We went back to Freeport, our second visit, and discovered more about the town. It is quite nice, sophisticated with all amenities one could need. Note the very prim and proper McDonald’s.
On our way back from the Maritimes, we stayed there again, our third visit, and made another discovery; there are sand dunes in Freeport. We stayed at the Dunes RV Park and walked the one-mile loop around the dunes which happened because a farmer, back in the early 1700s, failed at land management, causing the land to revert back to sand that was its foundation. The winds caused the dunes to grow over the years and to retract over later years. It is now a small area of sand that will probably be taken over again by fertile soil.
During a day trip to Portland, Me, we took a tour of the city where we saw the state’s tallest building – 17 stories!! And the Fore River which separates Portland from South Portland.
We visited Bangor primarily to see Stephen King’s house; he is the main attraction for that area of the state. We took the one mile walk on the Orono Bog Boardwalk, our first bog. The plants and scenery were beautiful. On our way out of town we drove by the 31-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan.
From Bangor we headed back down to the beautiful Maine coastline to visit the famous Mount Desert Island, home of scenic Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, and Cadillac Mountain. We were surprised to see the island is practically all mountains with little towns around the perimeter. We drove the entire perimeter to see all the towns. We could only drive through Bar Harbor because with the heavy traffic there was no place to park. We did note one store with an interesting name, a lingerie shop named “Bra Harbor.” We stopped at several beaches, at Sullivan, Winter Harbor, Bucksport and the beautiful Asticou Inn for lunch where I had my first popover.
We also visited Campobello Island, the summer home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. We toured the house of 40 rooms. The island is jointly owned by the US and Canada. And we found a beautiful little seaside town, Castine, Me, that has been occupied continuously since the 1600s. The houses, some very old, are so beautiful and the town is filled with history markers making the visit even more interesting. It is now the home of the Maine Maritime Academy.
From there, we went to Eastport, one of our favorite towns, a delightful place, right on the ocean’s edge with a tide of about 20 feet, the highest we had seen. We could sit at the dock and watch seals swim by and whales coming partially out of the water. We also saw a “murder of crows” there, the first time we had seen that many crows in one place. Very noisy!
Everyone came out at night to see the seals and whales so it was easy to meet neighbors. One couple, who had lived in Eastport, then went to New Zealand, were there on a visit. The female of the couple was continuing to give away all her possessions and brought with her a leather pouch containing “wampum” that she wanted to give back to the Passamaquoddy Indians in that area, for their museum. I could not remember what wampum was so she explained and invited us to their cottage to see it. You can see from the pic below, it was trinkets made from shells, used as money by the Indians. The Indian family came to get the wampum as we left the cottage.
On our way back from the Maritime Provinces, we came back to Maine specifically to visit Baxter State Park, which I will cover in the next post. For now, I just want to say how much we loved Coastal Maine, it is just beautiful. Some of the beaches are rocks, some are sand and some are stones of various sizes, but all are beautiful.
Most of Maine’s 1.3 million people live along the coastline. The center and up north is all forest and parks. It was warmer than we had expected, and the residents were complaining about it. It was more humid than we expected. Some days felt like being in the south, but mostly the weather was pleasant.
The people we met were very nice and friendly and the seafood delicious!