Maine, photography

Tour Guide

BrimstoneNo place has ever captured my heart like the coast of Maine where exploring the islands is an ongoing treat.

Indian IslandNo matter how many times I see the same sight, it never fails to thrill me.

islandWith more than 3000 islands off the coast, there is no shortage of ones to explore.

Maine islandA few of the uninhabited ones are protected by individuals or organizations desiring to keep their natural beauty.

Eagle IslandRoughly 14 islands boast a year round population, seldom more than a few dozen though that number may increase dramatically come summer and the return of folks who enjoy a different lifestyle.

Maybe you’d like to find out for yourself what the coast of Maine is all about.

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Maine, Winter

Foiled!

dirt road winterEach year during the holidays we return to Maine for a taste of winter.  A few days is generally enough to tell us we are happy not to have to endure more.   There is something good to be said about winter in Houston.

The schooners that sail Penobscot Bay all summer were bound in shrink wrap to protect them from winter weather.

IMG_0080Some brave soul had braved the cold long enough to shimmy up the mast to top it with a tree.

IMG_0092The schooner was not the only thing to sport a tree.  So did the fuel dock at Rockport Marine where we fill Pipe Dreams with diesel to keep her running on our summer boating adventures.

IMG_0097It was so cold that the harbor was partially frozen, a sight not often seen.

IMG_0103The ice locked in place the few lobster boats that remained in the water.

Rockport Harbor - sea smoke 188 MASTERWith the temperatures well below freezing,  sea smoke floated across the water, a sight full of mystery and beauty.

IMG_0090Snow made the landscape a winter wonderland.

IMG_0083With their wooly coats, sheep seemed able to  bear the cold but they stayed close to the barn since the snow in the pasture was too deep for them to frolic

IMG_0110Yes, these are visions of winter, but this holiday was foiled by an Arctic blast with temperatures so cold outside as to be almost unbearable for more than a few minutes.  To make matters worse, the heat in our house was not working properly meaning that we stayed bundled up and spent most of our time in front of the fireplace.  We stood it for two days before the hubby decided he’d had enough of 40 degree temps in the house.  Though weather foiled our stay, it was long enough to capture some of the season’s magic and gave us yet another memory of the time we spend in Maine.

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Maine

Last Flight

Exploring the Moosehead Lake region, we spied a sign pointing down a dirt road to a B 52 Memorial. We couldn’t imagine what that would be, but there was only one way to find out and that was to take the road.
It was a bumpy, dusty ride made tolerable by magnificent fall color .
In the distance were mountains, one of which we commented resembled an elephant. We later learned that it was called Elephant Mountain and was part of what we were about to experience.

Seven miles or so down the road, we arrived at the site to be welcomed by a sign giving indication we were going to experience something we’d not expected.

Before we’d walked too far, we saw what was the first of many airplane parts.

Needless to say that was sobering.

Debris was scattered throughout a heavily wooded area which made us wonder how and when such an obviously devastating accident had occurred.

As we continued further into the area, we became more solemn as even larger remains littered the forest.

At last, we came to the place where some questions were answered. We were surprised that anyone could have survived such a tragic crash and wondered how the survivors were rescued in such an isolated area.

When we returned to the inn later in the day, the first thing we did was research the event. It occurred January 1963 on a routine exercise that you can learn more about here. What was astonishing is that the two survivors withstood -30 degree temperatures in a snowy terrain for hours before being rescued. With today’s sophisticated location equipment they would have been found much sooner.

Needless to say, we were very moved by what we saw and appreciative of the effort to honor the men whose lives were lost.

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Maine

Sunday Wanderings

Me: Hey, we’re running out of time for a last adventure before we go back to Houston.

Hubby: So what do you have in mind?

Me: Hmmm, how about a couple of days at Moosehead Lake?

Hubby: OK, if you can find us a place to stay.

That proved to be a challenge, but luckily Blair Hill Inn had one room available.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur room was beautifully appointed

with spectacular views of the lake and mountains.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, what’s special about the Moosehead Lake region? It is all about the outdoors-fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, hiking-in a pristine environment.

Speaking of hiking, the Appalachian Trail runs through the region and ends at nearby Mount Katadin.

It’s not likely I’ll ever do the entire 2100 mile trek, but I have a bit of it under my belt!

For campers, the area has several state parks with ample campsites.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome folks had seasonal touches which made “roughing” it seem rather homey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike most of Maine, the population is sparse, and Kotadjo states it best!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s said that moose outnumber humans 3:1, but we saw nary a one. Only a lone deer crossed our path.

When we got to Kotajdo, it was about lunch time and there wasn’t much on the road ahead of us. That meant stopping here where an enterprising soul provided staples for hunters and fishermen and served a few sandwiches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA. We were the only people there whose dress gave us away as visitors. When our Texas license plate was noted, there was some surprise we weren’t driving a pickup!

The Moosehead Lake region is unspoiled, and every effort is made to keep it that way. Whenever there is a proposal to increase development be it residential or wind farms, it meets strong resistance.

While that may not seem like progress, it is one of the reasons Maine is one of this country’s gifts when it comes to natural beauty.

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Maine, Random

Sunday Wanderings

From miles around, folks follow the road signs to Beth’s, a farm market with all things fresh and local. For me, it’s a 30 mile round trip worth every mile and the time it takes to get there.

This time of year Beth’s is a real treat as the market is loaded with much of what is perfect for fall decor.

There are pumpkins and gourds galore which makes it very hard to choose just a few.

Many of the pumpkins have names that are both perfectly descriptive

And tickle the funny bone. To tell the truth I didn’t think these were so ugly and added them to my cart.

No way were a couple of these being left behind!  Now there will have to be a ladies lunch to show them off.

Inside Beth’s is a wonderland of interesting produce all grown on the premises.

When there’s so much to choose from the real challenge is not to overbuy.

That’s a challenge I’m seldom able to meet as one of everything wants to jump in my basket.

When the basket can hold no more, I join the crowd in line and start thinking about creative ways to use everything. That’s part of the fun!

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Boating, Maine

Between Happy and Sad

I like many things about fall. Rich color and texture, the smell of wood smoke, falling leaves on morning walks, pumpkins and gourds, the feel of fleece against my skin, morning coffee in front of a fire all make me happy, BUT there are some things that make me sad.
img_2391Early October means putting Pipe Dreams into winter storage and that symbolizes the loss of something I love about being in Maine.
Among my happiest moments are those when we leave Rockport Harbor behind and go exploring. Sadly, this is the last outing and the memory will have to last through the winter.
As we venture out, I see sights that are so familiar yet manage to look different every time. In the distance overlooking Penobscot Bay is Beech Hill, today shrouded by mist.
Heading out to the bay we pass Indian Island with its now inoperable lighthouse. Changing light and shifting tides always make me think I’m seeing it for the first time.
Perry CreekOur plan is to spend the night on the boat so we go to Perry Creek, a favorite spot. It’s a popular boating destination, but tonight the summer crowd is gone and all is quiet except for a soft breeze blowing through the trees and the sound of water gently lapping against the hull.
That makes it very easy to relax while the hubby and I enjoy predinner snacks and a game or two of backgammon. Yes, life is good.
We called it a day beneath a star filled sky, but we woke to a world blanketed in fog and with its own kind of beauty.

Close by a heron lingered patiently as if waiting for it to clear.

After a while a gull left its perch to check things out.

We sat munching a simple breakfast and watching the tranquil morning unfold around us.

Times like this are such special gifts, but nothing lasts forever so when the fog cleared we headed back to Rockport Harbor, and I savored every glimpse of places that I love.

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Maine

Destination: Morse’s

One thing I’ve gotten used to in Maine is driving from here to there whether it be to Portland for a city fix or to a favorite destination in the countryside.  

There are a number of places in the middle of what seems like nowhere.  One such is Morse’s, described by the sign as a little German restaurant.

It is that and so much more.  Shelves are filled with goodies, many specialties from Germany and other European countries.  

The deli is one of my all time favorites.  There are oodles of cheeses and pates and sausages making it very hard to choose one or two.  Never do I go to Morse’s without coming out with  bags full.

What Morse’s is best known for locally is its house made sauerkraut.  I’m not usually a big fan, but theirs, as the sign says, can’t be beat.

Since Morse’s is a restaurant, it’s impossible to go there and not have breakfast or lunch.  The hubby always likes something with German sausage.

Me, I can never resist a Reuben sandwich loaded with corned beef and Morse’s delicious sauerkraut.

As many good places to eat as there are in Houston, I love what Maine has to offer.  The eateries are unpretentious and it’s hard to find one where the food isn’t delicious.

Morse’s is one that is on the top of my list. Maine 2009 3 

Getting there has as an extra bonus rural countryside that is particularly beautiful this time of year.

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Dishing It and Digging It