Orange is the Primary Colour

Driving from coastal Maine westward to New Hampshire, the foliage colours began to change a bit more. Even though I was totally enjoying myself along the coast, I did look forward to seeing some fall foliage as I moved inland.

I drove from Rockport to Maine’s capital Augusta, then continued on some small country roads towards Bethel and Gilead before crossing the State line to Gorham, New Hampshire. It was a pleasure driving through these more remote parts of the country, for the routes offer some gratifying scenery:

Driving thru MaineCountry road in MaineBut it was the colour orange on the ground that caught my eyes. From afar, they were tiny orange dots in the field:

Tiny orange dots on the groundA bit closer I knew, of course, that was a pumpkin patch. And it was orange that would be the predominant colour everywhere, in towns and in the country.

On flatbeds and wagons:

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Or laid out neatly in arrays on grass:

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arrays

In various shapes and forms:

DSC_0508At door fronts, entrances, in hanging baskets and shop windows:

EntrancesHanging Basket

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Or in the form of pumpkin people:

DSC_0552DSC_0784Or as pumpkin elves like these two sitting outside Elf Academy:

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No wonder there’s a shortage of pumpkins in the U.S. as the demand is so high. With recent crops diminished by record rain, there arose a pumpkin shortage. Help is on the way though. Here’s a recent headline on CBC News Business section:

“Canadian pumpkin patches poised to fix U.S. lack-o’-lanterns problem.”

What are neighbors for?

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This is my Saturday Snapshot October 17 entry. Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.

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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:

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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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Lobster, Lobster

In pouring rain I drove north from Wayland, MA on Interstate 95 to Portland, Maine, about 120 miles. As I came close to the city, anxiously looking for exits with the car wipers at the fastest speed, I saw a sign in a distance with a digital message. I strained to check out what it was saying, could be crucial information. Soon I got close enough to read this alert: “Rain Pounding on Road” Thanks. That was helpful.

A bit later after I exited and entering Portland, I was met with another warning sign: “Flash flooding in some intersections”. Thanks again. Which ones?

After a few tense moments, we found our way to an Arabica Café, calmed down with a latté and regrouped. In this weather, no sight-seeing around town was possible, so might as well drive to our next destination, a must-see, pounding rain or not. That’s New Harbor in the eastern tip of Maine, about 70 miles from where we were. What’s the bait? Lobster of course… and, Kevin Costner.

Earlier on I came across the website epicurious (love the name), Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Wharf in New Harbor was listed as one of their 7 favorite lobster shacks in Maine, and the tidbit that it’s one of the filming locations of the movie Message In A Bottle. So obviously, the motivation to get me driving all that 70+ miles in the rain under a dark grey sky was not just the lobster but Kevin Costner… oh, throw in Paul Newman as well.

Here’s the place at the end of a long and winding road along coastal Maine in fading daylight:

Shaw's Fish & Lobster WharfA view from the dock:

Costner New HarborInside the bar, a movie poster:

Movie PosterProduction Photosand some production photos (See Paul Newman in the middle?)

Since it was getting late, we decided to take out instead of eat there. And so we did, heading out to our rental car with two cooked live lobsters (oxymoron?), drawn butter, paper plates, and a lobster cracker kindly thrown in for us, all for $30. Not a bad deal.

Just as we congratulated ourselves on our triumphal exit with lobsters and Costner poster photo, we saw the iPhone on which we’d so depended for its GPS to be not in service. Now we had to find our way out of this remote place before darkness totally engulfed us. It’s not as easy as you might think. It felt like forever for us to find our way back to the main road and headed north for another 40 miles to our motel in Rockport. It seemed a much longer drive when you had two cooked live lobsters in the back seat.

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Another seafood restaurant I can whole-heartedly recommend is Archer’s on the Pier in Rockland, ‘the lobster capital of the world’. Just a 12-minute drive south of our motel in Rockport, Archer’s lobster is one of the best I’ve tasted for as long as I can remember. Of course a bit pricier than Costner’s place, but well worth it with all the extras, corn cob, coleslaw…

ArchersArcher's Livethe location and the view:

Archer's deck

A tasty catch

Archer's view

I haven’t seen much fall foliage yet but that’s ok. It’s been a delicious journey so far.

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