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Post #99 - Maine-ly Done / June 26 through August 7

Post #99

We’ve been in Bradley, Maine since May 16th and it is time to get back on the road! We’re leaving Maine on Wednesday, August 8th and expect to be in the Midwest around Labor Day.

The weather in Maine this summer was warmer and more humid than we expected and with no electricity to run the air conditioner it’s been a little challenging.

Our weekly routine has been laundry and groceries on Monday, exploring on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and opening the gift shop and museum buildings on Thursday through Sunday.

Entering Atlantic Time Zone
On Tuesday, 6/26, we took a drive to New Brunswick, Canada. We visited the Ganong Chocolate Museum in St. Stephens. We drove thru St. Stephens about 10 years ago and stopped at the chocolate store (imagine that) but didn’t have time to stop at the museum. Ganong is Canada’s oldest chocolate and candy company. They are family owned (for six generations) and have been in business since 1873. As we were walking thru the museum and looking at the conveyor belts we couldn’t help but think of the “I Love Lucy” episode - do you remember the one I’m talking about? When we came to the end of our tour they had a chocolate packing game so we channeled our inner Lucy and Ethel and gave it an unsuccessful try.

From St. Stephens we continued down the road to the very cute town of St. Andrews which is located on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay. We visited a campground right on the waterfront which we’ll stay at if we come back this way. We ate lunch at Olde Tyme Pizza and had a nice meal out on the deck overlooking the water. Marty had fish and chips and I had a calzone with donair meat. Donair is a local specialty, the Donair sauce is very tasty with a weird combination of ingredients:

Donair Sauce
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
(strange but really good!)

Dining al fresco in Canada

Going to Camp
On Tuesday, 7/10, we went to camp - The Crosby Family Camp. One of the volunteers at MFLM (and the president of the board) is Herb Crosby. He invited us over to visit his family’s camp which was about an 1/2 hour drive from the museum. What we in the Midwest would call a cottage people in Maine call a camp. Also, what we call lakes they call ponds. Herb’s grandparents built the camp back in the 50’s and he and his four siblings share it. They have lots of kayaks but the weather was too choppy so we just visited for a little while. The upstairs of the cottage was exactly what I pictured a Maine camp would be - unfinished with 5 single beds, 3 on one side and two on the other. There were a few bookcases with old books and games. I found a book that I remembered from my childhood, “Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” and Herb was kind enough to let me borrow it.

Ahhhhh, life is good!

Bangor is the closest "big" town to Bradley with a population of about 32,000. It’s a nice town with a older downtown area and another area with your usual chain restaurants and stores. There is also a City Forest with lots of walking trails. On Thursday, 7/11, we drove over and took a hike on the boardwalk to the Orono Bog. It’s about a mile long, with signs along the way explaining what you’re seeing. From the boardwalk we hiked for a little bit in the forest; it was a nice shady place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Strolling the boardwalk at the Orono Bog
My friend, Chris,  took a train ride with her mom, Cathy, from Chicago to Springfield, MA. From there they rented a car and visited some of the east coast states (MA, ME, NH, VT, CT & RI). Her goal is to stay overnight in every state and after this trip she has only six more including Oregon and Washington so I’m pretty sure we’ll get to see her again next year when we go back out west. They stayed overnight in Kennebunkport so we drove south and met them for a late lunch. It was a little chilly but we ate outside and had a delicious meal at Mabel’s Lobster Claw. It was nice catching up with our Chicago visitors.

Big Chicken
I bet that got your attention. On Monday, 7/16, we drove to Ellsworth and visited the Big Chicken Barn Books and Antiques. We didn’t run into any chickens but the building was a chicken barn in its earlier days. This place is HUGE - 21,000 SF! The 1st floor was all antiques and the 2nd floor had all the books. It was very organized and very overwhelming. We did buy a couple books and I even found some Cubs baseball cards that I can use in a world series shadowbox that I’m thinking of making (one of these days).


Checking out the Competition
We love to visit museums and on Wednesday, 7/18, we took a drive north to visit the Patten Lumberman’s Museum. The museum consists of nine buildings that you can wander through. The reception center is where you enter and pay your admission fee; there are photo exhibits, a gift shop and a 1/2 hour original movie from the early-mid 1900’s that is well worth viewing before viewing all the out-buildings (bunkhouse, cookhouse, blacksmith shop, etc.)

They used "caulk" boots in the northeast too

Logging Bunkhouse
One of the many "ponds" in Baxter State Park
From the museum we grabbed a quick lunch and then drove to Baxter State Park to see the start of the Appalachian Train and Mt. Katahdin (the highest point in Maine). Before we got to the park we saw a Visitor Center and stopped to pick up some information. As we were getting out of our truck a ranger was getting out of her car and asked if we planned to visit the park. We said yes and she told us our truck was too wide; they don’t allow anything over 7’ wide on the park road. She walked with us into the center and gave us a map which showed us a couple places where we could park our car, so we drove in as far as we could and walked around a little along a lake with a view of Mt. Katahdin.

Say Cheese!

On Saturday, 7/21 and Sunday, 7/22 Marty led some photography classes. There were 5-7 people each day and they seemed to enjoy it (I know Marty did).  Here's a link to a youtube video of "Professor" Marty:

Day 1 Photography Group

Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal Days at the museum was on Saturday, 7/28. There were blacksmithing demonstrations and hands on learning, Lombard Log Hauler Rides, smelting demonstrations. We had live music and bean hole beans, biscuits, lemonade and strawberry shortcake. It was a very busy day, we had over 100 visitors and they all seemed to really enjoy everything. I worked in the gift shop, and Marty wandered around helping where needed and taking pictures.

Lombard Log Hauler Crew
Blacksmith Ian


A little logging music

Bean hole beans are a big deal in Maine.  A visitor to our gift shop asked if we had the recipe.  We didn't but now, thanks to Marty's creative photography, we have postcards for sale with the recipe.

They look done to me

Yum - homemade strawberry shortcake

Biking in Acadia
Once we decided to spend the summer in Maine I knew we had to take our bikes on the carriage roads at Acadia National Park. We finally did that on Tuesday, July 31. No cars are allowed on these roads, only hikers, bikers and horses. The surface is a fine gravel and they are nice and wide. We did a loop and rode along two ponds (Bubble Pond and Jordan Pond). They were a little hillier than we expected (or maybe we’re just getting old). It was a perfect day for riding. When we got back into the car we drove the 27 mile park loop road. It’s a nice drive, partly along the ocean and there is a nice beach which was very crowded.

Bubble Pond

Share the road

We drove back to Acadia on Sunday, 8/5 to pick up Marty's Senior National Park Pass - woohoo!  Now we're free getting into any National Park and their campgrounds along with all COE campgrounds are half-price!  From the Visitor Center we drove over to Schoodic Point to say goodbye to the Atlantic Ocean.
Proud Senior

Goodbye ocean :(

Sherry, Mary and Ruth
On our last day at the Museum (8/7) they had a cookout.  We said goodbye to all the wonderful volunteers and our boss, Sherry. The people that we’ve met and worked with have been  incredibly nice and we’ll really miss them. We may be back in this area some day but now we know to come later in the season after bug season and hopefully after the heat - who knew Maine could be so hot.

Now we’re off to visit a place that I’ve always wanted to see. Here’s a hint, it’s in New York - can you guess?