Monday, October 6, 2008

2008 October Trip-Days 5 thru 6

The morning turned out colder than the previous mornings, about 35F/1.5C. The wind was blowing harder and, with the wind chill, was about 25F/-4C. We immediately made some good hot coffee, packed up the truck, took our morning showers and hit the road. We really enjoyed Mt. Desert Island, Acadia National Park and the Bar Harbor area. The locals were exceptionally nice and went out of their way to help us in most every way. Our next area to explore is the northern portion of the Maine coast.

The distance to our next camp was just a bit over 80 miles so we had plenty of time to explore along the way. Again we stuck to the coastal roads and stopped at every place we thought would be interesting. We even took off on a few dirt roads looking for moose. No moose.

We registered for a two-day stay at Cobscook State Park. This park was central to the area of Maine we wanted to explore. Since there was only one other camper in the entire park, we had a very quite evening. Again, the temperature decided to take a plunge. It didn’t get to freezing, but close. We made the motel conversion, made a fire, made dinner, discussed our trip, walked around a bit and enjoyed the serenity. A good hot meal and a warm bed made a perfect ending to this day.

The next day we kinda overslept. I guess because it was so quiet. Regardless, we were up and out on the road by 8:30 AM. One drawback was the shower facilities were unheated. The water was hot though. Needles to say we were wide awake by the time we started out.

Our first destination was the border town of Lubec, Maine. Settled in 1785, Lubec is the easternmost town in the continental United States. It is a fishing village located on the Bay of Fundy and in the midst of a revival. It is also the gateway to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. FDR spent most of his childhood summers here. Since we were not prepared to cross into Canada yet, we bypassed this scenic attraction. After spending sometime walking the streets and visiting some shops we headed to Eastport, Maine. Located on the other side of Cobscook Bay, Eastport is only about 5 miles, as the crow flies, from Lubec, however, it is a 35-mile drive to get there.

Eastport is quite a bit larger than Lubec. It, too, is trying to revive itself to attract more tourists. Both towns are old and they show it in their Main Street buildings. Most of the buildings are being renovated into art studios. This makes sense because the seasons give an artist time to produce in the long winters and sell in the mild summers. I had noticed that many small coastal Maine towns have taken up this idea. There are even studio tours available in some areas.

Because Eastport was a bit larger, we spent more time there. Like Lubec, Eastport is on the Bay of Fundy and is subject to very large tidal swings. Up to thirty feet in some places. The forces of these tides are so strong that a dangerous whirlpool called the “Old Sow” is created two times a day between two islands next to Eastport. We did not get to experience this, but there was plenty of information about it.

On the way out of Eastport we noticed a bay, formed by a causeway, had completely emptied while we were in town. When we went over the causeway earlier, the bay was full. Now it was just a mud flat. Likewise, a sailboat that had been floating in a river was now on the river bottom leaning in the mud. These tides are awesome. More to come about these tides in a later post.

On the way back to camp we made a side trip to Pembroke, Maine. This is an area where the tides create a strange phenomenon; a reversing falls. We spent more time here than in the towns. What a sight. And to top off the scenery, we saw a Bald Eagle feeding in the bay and several Harp seals feeding and playing in the rip currents that were formed by the falls.

The day’s experiences and the awesome fall weather made for a very tiring day. We headed back to our camp and retired early in preparation for a before dawn start in the morning. Tomorrow we cross over into Canada.

See Day 5 Album: Click here.

See Day 6 Album: Click here.

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