Day 29 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways
I survived my stay at Walmart last night. I don’t recall ever spending the night in a parking lot, thus I was slightly nervous. Despite a few other campers being around and security cameras everywhere, I didn’t pop the top to VANilla last night just in case I needed to drive away quickly. The dogs and I fit snuggly and warmly together downstairs! I think VANilla may stay 10 degrees warmer with the top down which is nice when it is 39 degrees outside on the Maine Coast.
Today we continued up the Maine coast from Rockland to Camden where we walked around downtown, through a park, and by the harbor. In attempt to find a cache by the harbor, we crossed too many muggles to succeed. It was a magnetic, micro cache which meant it was small and probably attached below a bench seat that someone was warming up. I’m certain I would have gotten a few stares if I crouched down and looked underneath them. Maybe I’ll get it on my way back down the Maine coast. After an enjoyable stroll in Camden, we headed to Camden Hills State Park, just a few miles away.
Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park is home to Mt. Battie where I met Betty. Betty just celebrated her granddaughter’s wedding in Kennebunk, Maine, and was spending the next week with her college roommate traveling Maine and Quebec. They are in Bar Harbor tonight, not far from the Walmart parking lot in which I’ll be camping, though I’m certain they are enjoying a bed and breakfast! Betty lives in Scottsdale and offered me a bed and shower when I pass through next February.
Now, a little about the park. Mt. Battie offers a fabulous view of Camden Harbor and trails abound through the park. My mutts dragged me over the boulders, past the ferns and through the fall foliage for an hour before we returned to VANilla to find our next destination, Castine.
Penobscot Narrows Bridge
On the way to Castine, the highway curved along the Maine coast, passed through inlets one foot above sea level and crossed many bridges. One bridge is known as the Penobscot Narrows Bridge where a roadside pullout is accessible to capture the scene. A small cache is also located at this overlook. Despite all the tourists, I grabbed it from the guard rail without being noticed. Everyone was staring in awe at the bridge.
In addition to the beautiful bridge, the waterway here marks a historical event. In 1779, the largest combined infantry-naval operation undertaken by the American colonists met with disaster. Two thousand colonials failed to capture Fort George at Castine. The Americans burned or sank over 40 of their own vessels before they fled the site.
Castine on the Maine Coast
Reader’s Digest describes Castine as a place to “spend time sitting on the benches that overlook the town’s peaceful dock”. I thought this town would be just the right place for a bowl of clam chowder or a lobster roll at a seafood shack on the harbor. Unfortunately, this time of year most places were closed up. I don’t even think I took a picture!
Holbrook Island Sanctuary
We pressed on to Holbrook Island Sanctuary. Wow, was it remote! I felt like I was at the Indian Conservation Area in Missouri again, except this time at least I found a pit toilet and a picnic area where the dogs ran around. This may sound morbid, but anytime I arrive at such a secluded place, I think of how easily a pshyco could dispose of my body. Or I could just as easily trip, fall, and never be found.
Maine probably doesn’t want such a description used in a travel blog, but when traveling alone, I can’t help but express words of caution once in awhile. I can imagine with a group of friends, Holbrook Island Sanctuary would be a wonderful place to enjoy nature’s tranquility as I bet half the Maine coast residents don’t know it exists. Gina my GPS doesn’t!
Stonington on the Maine Coast
After a short time at the Sanctuary, we took a long drive to another harbor town on the Maine Coast called Stonington. In the late 1800’s, Stonington was a bustling mining town where pink granite was extracted from the quarries and used in several structures along the East Coast. Currently, Stonington is geared toward the sea as evidenced by the fishing boats, lobster traps, and canneries lining the harbor, as well as, the fish smell wafting through the brisk air. I’m certain I could have found a fresh fish dinner here. Instead, I headed toward my final resting place for the evening, the Walmart in Ellsworth. I’m excited for tomorrow as I will be spending the day at Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. ETB
Map of My Road Trip Across the USA
For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.
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