Our Maine Event: More Maine

5 08 2017

I’m sure that had we three weeks instead of three days to spend in Maine, we would still be yearning for more, but that’s the way it is with any trip.  At least the good ones.  So we had to pick and choose.  We chose L. L. Bean.

7/14/17 Day 8: Explored SW part of Mount Desert Island and drove to Bradbury Mountain State Park, ME. 164 mi./3 hrs.

Just as you can’t go to Maine without eating lobster, it is also required that you go to the L. L. Bean store in Freeport.  With that in mind, today we were headed to the closest state park at Bradbury Mountain.  But first, we had some sightseeing still to do on the Island.

We headed to the southwest part of MDI (side note: it took me two days to figure out what MDI stood for), going through small towns along the way before passing through Southwest Harbor, which was setting up for its annual Flamingo Festival.  As enticing as that sounded, we had our sights (and noses) aimed right at a small bakery, where we bought some blueberry scones and a loaf of raisin walnut bread.  It’s hard to pass up a good bakery.

We stopped at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and hopped around on rocks to get just the right angle for a photo.  Yes, a postcard would have much better photography, but with that mentality, I might as well just watch a video of the area. You gotta make it your own!

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse 1

While we were there, a woman wearing a Salty Dog tee-shirt came down with her family; turns out they were from Greenville, just about the only South Carolinians we saw on the entire trip.  (Maybe if you’re from S.C., there’s no need to see other places?)  We ate our blueberry scones at Pretty Marsh, which looked more like a lake to us but was indeed very pretty.   Sloping downhill to a pebble beach, the area was surrounded with tall pines that smelled of Christmas .  Again, a storybook scene.

Just off the island, we stopped in Elsworth to pick up more ice and groceries and check out the L.L. Bean outlet, where we had been told was full of discounted returns.  L. L. Bean makes a good product, but even their discounts were too pricey for us.

Bradbury Mountain State Park had a cute little campground: lots of trees and space between sites.  Reality check: it also had pit toilets and only three showers for the entire campground.  Blehhh.  And, a group of young people were camped right beside us.  We anticipated a long sleepless night as we figured they would be a noisy crowd.  It was not to be so, as it turned out to be a group of the Maine Conservation Corps who were working to eradicate invasive plant species in the area.  They went to bed at a decent hour; I’m sure they were exhausted!  The pit toilet was no fun, but we had no problem using the showers, which were free for a change and not in demand at the hours we wanted them.

7/15/17 Day 9: Freeport’s L. L. Bean and Portland’s Gilsland Farm Audubon

Freeport is Disney World for L. L. Bean shoppers. Four floors of all kinds of outdoor wear and paraphernalia, and several buildings with specialized gear.  Outside there was a grassy knoll with a band playing (Pretty Girls Sing Soprano) and L. L. Bean games set up for kids to play.  After shopping until Brian dropped, we sat out there and ate our lunch, chatting with a woman who had two young girls; she encouraged us to visit Portland that afternoon, so we did.

Portland’s Commercial Street was just that: milling with tourists and shops aimed at prying money from wallets in exchange for things unneeded.  After enough of this, we headed back out of town and found ourselves at a place more to our liking: Gilsland Farm Audubon Sanctuary.  A walk to the bay around a meadow refreshed our shop-weary selves.

Gilsland Farm Audubon, Portland (8)

Lovingly tended garden plots grew raspberries, rhubarb, and a host of cheery flowers.  A trio of semi-tame turkeys picked their way through the tall grasses, and American goldfinches flitted among the trees.

Ahhh…deep breaths of sunshine-warmed grasslands cleansed us of the day’s consumerism.

Gilsland Farm Audubon, Portland (3)

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