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Published: June 13th 2017
Geo: 44.1844, -69.0767
Day 3 – Jagged Edges
Boothbay Harbor to Rockport, ME
Maine is a state of jagged edges. With the exception of a few sandy beaches, where the coast is smooth if not straight, and the border with New Hampshire, drawn by forefathers, the state's borders, especially its shores, are jagged and rugged. Rocks abound. And nowhere do you realize it more than out on the water.
We had breakfast on the water at our motel, Brown's Wharf Inn in Boothbay. Our waitress was a chatty soul with lots of information about Maine. She told us that summer tourism is heavy, of course. But autumn (leaf peeping) takes the cake. Our visit falls between the two, so crowds are down. The places here don't shut down till the last leaf falls. In Boothbay, for instance, there are 49 restaurants open during the peak months, and just 3 open in the dead of winter.
Speaking of winter, she told us that the lobster fishermen sell their catch on the local docks summer and fall. But in winter, the lobsters move out to sea and so do the fishermen (at least some of them). They have a contract with Carnival Cruiselines and
everything they catch goes on board one of the cruise ships. Interesting.
Following breakfast (by the way, I ate no lobster today), we visited Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. Thanks to Jennie Norman and Robin Tucker for the recommendation. It was a joyful morning. Colorful flowers. Whimsical sculptures. Clever displays. And magnificent weather. What more could you ask for?
One of the most fascinating things about the garden was a special exhibit by George Sherwood. He does stainless steel sculptures that move to reflect the sun's light. They were strewn throughout the garden and occasionally a blast of sun would catch your eye and demand your attention. They were magnificent. And surprising. And creative. They really did add to the garden.
We then headed through Damariscotta and Bristol to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was commissioned in 1827 by John Quincy Adams. Marcus A. Hanna, the only man ever awarded both the Medal of Honor (earned during Civil War) and the Gold Lifesaving Medal (for rescuing life at Cape Elizabeth), once served as keeper of the light. The station was automated in 1934. By popular vote of Maine residents, the lighthouse was chosen to be featured on the commemorative Maine quarter.
along ME-32 to Waldoboro. The drive was pretty but we had no cell service or WiFi so our various GPS's became impossible to access. Luckily we stumbled upon Moody's Diner, which we had been in search of, and which had been recommended by John Loomis and Nancy Yuille, among others. It's a 1950s diner with 1950s waitresses. All colorful and characters. The pie was awesome. I had the classic blueberry which was quite delish.
We headed to the coast again: Rockland, Rockport, Camden. We made a stop at Owls Head Lighthouse which was a non-event as far as we were concerned. It's off the beaten path, and the walk on a gravel road to see it is .6 miles round trip.
We then checked into the Samoset Resort in Rockport which is a lovely golf haven, with holes overlooking the water. We took a little time to relax then headed to Camden where we boarded the Appledore wooden schooner out for a two-hour cocktail cruise. The weather was still spectacular – although there wasn't much wind so we motored instead of sailed. It was a lovely evening spent in conversation about Maine's jagged edges.
Dinner was at Bella Vita off the back
of the Samoset resort. I adored the Pompeii wedge, which is sort of a normal wedge salad, with olives, red peppers, pine nuts and lemon. Yum. I had a clam pasta, rich in local littleneck clams, pancetta and chili flakes. No lobster. Although the lobster pasta called out to me.
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