Camden, ME: A Gem of a Town

The scenic drive from Rockport (last post) led me to the town of Camden where I was welcomed with free parking everywhere. A walk down the streets could make you feel you’re stepping right into a movie set.

Camden's Main Street

Camden's Street

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Camden Harbor

But the stunning view came later when I drove up to the summit of Mt. Battie in the Camden Hills State Park. There at the highest point of the town, a panorama of Penobscot Bay and its surrounding countryside was fully displayed:

The Summit

View from the top 3

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View from the top 4That was the same breathtaking view a young aspiring poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950) beheld, inspiring her to write the famous poem “Renascence”. Her epiphany at the top of Mt. Battie set off a poetic expedition which eventually led the Poet to the literary summit of a Pulitzer in 1923. There on the mountain top was this plaque honoring ‘America’s finest lyric poet.’

Edna St. Vincent Millay Plaque“And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.
I screamed, and—lo!—Infinity
Came down and settled over me…”

– lines from “Renascence”

Every time I feasted my eyes and mind, my stomach would in turn crave for my attention. So after a lingering at this inspiring site, I went down the slope back to town and found my way to the popular Cappy’s Chowder House. There I had the best chowder of my life: A Lobster/Oyster/Mussel/Seafood Chowder, yes, all of them in a Cappy’s cup for $9.99

Best ChowderAll substanceA good finish to a rewarding day.

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Scenic Drive from Rockport to Camden, ME

Rockport and Camden used to be one town at the mid-coast of Maine. Now separated as two but are still joined closely with easy access. The Maine Route 1 could lead me from Rockport in the south up to Camden in just 6 minutes, but I chose to drive into Camden using the side streets, the scenic route, more slowly, stopping for photos along the way.

The day broke grey but I was grateful that despite the overcast sky, there was no rain. Actually, after that wet pounding on I95 to Portland the day before, all the rest of the driving in my road trip was breezy and enjoyable.

The scenic route from Rockport to Camden was particularly memorable. Here’s a view out to Rockport Harbor along the drive:

Rockport Harbor 2

And what I saw as I looked down to the ground was an unusual sight, for me anyway:

Fallen ApplesApples everywhere:

Apples among rocks Coming from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Western Canada, I’d never seen so many apples fallen from trees, covering the lawn. I mean, they were not tiny Crabapples which are common back home, but big ones that I usually associate with orchards, but not at a harbor or marina.

Apples everywhereWhat I did connect though was the huge number of apple pies they could make…

From Route 1 heading north I turned off Pascal Avenue, then followed the scenic loop beginning with Central, then Russel, Limerock and Union. Once on Russel Avenue, I came to the Aldermere Farm, a landmark of mid-coast Maine. The farm is the world’s premier breeders of Belted Galloway cattle, or ‘Belties’, a breed originated from Southwest Scotland.

Aldermere FarmThese white-belted cattle sure made one whimsical picture as they lazed on lush green pastures… think Oreo cookies in a large dish of wasabi:

2. White-belted cowsSeeing I had a camera, this ‘beltie’ showed off how to scratch an itch with no hands:

How to scratch an itchScratch againThe foliage was still overwhelmingly green, making the few sporadic splashes of orangey-red even more inviting, confirming to me, yes, I was a week or two early. No matter, this kind of a setting was pure joy, even just for a look. And yes, the grass is always greener on the other side…

Greener Grass

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