Day trip Bangor Maine. We try to avoid the big cities and people during the pandemic, but we figured by going on a weekday there would not be too much activity. We needn’t have worried as Bangor is small and it was a ghost town.
We parked along the Penobscot River. The Riverwalk is kinda the focus of the city and how the city came into being in the first place as a means to capitalize on logging and ship building. There wasn’t much to do. We walked about 5 minutes and then some street people freaked us out in the bushes and our walk was done. Phase 2 was driving by Stephen Kings house. A good deal of his books take place in Maine.
It has an old Victorian home facing the street. It was surprising that he would live in such an accessible area, but once I drove around the block, I realized that the house is really a gateway to a whole compound and there really is no way to get close. Looking at google maps further showed the extent of the property.
After lunch at Mason’s Brewery along the river, we walked around Cascade Park. Not very impressive but brought some entertainment. We ran into a lady frantically looking for her Golden Retriever. She was yelling for it, and found it odd the dog did not come when called. We told her we would keep an eye out. As we walked out of the park we saw a dog tied to a light pole. It was comical because that is why the dog was not responding to the screams. Someone must have found it, tied it to the pole and left. So Amy stayed with the dog and I went to search for the owner. Problem being that we could not find her. I mean we spent 20 minutes looking and the park is not that big. What to do now? I ended up driving around the area and came across Liz in her minivan. I guided her back to the park and she ran to the dog, who at this time was with Amy and a local police officer who was questioning if Amy had taken the animal. The highlight of Bangor!
We spent a day chillin’ in the Camden Library Park reading books until Max had too much stimulation around him and it was time to move on.
Max then made a visit to the vet due to excessive scratching. A few doses of a dermatitis med and he was right as rain.
1 mile down the road from our cabin was an Alpaca farm. Although they were not out for viewing that day we picked up a piece of clothing as a gift for our next hosts.
Today, we took another ferry ride to Monhegan Island from Port Clyde, the spot I found on the dirt bike a couple weeks back. We brought Max on the boat and all the people were enamored with him, as they always are. He took his first boat ride in stride.
The island is only a mile long and has few full time residents. Most of the economy is from summer visitors coming over for hiking and weekends at the few big Inns near the dock.
Amy thought it might be fun to spend the winter in a place like this, but my mind went to Stephen King’s, The Shining and decided it might not be good for the relationship. Our plan was to hike a ring trail around the island. Max did amazing hopping over all the boulders, but around the halfway point it just became too much for him and we cut back towards town
We had an hour before the ferry trip back to the mainland. We stopped by the brewery. Probably one of the smallest breweries around that services only 70 full time residents
I found a beer that Amy would actually drink, Ginger Beer. The fact that it has no connection to traditional beer in anyway was a minor detail.
The following day was overcast and thought it might be perfect for a row through the Camden harbor. I had found a flyer on a light pole that offered people to rent a row boat for $20. Seems like a decent opportunity for something to go wrong. We drove to Camden, found the boat tied up, slipped $20 in an envelope and shoved off. I will state here, that although I consider myself a decent paddler, I have zero experience with dual oars, or whatever you might call this sport. I had to google from the dock things like, “Which way to face, where to sit, how not to run into boats, who has the right away when a head on collision with a tanker is eminent.”
I started out facing with my back towards my intended direction, but with my Asian "Short Round" as navigator I did not trust colliding with boats in the harbor. It wasn’t really her skills I was worried about it was more my mad scientist mentality at the controls, pulling and pushing oars in every direction in a panic.
I should also mention the harbor was packed, and a roaring wind was blowing out to sea. As we zigzagged around the harbor, captains looked at me in disgust and humor. I decided to turn around and row facing forward. It may have helped from hitting icebergs, but it made me look the fool. We finally cleared the harbor and ran into Curtis island. I was happy for the break, but honestly did not think I could row back against this wind, especially facing forward with half the power output.
We walked around the small island as I consulted a friend on ideas on how to get the boat back.
I considered flagging down a boat for a tow, but I had to try on my own before sinking to those depths. My main concern was getting blown out to sea.
We climbed back in and I turned my back to shore and rowed hard. We made it into the harbor and I am proud to report that we only hit 3 moored sailboats. Thankfully no one was on them.
We were leaving in a few days. Going to stay with my friend in Annapolis MD. We went to a local clinic to get COVID tests. There really wasn’t much infection here in Maine so it was no problem getting in. I told Amy in the parking lot that you may need to have symptoms to be able to get tested. So she focused a couple in her mind. When we entered the clinic, they asked if we had any symptoms, she blurted out loud, “Diarrhea!” Very subtle. We blew that one since they were going to do a quick test, but since we had symptoms they required a doctors visit. Nooooo, can we go back to the symptoms question!? We eventually tested negative and celebrated with a trip to Youngs Lobster Pound in Belfast.
Amy had the Lobster, but I opted for the Haddock and it has stayed true to course as my go to sandwich in Maine.
After our lackluster trip to Bangor, I was hesitant to try again ,but we loaded up the bikes anyway and visited the state capital of Augusta. We brought Max and ended up doing 12 miles on a rail trail! That was about his tolerance threshold as the last 2 miles were coaxing and pleading to relax and stay in the basket.
Nothing impressive to this town either to be honest.
We were now down to our final days in Maine. We hit all our favorite spots. A return visit to Holbrook Sanctuary on Deer Isle. Although this time there were 2 other couples there and they just would not stop yelling, ruining the appreciation for the location.
Amy swam at Ducktrap Beach last time and I hit Knights Pond
Here is bench I always liked on the mile walk back from Knights through the woods to the cabin
We will always remember these 2 spots fondly, as well as the cabin and the people of the area. Maine has definitely earned its nickname of “Vacationland” I would not want to be here when the weather turns, but I can’t think of a nicer spot in the US to spend the month of August. Yes, it would be more fun to visit all the shops and restaurants outside of a pandemic, but that rare dearth of people during a usually heavy tourist month allowed us the ability to explore nature on our own terms.
Until Next Time,