Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thomaston, Maine

Heading toward Thomaston, Maine, we crossed the Penobscot River on this beautiful bridge which looks like a sailing mast from the distance.    

On the bridge you could see the quaint town of Bucksport.  

The trip to Thomaston took us through many small local fishing and tourist towns that are scattered along the Maine seaboard.  

Less than a mile from our RV park we came to this bridge with a height restriction.  Since we knew our rig was higher than the bridge, the Captain immediately pulled over to the side of the road and called the owner of the RV park.  He was told not to worry about the height as long as he made sure he drove down the center of the bridge and stayed away from the sides.   

This is the bridge.  Two high vehicles cannot cross it at the same time.  The Captain was nervous and called the RV park owner a second time and was gruffly told it could be done if he would just stay in the middle of the bridge.  So the Captain turns to me and says, "Since you are the Safety Director, you make the call".  No pressure here.  I had just seen a school bus cross over so I said let's do it.  

As we got closer to the bridge we saw this second sign which had been hidden by brush.  We knew we could get under 13' 6" so we carefully went forward and got across safely.   Whew!  Nice start to our stay in Thomaston.

This campground is on the St George River which is a tributary to the Atlantic Ocean. We had lovely water views and a place for the pups to swim.

We spent most of our time in the area checking out the quaint local towns, eating lobster rolls, and enjoying the seaside atmosphere.   
One of our drives was to a town called Port Clyde.

Lobster boats were in the water carrying lobster cages in the back.

This is the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde.

The pups liked getting into the saltwater near the lighthouse.

The coastline is very rocky with different striations and color to the rock.
We did see this one little sandy beach during our drive to Port Clyde and people were enjoying it.

Many of the homes in Maine have added additions until the house is connected to the barn.  That makes for some really big homes.

Now that's a view.

Playground equipment at a local school.

I had to take a picture of this sign.  This was literally all there was to the town so the sign greeted you and said goodbye at the same time..  

We took a boat ride with the pups out to Monhegan Island which took about 45 minutes.

This was Desi's first time on a boat and he was a little nervous but he did very well.

While crossing over to the island this large boat came across our bow and never slowed down.  The Captain of our boat said that  was not good water etiquette and told us to prepare for the swells.  Wow!  He wasn't kidding.  It took all of my might not to be seasick from the motion and I saw that many others on the boat looked the same way.   

There is another small island across from Monhegan and if you look real close you can see goats on the rocks. 

Monhegan Island is a very rustic town and no cars are allowed except a few on the island that pick up and deliver luggage and supplies to and from the boats.  It is a popular tourist destination so there are bed and breakfasts, a few hotels, cabins and areas to camp for the adventurous.  Hiking trails lead up to the higher levels of the island and are very popular.

We took the pups on a hike up one of the trails and saw this beautiful view.  The island in the distance is called Manana.  

The island is home to many artists.

And, of course, they had a lighthouse.

At the top of the trail on the back side of the island we found these views.

This is called Black Head Point.

We were also lucky enough to see several seals in the water.

Back in town near the marina we saw private boats that come over to the island.

We purchased lunch from this small cafe near the wharf.  If you order beer, which we did, you must drink it outside.  This way the owners don't need to purchase an expensive liquor license.  Or you can buy beer at one establishment and drink it inside of another establishment.  You just can't buy the beer and drink it in the same place. 

We also found the Monhegan Brewing Company where a lot of the tourists were hanging out.  In the distance you can see some blue tents with tables set up for the customers. 

They had the area closed off using lobster traps as the walls.

The main hotel on the island.

Many of the inhabitants stay for the season but there others who maintain year round residence.  The island even has its own school.  Unfortunately, if you have a medical emergency you have to get back over to Port Clyde for help.

We went to the marina in Rockland which is another town near Thomaston.  Notice the two nice yachts sitting in the harbor.
A lovely toy for someone.

Lobsters are the main theme everywhere.

The Rockland Breakwater was built between 1881 and 1900 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It served to protect the harbor facilities from severe winter storms.

It is almost a mile long out to the end where you find a lighthouse.

The breakwater is made of huge slabs of granite that look like a jigsaw puzzle put together.  One is allowed to walk out there but you do it at your own risk.   We did along with hundreds of other people that day.

Views of the harbor from the breakwater.

The shimmering is from a school of mackerel moving in the water.  They fluttered all around the bird but it stayed with them.  A future meal perhaps.........
For a few dollars you can take a boat ride with lobster fishermen to see them work.  We caught this shot from the breakwater.

The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.

A sailing ship leaving the harbor.

We took a drive up the coast to Camden, Maine.  This is another very popular ocean town that also has a mid-size mountain you can drive up to see the local views.

The town of Camden is usually jammed with traffic because the tourists love this area. 

Parking can be a challenge.

We drove up Mount Battie to see the view of Camden.  

The harbor was jammed with boats.

Camden was one of the prettiest towns we've seen in Maine.
Ocean views from the top of Mount Battie.

In the far distance you can see the Rockland Breakwater we visited the day before. 

The Mount Battie Tower.

We left Mount Battie and drove down to a quiet area near the shore for a quick lunch.  

This part of the Maine seashore wasn't nearly as rocky.

After lunch we went into Camden and joined the rest of the masses walking around.

They  had a Camden House of Pizza just like where we live in South Carolina.

Some of the establishments were sitting up on stilts.

The harbor was an exciting active area.

They were celebrating a windjammer fest so some of the boats were open for tour.

Restaurants overlooked the harbor and were above a small river that flowed into the ocean. 

Vendors were cooking for the crowds and this particular one had an old iron stove used to make pancakes.

We had a great time in the area and had to make one final stop in Thomaston at the Maine State Prison Showroom.  The Maine State Prison has had a working industrial program since its early days when it was built in 1823.  The inmates worked the quarry, constructed wooden wagons, buckboards, wheel barrows, sleighs and buggies.  With the advent of the automobile, the industrial program migrated to constructing furniture and expanded this line in the late 1930's to include crafts and novelty items. All wood products are handcrafted by the inmates and the program provides inmates with a means of learning a marketable skill for transition into the workforce upon release.

The work they do is beautiful and the prices are very reasonable.

There were all kinds of novelty items.  I had been looking for a wooden jewelry box and finally found one at a reasonable price.

A sunset view from our RV park in Thomaston.   
That's it for Thomaston.  On to Bar Harbor where we plan to spend nine days in Arcadia National Park and the adjoining areas.  We have been blessed with seasonally warm weather and sunny days. What more could one ask for.  Peace !

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