2017
Geo: 44.8017, -68.7708
We began our travels in mid July. The first destination on our trip was a stop in Apex, NC to get a Memere fix with Danielle and Natalie. The second stop was in Chatham, MA on the Cape, where Steve played in a member/guest golf tournament with our son Scott, and I got another Memere fix with Maxwell, the mad man. On our way to the Cape, we spent a day touring Jamestown, RI and Newport, RI. Jamestown is an island located between the mainland and Newport in Narragansett Bay. We drove the entire perimeter of the island on a road that connects one seaside mansion after another, most of weathered cedar shakes, some visible from the road but many hidden behind gates and trees and over hills, secluded from public view. And if Jamestown was grand, Newport was even grander. Newport was more densely populated and in some areas, quite commercial. In the center of town, along narrow streets meant for horse drawn buggies, were many clapboard houses of various colors with foundations of brick or stone or granite slabs, many dating back 300 years. Some were wonderfully restored, some were in the process of being restored and
some were wishing to be restored. The bay was filled with boats large and small…yachts, sailboats, motorboats…mostly pleasure boats. And the land along the water's edge was populated with many wonderful homes and mansions. One area of the island has a number of homes with grand names, that can be toured for a fee, including that of Doris Duke, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, all hidden, as one might expect, behind stone walls and steel gates, some with gilded decorations, paid for with great fortunes made in tobacco, railroads, steel and oil. It is said that when fortunes were made, homes were built for the purpose of putting great personal wealth on display. I can't argue with that.
From the Cape we headed to Maine where we spent some time with my brother and his wife and with Steve's Aunt Mary. Then it was off on another adventure, beginning with a drive up route 1 along the coast. We visited a number of towns with harbors filled with boats of all kinds and sizes, fishing boats, sail boats, motor boats, cabin cruisers and schooners, most impressive. We visited Wiscasset first and I took a few photos of Red's
Eats, a tiny shack on a corner in the middle of town. This place is known across the country and it has, with little doubt, the best lobster rolls anywhere. As you can see, the line has already formed and the place is not yet open. There is always a long line here. Always. Since I had lobster last night at my brother's house, I passed on the lobster roll, but I'll be back. You can bet on that.
Over the bridge from Wiscasset is Damariscotta, the scene of a very interesting boat race each year. Everyone in the race must build their own boat of whatever they choose for materials and I have seen everything but a commode used to float people down the river, I kid you not. Some make it to the end of the course and many fall apart along the way. But everyone has a grand time. Today was not race day, but we remembered races of past years.
We headed up the coast to Rockland where we visited the Samoset Resort. We stayed at this hotel several times in the past and the years have not been unkind to it. It is looking better than
ever. For anyone interested in playing a links course, the golf course boasts spectacular views of the bay as it wraps around the property and along the water's edge.
Camden was incredible as always. Another town with boats galore in the inlet, this town is a feast for sore eyes. As we passed through this old weathered brick town, I pointed out the Chowder House on the corner, a wonderful restaurant on two levels right in the middle of all that is happening here. We had dinner there many years ago, and the place is still standing and in business.
We then went to Camden State Park and paid a modest fee to drive up Mt. Battie and climb the rugged, rocky mountain top to where the view gives forth miles and miles of ocean and shoreline with Camden Harbor just below and dense with the presence of boats. Steve says this is his second favorite place in the entire State of Maine. It is easy to understand why.
Belfast is another town like Camden, with a harbor and a main street lined with old brick buildings which contain shops most interesting to summer visitors. And we saw lots of them. After
all, it is July.
And finally we drove through Bucksport and had to stop to take a few photos of the brand new suspension bridge, standing tall and sparkling in the sunshine like a bright new penny, proud to be of service to motorists that use it to cross the river.
We ended the day in Bangor, not far from where I spent four of my most memorable years at UMO. Tomorrow, Acadia National Park.
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