Harvey-the-RV  - Roadtrip 2009


12th - 20th July 2009

After paying a series of Interstate tolls, a new phenomenon to us, we found ourselves in Maine bound for a visit with our friends Gerda and Jack in Otisfield.    We'd met in the Bahamas the previous winter and been warmly invited to swing by on our way north.     We were stunned by their beautiful home and particularly the gorgeous gardens, Gerda's pride and joy.     Harvey quickly settled in on their driveway and we took up residence in their guest room.
Jack and Gerda show us around their beautiful property.


Gerda took us on a tour of their neighbourhood next morning.    We began with their own boathouse, built by Gerda's brother Joop.     

Inside he was deeply into the process of enlarging and rebuilding his catamaran, which he had shipped over from the Netherlands in a container.    The catamaran was his own design and his craftsmanship was excellent.   It was certainly going to keep him busy for some time yet before launch!   

Joop hard at work on his boat

We drove to nearby historic Scribners Mill, an old, water-powered sawmill which was being renovated for visitors and for use to produce historically accurate lumber for architectural renovations.   

Next, we visited the intriguing "Deertrees Theatre", located deep in the forest.    This was an active theater with rehearsals underway.  In earlier times it had been a popular summer spot for New York theatre folk.    It was built in rustic style from local Hemlock wood and apparently offered excellent acoustics.    We visited for quite a while, trapped by a sudden downpour.

Gerda at Scribner's Mill

Running from the rain at Deertrees Theatre

That afternoon Gerda and Jack's son-in-law Mark, another keen fisherman we'd met in the Bahamas, invited us to tour the forest where he was working for the State of Maine.    His project was to thin the trees, removing any sick trees and clearing better and healthier habitat for local wildlife.    Eventually the area would be available for recreational purposes.    It was amazing to see how the huge forestry machines were able to access the steep and rugged terrain and process the cut timber on site.

Mark took us on a tour through the forest, through the ankle deep mud and clouds of hungry mosquitoes.   We were glad we didn't have to work there every day!

Processing the lumber from the thinned forest

The two fishermen agreed to spend a day fishing at the shore for striped bass.     They headed out at 5 am and returned late afternoon laden down with fish.    It turned out that this fish was not the result of their unsuccessful fishing trip but rather from a far more successful stop made at the fish market on the way back.    Either way we were happy to have a new stock of delicious fresh fish for our road trip.    

That evening we were invited by Mark and Joanne to their family summer camp on the lake for a Lobster Bake.      Coached in technique by the Maine locals we tucked into delicious fresh Maine lobster followed by succulent local Scallops.     This banquet of Maine fare was followed up by pie made of blueberries picked on Gerda and Jack's land by Gerda and Christine.  

Gerda and Jack's blueberry patch

Being trained by the locals in how to eat Maine lobster.

Well, Maine is Maine, made beautiful partly by its rain.     We made the most of a rain-day with a trip to the local New Balance factory outlet, where Phil acquired new, water-proof shoes!  

The next day dawned fine.    Phil acquired a day fishing license and hit the river at Twin Bridges, not far from our friends' home.    Meanwhile Christine entertained herself with a trip to the town of Bridgeton, returning later with picnic lunch to entice the fisherman ashore.   He was now somewhat wet, having stepped into a deeper than expected hole in the fast-flowing river.    We returned home to find Gerda ready to tax our brains with Scrabble, Dominoes and a challenge new to us and quite addictive, Suduko puzzles.

Phil getting into deep water!

The rain was back next day.    We began the day by fortifying ourselves with a huge breakfast at the quirky Bolsters Mills General Store. 

Breakfast at Bolsters Mill General Store

Spirits undampened by the weather, we headed by car to Freeport where our friends first took us to a map store.    A shop selling nothing by maps was a novelty in itself but the store's enormous, three storey-sized world globe, rotating in their foyer was simply amazing.  

Our next Maine experience was to be a visit to the States iconic L.L.Bean store.     In fact, it seemed that Freeport was mostly L.L.Bean-town, the companies huge superstores surrounded by other companies factory outlet stores.    Naturally there was L.L. Bean fishing stuff we just couldn't live without.     

Jack with the weight of the world on his shoulders!


Lobster roll anyone?   Don't want you fading away!

As the huge breakfast finally wore off, we were definitely in need of further sustenance, enjoying a sea-front lobster roll.

Reluctantly we left our friends, mostly in the interests of our waistlines.    We headed northeastwards up the coast of Maine to Camden.   We made our way to Camden Hills State Park, where we were surprised to find our first State Park system where out-of-staters paid a hefty surcharge of $10 per night on top of the standard campsite fee.     This made the camping fees expensive and although we checked into Camden for two nights, it certainly deterred us from visiting other Maine State Parks on our way to Canada, especially when the facilities offered were relatively mediocre in comparison to other States we'd visited.   


Anyway, the spot was beautiful and we spent the afternoon hiking up the Park's Megunticook Mountain.   Near the summit we successfully evaded the mosquitoes.  From the peak we had a spectacular view of the coastline and surrounding area.   

Next day we explored touristy Camden and neighbouring, quieter and equally attractive Rockport.    We'd heard about the mile-long Rockland Breakwater located between Rockport and neighbouring, bigger Rockland.   We enjoyed the walk out to the lighthouse right at the end but it seemed the fish weren't biting, so our rods were left behind.  


Enjoying the view from Megunticook Mountain

Walking the breakwater

We spent the afternoon hiking at Fernald's Neck Nature Preserve, where it seemed that the scariest wildlife was the blood-thirsty mosquitoes we encountered in the boggy terrain.  

Scenes from the Mosquito Reserve

Early next morning we were Canada-bound, via the border crossing at Calais (pronounced Callas for some reason).

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