Which did we see first- the chick or the egg?

When the sign is out; the eggs are in!

When the sign is out; the eggs are in!

Along the road we often take between Nobleboro and Bremen sits a house with an inviting sign.

We stopped and got to talking with the couple who live there, raising chickens, sheep and growing veggies. So many homes seem to do some version of this, including lobstering and selling massive mounds of firewood.

And yes, we have the answer to, “why did the chicken cross the road?” In this case it’s because the road cuts through the 20-plus acres and for some reason the owners put the chicken ranch across the road from the house. Mostly I think the reason is that the other hens and the rooster gang up on one and she needs to flee fast!

The chicken Ranch

The chicken Ranch sits across the road from the house

 

chicks cross road; stops traffic

chicks cross road; stop traffic

We learned that chickens can do a hard molt or a soft molt. Soft is losing and re-growing feathers a few at a time, while hard molt means they get bare-naked no feathers, feel very uncomfortable and need plenty of protein to get those new feathers re-grown quickly.

Rhode Island Red chick- sooo sweet!

Rhode Island Red chick- sooo sweet!

Cute chick, but we needed eggs and it’s been a long time since we’d eaten farm fresh eggs. The blue ones are laid by Aracaunas; they have noticeable feather tufts near their ears, and no tail.

The variety pack is always what you get

The variety pack is always what you get

These are all a solid orange; the Aracauna yolk is the deepest orange one at bottom right. Difference in taste? You bet. If you can get fresh eggs locally; do it.

Regular grocery store eggs are never this orange

Regular grocery store eggs are never this orange

 

 

 

 

Out and About Along the Mid-Coast

We have a date! A launch date that is: Thursday June 4 at noon at the Pine St launching ramp in Waldoboro. Maine Cat wanted us to bring Ms. Ortolan down river to the mooring at Broad Cove so we would get to watch the process from factory pickup, along Rte 32 (often marked “Frost Heave”) to the all-tide launch ramp. The tide range would be 11 ft that day!! The other day on our way to Friendship to sight-see and beach-comb we stopped to scope out the ramp. High tide coincides with launch time; excellent planning!

Low tide at the launch ramp

Low tide at the launch ramp

Too late I thought to mark where we are. Find the red dot for Nobleboro; below it and south of Rte 1 is Pemaquid Pond (not labeled) we are near the top on the right hand shore.

Mid-Coast: Brunswick through Penobscot Bay

Mid-Coast: Brunswick through Penobscot Bay

Over the past month we’ve had time for sightseeing, hiking, checking out the local egg selections and lobster offerings. We’ve enjoyed a front row seat for a wedding and reception at the campground; decidedly low-budget but everyone was enjoying the warm sunny day. Those who could, came with their campers for the night.

Fort Edgecomb on Sheepscot River by Wiscasset

Fort Edgecomb on Sheepscot River by Wiscasset

We brought a picnic lunch and were happy to find picnic tables overlooking the bluff-perfect.

Sheepscot River- no vessel would get past the fort

Sheepscot River- no vessel would get past the fort

 

The best around!

The best around!

 

first of the season- he or she?

first of the season- he or she?

Aboca Beads sits on Main St Damariscotta along with an inviting selection of shops, cafes, barber shops, salons, and a fantastic book store that is up for sale. Naturally I had to visit the bead shop and then we walked around, coming upon a small lobster shack selling a variety of lobster items and fresh ones for $9/lb. As high as that price is, it was less than the $10.49 we’d seen and passed on at another place.

But for our money we got lobster learned. I never thought about it, but the larger claw can be on either side so lobsters can be left or right-handed as well as soft or hard and male or female.

 

Caution- LOW ceiling

Caution- LOW ceiling

While I hit the bead shop Russ ducked into this barber shop; formerly the customs house many years ago when this waterfront space was only a large dock overlooking the harbor between Damariscotta and Newcastle. In another incarnation it operated as a seafood market and the owners poured concrete, which raised the floor. A small eatery then came along, flooring added, so now anyone over 6 ft tall needs to stoop and grab a chair fast.

Complicated bottle return at Hannaford

Complicated bottle return at Hannaford

 

All this for returns at 5 to 15 cents each??

All this for returns at 5 to 15 cents each??

 

The campground (surprisingly) does not recycle but we always have plenty to recycle and wanted to find place to take it.

Maine is serious about recycling (or keeping the roadsides clean) and levies a 15 cent deposit on wine and hard booze. We generally don’t bother with returning bottles, just recycle them with all the rest.

But get a load of the lengthy return  process that one smart company talked Hannaford into. Buy a special bag, get a card, bring your bag in, and days later when your returns are processed you get credit for the bag cost and the bottle deposits. I think that’s the simple explanation. If you only have a few bottles, you can see customer service to get a smaller bag.  The other option is taking your bottles to a redemption center and wait in line. We are collecting our returnables and will  visit a center before we leave here. The store provides bins for other plastic, glass and paper items so we bring a bag every trip.

Whaleback Shell Midden- exposed shells after artifact digging

Whaleback Shell Midden- exposed shells after artifact digging

 

Larger shell midden across the river

Larger shell midden across the river

 

lobster traps recycling

lobster traps recycled into unique seating

 

Lobster club at Happy Clam

Lobster club at Happy Clam

After visiting Port Clyde and the Marshall Point Lighthouse, we needed lunch! Tenant’s Harbor, a few miles away in the direction we needed to go, offered one dining option and we took it. Russ chose the Lobster Club and I must say, from the tiny nibble I was allowed, it was darn tasty!

 

The  Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta

The Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta

Rising Tide felt just like Foodworks in Old Saybrook and even more so like the Middlebury, VT Natural Foods Co-op; the only thing missing was Benj, Lily and a busy deli counter!

Motorhome Annie’s musical selections: XM 7 Seventies, Blue Man Group. From the iDevice: MeccaLily’s Breath of Life album, Norah Jones

Port Clyde and Marshall Pt Lighthouse- May 25

Low tide at Port Clyde

Low tide at Port Clyde

The area we are in is called Maine’s mid-coast. I am not sure why but Port Clyde seems to be a very well-known place even though it lacks the bustle and plethora of shops of Boothbay Harbor or the cultural scene of Rockland. Maybe that’s the charm. :-)

When I was a very much younger child I visited Port Clyde (along with other Maine locations) with Mom and Dad, so I was curious to see what might be recognizable, or not. I recalled tall docks with lobster traps (and I guess back then the traps were wood?), a few shops and a green building.

Ferry to Monhegan Island departs from Port Clyde

Ferry to Monhegan Island departs from Port Clyde

Seaglass was lying around waiting for us to pick up those precious pieces; a few even looked old and were properly smoothed by sand and water.

Linda Bean’s Lobster Traps called to us. What the heck are those you say? I’d been seeing ads in the paper for Linda Bean’s café; was this a Bean of THE L.L. Bean fame? Ah yuh, sure was. We wandered into the most inviting and practically only shop in town, the Port Clyde General Store and yes, it was green.  and Linda Bean'sRoughly equal parts grocery, café, and gift shop, the upstairs contained a small art gallery. On the wall leading up I stopped to admire Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World”, one of the best-known American paintings of the middle 20th century. It depicts a woman lying on the ground in a treeless, mostly tawny grass field, looking up at a gray house on the horizon; a barn and various other small outbuildings are near the house. I’m sure you know this painting; if I do then anyone would! ( my reason for mentioning this painting will become clear later)
So back to lobster traps; not the type the lobsters crawl into, but edible ones that less creative preparers term lobster ravioli! They scored extremely high on our list of favorite lobster ravs; the filling really was nearly all lobster.

Delightful reading all over the package

Delightful reading all over the package

Linda Bean's Edible Lobster Traps

Linda Bean’s Edible Lobster Traps

 

 

The Marshal Point Lighthouse sits on the point; dare I suggest it’s called Marshall Point? Just a couple miles south of Port Clyde. As you can see the lighthouse and keeper’s house were separate and back in the day the walkway was covered. This must have been one of the cushier outposts; not on a rocky god-forsaken island, pleasant living accommodations and a not horribly tall lighthouse to manage.

Marshall Pt Lighthouse- 1832

Marshall Pt Lighthouse- constructed 1832

Forrest Gump fans may recall this walkway.

Forrest Gump fans may recall this walkway.

The house and kitchen addition are now a (free) museum with easy on the eyes displays of local industry, mainly lobstering and quarrying. Family history is important too and we got a huge kick out of seeing our name many times.

How clever is this display of a family tree?

How clever is this display of a family tree?

In late 80's we found and drove around Rackliff Island

In late 80’s we found and drove around Rackliff Island

Our ancestors were very advanced!

Our ancestors were very advanced!

Part of the extensive genealogy research that Russ’s dad compiled, was finding Rackliff Island, located between Rockland and Tenant’s Harbor. I’d remembered that years ago (BB- before Benj) we drove up to spend a few days near Ogunquit, staying at a motel in Wells. The drive to Rackliff Island had to have been long and sans GPS- imagine! But we found it by asking around once we got to Thomaston and drove over a short causeway to a pine tree forested island with a few homes and many lots for sale.

Are these “Rackliff”s related to William Rackliff (Rackleff) or to Russell William Rackliffe? Not sure, but we have enough data to continue the research should the urge overcome us.

One room contained genealogy and notebooks full of local info.. and a gorgeous water view

One room contained genealogy and notebooks full of local info.. and a gorgeous water view

Also in this room sat a table and on it a notebook with pictures and info about the locale filming of the tiny scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest (but Tom’s brother Jim really did the scene) during his coast to coast run, arrives in Maine. Inspired, we watched the movie that night. Near the end is a scene where Jenny approaches her childhood home which is now dilapidated and loaded with bad memories. She begins throwing rocks at it, then collapses on the ground, a la “Christina’s World”. I didn’t make the connection at the time, but a fleeting sense of recognition poked my subconscious.

When we checked it out, wow did that movie have even more historical nods than we’d caught. Savannah, of course was the setting for Forrest on the bench but although the story is set in Alabama I wasn’t sure that the filming happened there. Russ (who has more time and a better, faster iPhone) is our resident researcher and asked me to guess where most of the movie was filmed (the town, Forrest’s home, etc) and digging deep…   I answered, Beaufort, SC! The look he gave me- astounded and amazed!! Eyes could not have been wider- how did you know? Oh just a WAG, but an educated one- hey we’ve been through there more than once. This was just days after I correctly named the location (Wrightsville Beach, NC) of another movie. But I’ve digressed.

Wyeth’s “Christina’s World” was indeed the model for that scene and when you see them side by side; it’s uncanny. Do you think that painting hung for easy viewing at the General Store on purpose? I do. The painting location was Cushing, which is across the St George River from Port Clyde; very local.

Motorhome Annie’s recent musical selections: XM 59 Willie’s Roadhouse, XM 17 James Taylor.

From the iDevice: Kingston Trio, Solid Ground album by Izzy Bradburn, Patsy Cline, Spyro Gyra (formed in the late 1970’s in Buffalo, NY)

Ladies and Gents- Start Your Alewives!

Please don't think I am imitating an alewife!

Please don’t think I am imitating an alewife!

I admit to much-liking the small towns around us; the smaller, older homes, many with plaques proclaiming a pre-1800 date. But when I recall that winter comes in a big way to the northeast, not to mention that the recent epic winter remains a topic of conversation, Maine never makes the list of possible states where we’ll settle down.

Y’all might think the place you live is interesting, maybe even unique, or the birthplace of some well-known person, but I ask you, does your town have an alewife ladder???

Is this thing, 1) a ladder for the tavern-owner’s wife to use to escape drunken brawls; 2) a ladder that leads to the hold in a fisherman’s boat; or 3) a man-made method that allows alewives to migrate to fresh water when a dam blocks their way? Ok that was easy.

But what is an alewife?

They are an anadromous type of herring or shad, which means they live in saltwater but return to fresh water to spawn. They are ten to sixteen inches long; the front of the body is deep and larger than other fish found in the same waters, and its common name is said to come from comparison with a corpulent female tavern keeper. Adult alewives are preferred bait for the spring lobster fishery in Maine, but are typically eaten in smoked form, if at all. Years ago they were salted, packed in barrels and shipped to the West Indies and, more recently they were filleted, pickled and shipped widely as a specialty food. Think I’d pass.

We routinely pick up all the local free newspapers available and for two days over the holiday weekend, the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival would be in full swing. With fresh doughnuts available in the mornings, how could we resist?

We always seek out yummy doughnuts- have you noticed ?

We always seek out yummy doughnuts- have you noticed ?

Damariscotta Mills, located in the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle (north of Rte 1 as opposed to south, where we are), was settled in 1729. A double sawmill was built at the head of the falls between fresh water Damariscotta Lake and the tidal headwaters of the Damariscotta River. Great for the town but lousy for the alewives who couldn’t make their annual migration to fresh water. The legislature said “tut, tut, let those alewives pass” but not until 1807 did the towns construct the ladder and a very basic one at that.

Today’s ladder, which is undergoing an extensive restoration since 2007, rises 42 feet from the bay to the lake. It is composed of 76 resting pools separated by weirs that each rise 8-10 inches. Many have wire covers to keep the seagulls from catching an easy meal. More than one half million will ascend the ladder to spawn.

The upper Lower section of ladder

The upper Lower section of ladder

View from group of people in prior photo, looking left up the ladder

View from group of people in prior photo, looking left up the ladder

The fish ladder touches on private property- good or not?

The fish ladder touches on private property- good or not?

The alewives enter the Damariscotta River in late April and get to the ladder in early May. They wait patiently, coloring the water dark, for their turn to navigate up which, even with the ladder, isn’t easy and only the strongest are successful. Once in the lake each female produces 60,000 – 100,000 eggs which hatch in 3-6 days. Seaward migration occurs between July and November. The juveniles descend the ladder in large schools, typically backing down rather than swimming head first. Now, that I’d like to see.

The fresh water lake at the top

The fresh water lake at the top

The fish are still harvested here, starting the second week of May, and sold as lobster bait which helps the Maine lobster industry in the spring when other fresh bait is scarce.

Harvesting begins second week of May- lots of scooping.

Harvesting begins second week of May- lots of scooping.

The festival offered activities and food for all ages, especially the kids. We didn’t hang around long as Port Clyde called out so we missed the poetry reading and music. A woman who lives nearby wrote a bluegrass style song, “Journey to the Lake”; one line goes, “Hungry osprey are waiting to greet them and the eagles’ circling over the bay.” Not only do the fish need strength, they need luck.

osprey enjoy alewives too

osprey enjoy alewives too

A flock of seagulls hung out (it being low tide when we were there) in the shallows before the ladder area, trying their best to snag a treat.

Gulls try hard to snag a fish

Gulls try hard to snag a fish

 

 

Cats and more cats

Fast moving multi-hull

Fast moving multi-hull

Do you find the origin of words fascinating, or least interesting? I do. Find myself delving into word origins more and more; and hey it’s easy these days. How about this word: “catamaran”? The other night Russ and I tossed around some possible countries of origin and you might be doing the same right now …but we didn’t get it right. Try this: India.

You can check it yourself but here’s the Cliff Notes version: In and around India, vessels which looked to be nothing more than one or two lightweight pieces of wood tied together, were called Kattumarams in the Tamil language. (Tamil is one of 22 languages of India and one of the oldest surviving classical languages in the world). The word meant literally, “tied wood” (from kaṭṭu “to tie” and maram “wood, tree”). When English visitors encountered the swift and stable boats used by the Polynesians two widely spaced canoe-type vessels tied together, the same term was applied and thus today we have catamarans, or “cats” for short.

The same day of the catamaran word history tour, we drove down to lovely Wiscasset then lunched at Mine Oyster in Boothbay Harbor. I walked into only one shop in Boothbay Harbor (yes, I am feeling just fine) where local crafts and other interesting Maine items are sold. One book cover caught my eye; a stunning photo of a Maine Coon cat. Ah yes, the Coon Cat.

Captivating Coon Cat

Captivating Coon Cat

I smiled because if you Google that or do any search for Maine Cat, guess what comes up first? Yep, the Maine Coon Cat, which we never investigated, probably because we were too focused on that Maine Cat catamaran.

That same evening, there we sat at our tiny dinette table, sipping our Happy Hour libations and minding our own business. We sat inside because thanks to a cold front, the day was chilly, chilly and windy, windy. You get the picture. Our window looks out toward…….. not much, just open space, a barn, a few trees (one fallen) and grassy tent sites beyond. Movement caught my eye and I saw what looked like large, furry cat-like creatures; two of them.

He and she Maine Coon Cats

He and she Maine Coon Cats- taken through window so as not to scare them off

We know next to nothing about cats….. but we do love the ones our family and friends have and share such wonderful photos of!! :-) More research was in order and you can just call us your nomadic research assistants for all we routinely Google; most of it we don’t trouble you with!

Russ gets their keen attention

Russ gets their keen attention when he steps outside

Maine Coons are quite special; known as “gentle giants”, they are the largest domesticated cat breed in the U.S. and are now one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.  One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, especially native to Maine where they are the official state cat. Can you believe, a Maine Coon cat won the first North American Cat Show in 1895? Intelligent, excellent hunters with long fuzzy/bushy tails and medium to long hair, the one feature that assures you that you are indeed staring at a Coon cat is their slightly tufted ears. Look carefully at their ears in the above photo: see?

In the photo below you get a good look at the female’s tail. How do I know that she’s the female? At first I just labeled the light-colored one the female, but then …. well Spring IS here and love is in the air. :-)

Pardon me sir; I take the front seat.

Pardon me sir; I take the front seat.

Now about that name; two folk tales seem to be the most popular, with the more ordinary one (naturally) being the more likely. My favorite goes like this: in 1793 when Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, tried to escape from France (probably to her relatives in Quebec :-) ) she brought her beloved Turkish Angora cats with her. She never made it, but her cats – with their nine lives- made it to the Wiscasset shore (weren’t we just there?) where they bred with the local short-haired cats and thus today- oh wait-people who first saw the new version must have seen dark-colored ones and though, “raccoon”. Romantic and all but not very likely.

The generally accepted theory among breeders also involves ships and the sea; perhaps not as boring as I led you believe. A seafaring trading ship Captain, Charles R. Coon often put into port in New England and his brave many-lived long-haired cats traveled with him. In classic literature what happens when a ship stops at a port? The sailors rush to the taverns, eager for brews and wenches. This wild abandon activity would surely include the cats aboard, eager to get away from a ship that offers not one speck of decent kitty litter! When the local population noticed cats similar to the ship’s long-haired cats with a touch of ‘common’, they called these felines “Coon’s Cats”. Take your pick, find another or make up your own story; but if you have a better one, you’d better share.  P.S. I gave Captain Coon the middle initial “R”.

Maine Maritime Museum

MAine Maritime MuseumIn direct contrast to much of Florida, Maine does not have a Walgreens or CVS on every corner. Bet that doesn’t stop Maine folk from being healthy and happy! But allergy med refill time was upon us and the nearest Walgreens sat 40 mins south in Bath. Bath sits on the Kennebec River and is home to Bath Iron Works (BIW), The Maine Maritime Museum, Chocolate Church and a slew of tempting shops, galleries and eateries.

Bath Iron Works’ skilled workers build and repair US Navy warships and we could see a fair amount of work in progress as we drove past.

The huge dry dock at Bath Ironworks is visible in the background

The huge dry dock at Bath Iron Works is visible in the background

Our destination though was…. Can you guess?   The Maine Maritime Museum! A cross between a smaller version of Mystic Seaport and Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the MMM provides an affordable way to experience Bath’s connection to the sea. We learned about shipbuilding, the sea trade, lobstering and the dangers (and thrills) of sea life through exhibits, displays, models and paintings.

wooden carved chain

An amazing accomplishment: carved interlocked “chain” from a single piece of wood

The grounds contain buildings with permanent and changing exhibits, a snack bar, kid’s pirate play ship and human size lobster trap, docks with tour boats, a pier for visiting ships and a full-sized evocation of the Schooner Wyoming. We estimate the museum covers 8-10 acres. During the 1800s, 3 shipyards occupied these acres; one of them built and launched the largest wooden sailing vessel in the U.S., the Wyoming. Amazing how ships could be designed and built from the ground up, starting with, “let’s get those local trees felled and brought in.”

Compare this,

Compare this,

to this, honoring the Wyoming.

to this, honoring the Wyoming.

A precursor to the kayak? the WHYNYMS

A precursor to the kayak? the WHYNYMS

The museum has a reference library upstairs in their main building and it is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment. Today was Thursday so Russ wanted to see what might be dug up on the schooner Ortolan, our boat’s namesake. If you haven’t seen the teeny post way back in 2009 about how we named our boat, click here. Well, we got a hit right off; two Ortolan names came up and one just HAD to be her. The dates and her size fit perfectly with the info we had, but no owner, master or captain’s name was Rackleff (just one of many versions), so that was puzzling.

Needless to say, Russ dug up the document then began an intensive online search. The library provided this: Registered in Wiscasset, 74 ton schooner built 1848, 67 ft long by 17.5 ft wide, unknown builder, Henry Barter listed owner with Isaac Barter as Master in 1849.

From the various records and genealogy data we have or found, we are certain that the two-masted schooner, Ortolan, belonged to Captain William Rackliff who sailed her with his daughter, son William E. and seven others aboard from Portland, ME to San Francisco, CA.

Cap’n William made his living involved in the vast, varied and difficult Maine fishing industry. Seems he, like so many in the mid-late 1800s, felt the call of “the west”. The voyage began in late 1849 (why the rush to head out with winter coming?). Captain and crew survived a broken mast, being chased by pirates :-) and stormy seas around Cape Horn, finally arriving in San Francisco on August 5, 1850. They hung out doing whatever intrepid voyagers did back then, for two months, before sailing north to southern Oregon’s Umpqua River. There they (not sure if the un-named others got off in SF or continued) crossed the bar to sail Ortolan up to the trading center of Scottsburg where they (assuming we are talking Rackleff) settled into farming.

In 1850, Captain Rackleff purchased land, began building a home and sent for his wife and young son who arrived in San Francisco via the Isthmus of Panama. The family was industrious; their Oregon legacy long, their progeny many, their ship building continuous and farming didn’t last but eight years before William, being a seafaring man, built a schooner Twin Sisters and with her began trading and operated a trading post.

So what happened to Ortolan? Apparently the Captain sold her (proof that he owned her and was just not chartering her) in 1852 which was some time after Mary arrived because Ortolan carried her from San Francisco to Oregon. William then purchased a pack of mules to carry supplies; one way only because he sold them soon after. Digging a bit further Russ read an 1860 NY Times tidbit that said a schooner Ortolan, from San Francisco returned from a long-distance unsuccessful gold prospecting trip; “the soil was brilliant with mica, which accounted for the marvelous reports.”

On a vessel level, the take away is that Ortolan left Maine in haste, serving her owners well, then when sold she again proved herself solid and able. On a human level, the take away that I see is you can take the man away from the sea but not for very long!

Duck Puddle Days

arrive at campgroundWe are staying at Duck Puddle Campground on the northeastern shore of Pemaquid Lake, smack in between Damariscotta and Waldoboro. Like you know where that is!! Try this; take I95N to I295N, exit on to Route 1 in Brunswick and follow it north about 31 miles, passing through Bath and Wiscasset as you go. Don’t go to Duck Puddle Pond, oh no that would be too easy; instead, turn at the cute sign where the road leads you to Duck Puddle Road.

The trip was uneventful; wrong turns but a distant memory. The morning was busy though as Anne got a propane fill on our way out and there we noticed that her front tires looked low. A quick detour to R&J Diesel repair had us on our way free of charge to our next stop…… the dreaded fueling up at a “regular” gas station. Oh lordy. The chosen station met all our criteria and then some; it was located in Rhode Island where fuel taxes are lower.

May 1st is opening day here and spring cleanup was in full swing; still is twelve days later. Been a long, cold winter. The campground is 90% seasonal locals with campers/fifth wheel trailers. Maine is hilly and rocky; not at all like flat Florida. Most of the sites have some amount of slope and plenty of treed space between you and your neighbor.

View from office; most campsites are in the pine trees

View from office; most campsites are in the pine trees

Down by the lake

Down by the lake

Fortunately, sites 104 to 110 are totally flat, devoid of any barrier shrubs or trees, close to the entrance with full hook-up, 50amp power. The hook-ups sit at the very back of the site so we had to back in as far as possible. The site drops off behind us and along side us as we took the end spot. The sewer hose just reached. No neighbors yet; probably not until June.

Will it reach??

Will it reach??

Here’s an exciting and not-often viewed sight; the levelers- ooooooh. The driver’s side rear sat in softer dirt and our wood pad was not large enough to spread the load, but we did find a larger piece of paneling lying nearby and used that too. So far we’ve had to jack up that side twice.

Levelers need an assist- another piece of wood would help

Levelers need an assist- another piece of wood would help

Add in the opportunity to once again watch a campground come alive, well, how can you beat that?

How about a visit to Maine Cat in Bremen, the next town over? Ms. Ortolan looked like the fish out of water she was, but with a glimmer of hope that she’d be launched by June 1. Guess that means we will have oodles of time to explore the area.

Inside makes her look larger than life, but not prettier.

Inside makes her look larger than life, but not prettier.

Moody’s famous diner on Rte 1 not very far from Maine Cat, or us. Several visits under our belts already.

The real deal- phone booth, fresh baked goods and great food

The real deal- phone booth, fresh baked goods and great food

4- Berry pie

4- Berry pie

They serve real whipped cream on the side!!

They serve real whipped cream on the side!!

When we visit a new area, Russ tries to find a way to locate walking and hiking trails; usually without much luck. This time was different; he found an aptly named site, mainetrailfinder that pinpointed myriad of trails and walks through-out Maine. Most had some info about them, including length and level of difficulty. I wanted to go for “difficult” but we couldn’t find any nearby. :-)

I begin the ascent up the erratic glacial boulder.

I begin the ascent up the erratic glacial boulder.

Traditional Maine coast view

Traditional Maine coast view

As nice as those trails were, with one meandering close to the rocky shore and an active osprey nest, I needed a dose of beach combing. I knew just where to go for a sure thing. While bending, stooping, peering at and gathering up small pieces of colored glass isn’t most people’s idea of fun, I liken it to a scavenger or treasure hunt. Good quality sea glass is in short supply and I’ve gotten pickier over the past year, but a smooth piece of any color besides white, green or brown is delightful.

Lunch and restorative libations at Morse's Cribstone Grill

Lunch and restorative libations at Morse’s Cribstone Grill

Last August when we cruised the Maine coast, one of our stops was by Orr’s and Baily Islands, joined by the world’s only cribstone bridge. You can read about that stop here, if you missed it.(near the end of the post).  We found a small beach where you could plop down (mid-tide or lower) and find tiny sea glass nuggets all around you. Plus, by the bridge was a good area too and since that’s near Morse’s, how convenient?