I’ve a bit more time this evening and will make some attempt to organize photos a bit more than I was able to yesterday. I want to thank all of the folks following us on our trip. It’s great fun taking pictures when there is willing audience. Please make comments. Ernie and I want to know that you are there.
(I’ve been experimenting with a method of organizing photos and I don;t think it will work. Take note WordPress gurus!)
We began the day at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. (Actually we began the day a few hundred yards away at the Hotel Pemaquid, a grand Victorian sumer house.) I’ve spent several sunrises on the rocks and Ernie was eager to give it a shot. Unfortunately the sunrise was weak. I turned to birds and Ernie worked on alternative shots. We were both successful.
[I forgot to mention yesterday that when I walked into the Hotel Pemaquid I was asked by the lady at the desk if I knew how to build a good fire in the fireplace. Once the fire was roaring she gave me a reduced rate for helping out!]
This trip has been very fast paced and I’ve not had much time to really slow down and really get a look at smaller birds. We’ve seen crows and heard blue jays throughout our days. On most long drives we come across large flocks of turkeys. Along a pond adjacent to the Erie Canal I was able to pick out a pair of wood ducks among the mallards.
Today I was banking on sea birds and am pleased. Huge rafts of eiders were rolling outside the surf line. Small groups of eiders were working among the rockweed. It was amazing to see them slammed by breakers only to bob to the surface and continue feeding. When I was younger I paddled kayaks among eider famales with their young. The chick would scatter and dive, bob to the surface and re-collect. The males were rarely seen in the summer. They send the season feeding alone.
Cormorants (“coots” to the locals) were in attendence fishing outside the surf. Several flew up onto a large rock and dried their wings. I was able to approach fairly closely and get shots (Ernie got some great ones!).
From Pemaquid I went home. I knew it wasn’t ome anymore, but not living on Sawyer Island still leaves an empty place inside. It was great to have Ernie along to listen to each trivial memory that I spewed. (“That house wan’t there. That tree was smaller. I used to sit on that rock.”)
We made a brief stop at Trevett. This general store general store sold us stamps, supplied Dad and Uncle Gary with beer and the kids with candy and Moxie. It’s still a small market, but much different that it was in Stan Hodgdon’s day.
From there we drove the short mile to The Nest, my summer home for nearly 20 years. The Nest, now over 100 years old, was the annex to The Sawyer Island House. The Sawyer Island House served as the summer home for tourists that arrived by steamer at the nearby Isle of Springs Landing. Several visitors recorded their visits on the bedroom walls.
I peeked into the front door and was pleased to see evidence of our time there. The kitchen floor that my parents put in was there, the pegs for coats and jackets were as I remembered. Even the fan above the stove was the same.
On the dock I found that the flagpole I had fashioned from an old mast found on the shore was still on the dock. The cleat that I carved still held the halyard in place.
I swung Ernie through Boothbay Harbor, the tacky tourist town adjoining Boothbay. Since Columbus day is behind us the bus loads of New Yorkers have gone. The shoulder to shoulder crowds have vanished and the year ’round folks have their town to themselves. We walked around a bit observing folks at work and closed shops and restaurants. I had heard that the Romar (duckpin) Bowling Alley was gone from the Byway. (Just thinking about the bowling alley evokes memories of slamming hardwood balls and pins as well as the mixed smells of wax, sweat, cigarettes and beer (Kinda like Syd’s at home!). I am happy to report that it is still there — put to bed for the winter — but still there. I remember the place being packed with sailors and Coast Guardsmen when their ships were in the harbor and the boys had shore leave.
On the way out of town we swung by Wall Point to visit Linekin Bay Resort. I stayed at the resort as a young child (and as a young father) and worked there, as a sailing instructor, in college. I thought it had changed little until I met the bartender. The Linekin Bay Resort I knew did not allow alcohol on the premises (Except in those big cups everybody “snuck” around). It’s a great place full of 1940s resot charm. There are few places like it left here.
We met Ernie’s sister, Meryl, for lunch in Wiscasset. Meryl lives in Portland and drove from a job in Freeport to meet me see her brother and spend some time together. I got my second (and last) crabnmeat roll of the trip and we ate on a small wharf overlooking the Sheepscot River and Route 1. It’s in the spot near where the Schooners Hesper and Luther Little were tied up, sank and became Maine’s greatest landmarks. They’re gone now. Wiscassett, Maine’s most beautiful village, seems not-quite-right without them.
We’re in Gorham, New Hampshire now. On the way we wound through a series of camp regions and small interior villages. We made a stop to mail a package (Watch the mail Hannah!) and to buy a few pumpkins for the Davis family porch. We met Todd at the Stevenson Farm Stand in Winthrop and picked up a white and a warty pumpkin. Todd and Ernie had a nice chat about photography and shared stories about great places to shoot the Maine Coast.
Tomorrow we are going to re-attempt the summit of Mt. Washington. The weather report is favorable and we expect good visibility.
Click here for a sampling of Ernie’s pictures.
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