Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mount Kineo

In our pursuit of getting out State Park Passport book stamped at all the State Parks in Maine, yesterday we struck out for one that has been on my bucket list my whole life...Mount Kineo.  The biggest reason I'd never been there is because for all intents and purposes Mount Kineo is an island in Moosehead Lake.
In its heyday Kineo was a summer destination for the very wealthy, those who take the summer off and spend it at a New England resort.  There are a few of those remaining like Mount Washington in New Hampshire.  You can click this link to see what the Mount Kineo Hotel looked like and also so you can compare the area then to the pictures I took yesterday with the hotel gone.  (Wish I could have seen it)
So our journey began by driving an hour plus to Greenville, at the bottom of the enormous Moosehead Lake.  Arriving at lunch time we just happened upon a food truck selling authentic French crepes.  Authentic?  Yes, the lady making them had a very distinct French Canadian accent, something not so uncommon in Maine.
Then we drove another 20 minutes up along the western side of Moosehead to the tiny town of Rockwood, which sits about halfway up the lake and is where you can catch the shuttle boat over to Kineo.  These first few pics are taken from Rockwood.



It's not as difficult to get to this beautiful place as I thought.  It's 10 bucks apiece for a roundtrip ticket to the island, about 10 minutes each way.   Yes, after a 15 minute walk to the bottom of the trailhead up the mountain, up indeed we did go.  I am so proud of Shelly because she did climb this sucker with me.  The following pictures are taken by yours truly at various vantage points along the rim looking back onto the spit of land where the hotel once stood and now has some very nice private summer residences and a little golf course.
Looking back at Rockwood






I can't believe I almost forgot to mention that we saw many Peregrine falcons soaring along these cliffs.  Once I saw seven of them together.  The last couple of photos were taken from spots where I was able to look down on the falcons flying.  Alas, I could never get them on film.
The last picture from yesterday is taken from the deck of the clubhouse while having a well-deserved beer.

As a bonus for you, if you'd like more, go below the fold and see a few pictures we took last weekend at Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde.  You may recognize this lighthouse if you've ever seen a little-known movie called Forest Gump.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Downeast

If you've been following my travelogues, you know that what has precipitated some of these trips around Maine is that we (Shelly and I) picked up a State Park Passport, a little booklet that has the State Parks divided by regions of the State with a place to get each park stamped when you visit.  You may also know that Shelly loves lighthouses...in fact, has a tattoo on her foot of the West Quoddy Light, even though she'd never seen it in person.
Well, there are five State Parks in what is referred to as Downeast Maine.  So we decided to make a weekend of collecting those five and visit some lighthouses and Campobello (you've heard of Campobello, right?)  So we packed our real passports, made reservations at a B&B in Lubec for Saturday night and headed out.
I'll start at the end first:  On the way home Sunday we had planned on visiting the last two State Parks near Machias and taking a quick detour to Prospect Harbor and Winter Harbor to see another lighthouse.  Well, there's also a lighthouse on a little island just offshore in Cutler.  So I decided to take the scenic route to Machias via Cutler to see if we might be able to see that lighthouse from the shore.  Unfortunately, I ran over something that cut a tire, which cut the rest of our weekend off right there.  So we'll have to go back down there again.  No bigs since Shel would like to go whale watching anyway.
So I'm just going to write a quick outline of our tour and post a shitload of pictures in the order they were taken.  Our first stop was at Cobscook State Park in Dennysville on the western shore of Cobscook Bay.  Nice spot for camping and I took a couple pictures there...nothing too spectacular.  Then on to Shackford Head State Park in Eastport.  We hiked a half mile to the head and took a few pictures with a nice shot of Lubec across the bay.  Eastport and Lubec are about three miles apart as the crow flies across the bay but 35 miles apart by car.  I took a few pictures in Eastport and we had lunch at The Happy Crab...the best lobster rolls ever.
Then back around the loop through Dennysville to get to Lubec and cross the international bridge onto Campobello Island, New Brunswick.  There's a lighthouse, Mulholland Light, just on the other side of the bridge where you can look back at the village of Lubec across the channel.  There's also a little lighthouse right in the channel, the Lubec Channel Light aka The Sparkplug.  It's a caisson style lighthouse and you'll see a couple of distant pictures of it.
We hustled to the other end of the island because to get to see East Quoddy Headlight aka East Harbour Light, you need to go at low tide because at high tide it sits on an island and you can't walk to it.  This is the Bay of Fundy, where tides change by 20 feet.  You'll see from the pictures what an excursion it was to get to what is arguably the prettiest lighthouse you'll ever see.  You'll see pictures not only of the lighthouse but also of all the ladders, staircases, bridge and rocks you have to navigate.  Every picture of a staircase is a different staircase.
Then we headed back toward Lubec, stopping for a tour of FDR's family summer "cottage."  Lots of history there and well worth a trip.  We then checked into our B&B and went to the village to find some grub. 
The next morning we went to West Quoddy Lighthouse and walked a trail along the cliff shore.  You'll get a good perspective of the rocky coast of Maine and you can see the Island of Grand Manan, NB in the background.  (Maybe another trip?)  You already know what happened after that.  I hope you enjoy these pictures.  Make sure you click into them to really appreciate how beautiful this area at the easternmost area of the United States really is.
You'll have to click the following page break to get to the pictures.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I hope you like lighthouses

I hope you like lighthouses because this post will be pictures of lighthouses that we visited last year, and also because we're going on a little road trip next weekend to the easternmost points in the US and crossing over into Canada to see Campobello.  But you'll have to wait for that until next weekend.



I threw one in of the ferry that took us from Lincolnville on a 15 minute ride to the island of Isleboro, where the first thing you see upon arrival is the above lighthouse.
This is an island that's in the mouth of Penobscot Bay and apparently where John Travolta has a house.
This is Brown's Head Light on the Island of Vinalhaven.  It's owned by the town and is the residence for the Town Manager.  That land you see in the background is the island of North Haven.  Some day I'll take the ferry there.



These four pictures are of the Bass Harbor Light on the southern tip of Mount Desert Island, where Acadia National Park sits.  Shel and I were there last spring, I think.



Click on the picture of look between the trees.
These are of the lighthouse at Owl's Head near Rockland or taken from inside the lighthouse looking, one, back toward Rockland and, two, out towards Vinalhaven.
Taken of the Rockland Breakwater Light from the ferry on my way out to Vinalhaven.  You could also walk the breakwater to get to this.
And these last few are taken of the Fort Point Light and bell tower in Stockton Springs last summer, with a Shelly cameo, of course.

Oops, and a Zeb finger cameo


Thursday, May 08, 2014

Just sharing some pics around Maine

So looking at the last blog post before Portsmouth and looking at what pictures there are on my phone since, I see a few you might like from little day trips last summer and fall, and a couple thrown in that I've taken while working.
I get to see some tremendous sights while working but I won't take pictures of views from someone's backyard, even if they're never around, which I'm sure you can understand.  I'll describe each of these and where they are.

This is  a work photo.  Taken from Vinalhaven, an island, looking down the Fox Thoroughfare, which runs between Vinalhaven and the island of North Haven.  This tiny lighthouse just sits on a rock.  It can be rented for the weekend.

Speaking of Vinalhaven, how about a lobstah trap Christmas tree near the ferry landing.



Again, from Vinalhave, two pics taken of a tiny little private cove on a remote section of the island.


Taken at the Sunken Bridge and reversing falls area of Blue Hill.  That's Shelly.

The Deer Isle/Stonington Bridge, taken from the Deer Isle side.  The other side is Sedgwick.  So you'd think it'd be called the Sedgwick/Deer Isle Bridge, but it's a bridge to the island of Deer Isle, which has two towns -- Deer Isle and Stonington.




Finally, for now (I've got enough to do another just of lighthouse pics), more in Central Maine.  These four were taken around Skowhegan and the Kennebec River, including the wire walking bridge, the "famous Indian", the truly famous old Lakewood Theater with a Shelly cameo.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Portsmouth NH

Sorry that I haven't been using this and will try to go back and do some posts filling in some of our other travels since the last post.
As you may have seen on BoSox Tavern, Shel and I finished our weekend with a Sox game at Fenway.  You can read about that part of the trip on that blog post.  The trip idea did begin with me deciding and buying Sox tickets but then we decided, since neither of us had spent anytime in Portsmouth -- a quaint little city we'd heard plenty about -- that we'd take a day off from work, drive down that far and spend the day and night before going to Fenway.
If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and spend a day in Portsmouth.  It is a quaint, beautiful little city that has retained much of its history, from so many houses and downtown buildings built over the centuries, to Strawberry Banke, a living history city block.
There are a couple dozen buildings in Strawberry Banke with character actors in many, showing how life would've been there (the original name of Portsmouth) over the last few centuries.
Another piece of history is the Memorial Bridge, where we were lucky enough to see it in action from the city park.


We started our visit with a detour to see the lighthouse in Newcastle (she loves lighthouses), which sits inside a Coast Guard station that was part of an old fort protecting the area.  This is where most, if not all of my photos were taken.  We finished our sightseeing day with a fabulous dinner at a Latin American/Spanish fusion restaurant called Brazo and a wonderful rest at a boutique hotel made from an old downtown mansion called The Hotel Portsmouth.
Hope you enjoy the pictures.

took this one from one part of the old fort

you can see part of the old fort in the foreground

Look closely, that little knob just left of the lighthouse is another small one way in the distance on an island

Shel by a sign describing one of the oldest houses in NH

Memorial Bridge

Looking back across the Piscataqua River, across an island and you can see the Navy Yard and the old naval prison

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Happy birthday to me

Spent a nice day with my sweetie doing a little sightseeing, checking another park off our State Park Passport and getting beat at putt putt golf (by just one stroke).  Now watching some Nascar and relaxing.  Hope you have a great August 18 also and enjoy the pictures.

Old Fort Halifax in Winslow

Bridge plate and look at the Sebasticook River as it meets the Kennebec River

Train tressel across the Sebasticook

Fort Halifax from the train tressel

Across the Kennebec to the old Hathaway shirt factory

Closer shot with the Waterville/Winslow bridge on the right.  Can also see the rapids and another train tressel