Month: August 2012

Departing Downeast …

We had another day at Kathy & Steve’s before departing for Camden on Sunday morning.  The Machias area is part of what’s called “Downeast” in Maine.  I don’t quite understand, as it’s not the “Downest” part of Maine, but it is near the easternmost part.  That’s just the way it is.

On Saturday, Lou & Kathy went shopping, while Steve & I watched the dogs.  We went for a drive in the early evening, and Steve & I went into Machias to pick up Pizza for dinner.

First, some photos from our afternoon adventure – while shopping, Lou & Kathy decided we needed to visit a couple of houses for sale in their development.  Always a good way to pass the time.  I said I’d stay behind with the dog – Kathy said, “No, bring the dog, she’ll be FINE.”  She was right.

Checking out the back deck. That's the real estate agent, who Kathy interrupted while working in her garden, to get her to show us the houses. Things are very informal Downeast ...


A view of the water from the back deck of the first house we saw - it's a tidal area, so you have water when it is high tide.


As we drove down the road at dusk, we saw some blobs by the side of the road. Lou stopped the car, and I hopped out, stealthily stalking my prey (that sounds more graceful than it was) - ahhh, it's a cute little porcupine.


This one was about twice as big as the other one - it wasn't too happy with my stalking, and soon hightailed it into the woods.


As we drove back, Lou - aka "The Deer Hunter," spotted this deer in the woods. I tried to take a photo, but his (Lou's) head was in the way, so he took the camera and got a good shot. Our wildlife surcharge for this trip just skyrocketed.


After all that excitement, it was time for Steve and I to head into town to pick up the Pizza.  No Domino’s nearby.  It was just before sunset, and we had a nice ride.  I snapped some photos along the way.  At one point, we debated just eating the pizza by the river, but decided to take it back for all.

The pizza was very good - much better than the chain places.


The River, just before sunset.


The church - again. I like taking photos of New England churches, in case you couldn't tell.


The moon is out, as we drive through the winding forest back to the cottage. We are still debating about whether to dig into the pizza...


We enjoyed the pizza and once again, we were early to bed.  Kathy & Steve breathing a sigh of relief – “we get our house back tomorrow, thank goodness.”

Before breakfast, Kathy did Monkey surgery - patching the favorite Monkey for Natasha. It was getting ripped from so much playtime. She also sewed up the frog's butt ...


Steve cooked Surf&Turf eggs for breakfast - using leftover steak and lobster - yum!


And there was more of Martha's delicious zucchini bread with cranberries and nuts as well.

After filling ourselves, it was time to pack up and drive back to Camden.  I didn’t take a lot of photos on the way, as we’ve shown most everything there is to see on Hwy 1.  So, just a few from the trip home:

A house and stream, as we drive south on Hwy 1


A peaceful pond by the side of the road


A giant lobster at Ruth & Wimpy's roadside stand ...


Yet another world famous attraction Lou won't visit - this is in Hancock, Maine, one of the small towns we passed through. I would like to see this guy in action.


And, my favorite haunted mansion - it's still standing!


That concludes our trip to Machias and back.  I wanted to get this posted, so I could update y’all on the Windjammer Festival which starts today.  We have a bird’s eye view of all the big boats as the come into the harbor, so check back in for a report on the festivities.

Machias – Day 2 Part 2

Fair Warning – please do not read this post if you have a soft spot for lobsters …

After naps and chores; Kathy, channeling her inner Martha Stewart, made a cake, we went out for some more sightseeing. We drove down to Buck’s Harbor, then to a local cemetery that is filled with some very old graves. Some of the people here are descendants of the early settlers, and there are quite a few sea captains. Machias was the location of the first naval battle in the American Revolution.

A typical Maine Cottage seen on the way to Bucks Harbor



That's Bucks Harbor at the top of the photo



The tide was up at Bucks Harbor. At low tide, you can almost walk across.



We wandered around the cemetery for awhile, checking out the old gravestones. This cemetery is still in use today.



Lots of Libby's buried here



After visiting Bucks Harbor and the Cemetery, we went back to the cottage. Steve had picked up a half dozen lobsters from the local lobster guy – $20, including a $5 tip. He set about to cook them up – again, don’t look if you don’t like boiling lobsters!

Ummm, not looking too happy. Is it a wonder lobsters were originally considered trash food and fed to servants?




Dinner is being prepared ...



Steve has this down to a science



Lou wants one of these



After exactly 11 minutes in the pot, they're ready



Fresh, Very Fresh, Lobster, and salad. Followed by homemade chocolate cake and Gifford's World's Best Chocolate Ice Cream. We may not need to eat for a day or two after this meal.


Machias – Day 2 Part I

On our first night, Kathy cooked a new zucchini recipe.  I liked it.  Lou told her he hated zucchini.  Well, it didn’t come out just like that, but we did eventually get there.  Of course, he did consume copious quantities of the fresh zucchini bread Kathy baked.

It was another nice day when we woke up after our first night.  Lou, K&S, and the dog went for a hike down to the beach.  Apparently, the dog went for a swim – they didn’t take any photos, so you are spared more Natasha Photos.

We had an active day.  After washing and drying the dog, we headed into town for lunch, seeing some sights along the way.

We drove by this church and graveyard several times - maybe next time I will ask to stop so I can get a better photo - the church sits on the hill overlooking the water.


We asked to go to the lobster bake for the Historical Society in Machiasport, but Kathy said "no." 🙂


We went to the best place in Machias for lunch - it was great.


I had delicious fish & chips


Everyone else had the Haddock Burger - the best in Maine!


Natasha got a free scoop of ice cream with dog biscuits. This was the first time she's had ice cream. She loved it.


After lunch, we stopped by the dike to go to the flea market. Kathy & Lou liked it so much, they went back again the next day.


Then, we went to the Machias Hardware Store so Kathy could do some food shopping. Huh? In addition to regular hardware stuff, the store has a room dedicated to spices and mostly hard to find and local organic stuffs.


Raye's Mustard is made in nearby Eastport. We'll have to go there sometime - they have many flavors. They even have a maple horseradish mustard ...


We passed some farms and freshly shrink-wrapped hay bales as we drove to Jasper Beach.


Jasper Beach is a Rock Beach - no sand here.


The rocks at Jasper Beach are quite distinctive. It's weird to have no sand on the beach, but it was a beautiful area.


Another view of Jasper Beach and the surrounding area.


We went back to the cottage and Lou took a nap on the grass, while we watched the dogs play.


Coming up next:  Another expedition and “what’s for dinner?”


A Visit to Machiasport

We left after lunch for the 3 hour drive to visit Kathy & Steve at the cottage they are renting in Machiasport – which is about 20 minutes outside of the larger town of Machias.  This was another area we had never visited, only driving through Machias on our way from Lubec last year.

Even though the morning started foggy in Castine, it turned out to be another beautiful day.  Here are the usual road trip photos.  I’ve also included a few from our first afternoon at Kathy & Steve’s.  There are more photos than I usually put into a single post, but I have a lot to share 😉

Driving North on Hwy 1


Belfast and the new marina


Coming up to our favorite - the Verona Bridge


A picture of rocks - just for Lou


Going over the bridge


A close-up of the bridge connections


Maine staples - Clams and Lobsters


An old house...


It is a very scenic drive


Once again, Lou refuses to stop at a major attraction


Almost there - Machias has a blueberry processing plant and a McDonalds, two things we don't find in Camden.


Lots of water views along the way in this area


What would a road trip photo tour be without a Church?


We drove through winding roads and forests, past Buck's Harbor, and arrived at Kathy & Steve's.


We said hello, and set off for a tour of their beach. We had to hike through the woods - no moose were seen.


Faul's Beach - it's a gorgeous area. And yes, that is a dog you see in the water. Kathy was in charge of the dog ... hmmmmnnn.


Kathy gets control (?) of her charge. Natasha loved the water, and would gladly have gone in all the way. Lou took her for a swim the next day (when they took some towels)


Lou explores the beach in the other direction. He likes rocky beaches, since he hates sand.


Another look at the beach. Lou & I were really blown away by how beautiful this area is - K&S chose well!



Castine – Part IIA

This post is actually the first half of the one below …

The pup needs a nap after our fun afternoon cruise


After our tour of the area around Castine, we pulled into the dock at Eaton’s Boat Yard, where Lou had made a reservation for us for the night.  It’s not the fanciest, but had all we needed and the people were very friendly.

This dog was very friendly, and came down to the boat to visit Natasha several times. It was so cute - not sure if it was a labradoodle or some other brand, but it was full of life.


A view of Eaton's Boat Yard - we are on the face dock right in front of this area.


A lobster boat that stopped by while we were there. We haven't yet taken advantage of the fresh lobster here, but hold on - it happens in a few days.


Our view off the aft deck


We walked over to Dennton's Wharf Oyster Bar for dinner later in the evening - it is right next to Eaton's.


We walked over to Dennton’s for dinner – Natasha was able to join us since we ate on the outside patio.  As we waited, and waited, for dinner to come (food was good, service was slow, even though our waiter really liked Ben), the pup was a little grumpy, but manageable.  All of a sudden – BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!!!  Fireworks – going off literally 50 feet from where we were sitting.  And these were not just sparklers – more like 4th of July fireworks.

Natasha started howling, and I quickly picked her up and headed behind the restaurant under cover.  She calmed a bit, and the manager came over and apologized, offering a biscuit.  It wasn’t her fault – they didn’t know there would be fireworks on a Wednesday night.

Why the fireworks show?  Turns out it was part of a memorial the town was having for a well-loved local lady who had passed away.  What I saw of it looked like a great show.  I have no photos – I’d decided to let my companions eat their dinner in peace, and also knew I’d have my hands full with the pooch – even without fireworks!

As people wiped ash from the fireworks off their plates, our dinner was served.  I ate a small amount, then had it boxed, figuring I needed to get the dog back to the boat.  Lou followed shortly after, and the youngsters stayed out to see what kind of trouble they could get into.  Our dinner at Dennton’s will certainly be one we will remember.

Castine – Part IIB

Oops – I lost the first half of my post, so will add it after I redo it. This post starts with the morning fog after we woke up in Castine.

Early morning fog - about 6am


Still foggy at 8am. The others begin to stir, but it's still quiet on the boat.


By 10am, the sun is out, but there is still some low fog.


More fog ...


We pass by the State of Maine as we head home


The water was calm, but the fog made it difficult to get any shore photos. Sure glad I served up a squillion yesterday.


As often happens, Camden was clear when we returned. We are in our new spot - out on the end dock, since the large green boat is gone for the week. This location gives us an excellent view of the harbor and the schooners.


That is the story (well, most of the story), of our Cruise to Castine.  We didn’t take much time to relax, as we had to pack up and head out for our road trip to visit Kathy & Steve near Machias, Maine.  Check back for details of that adventure.

And, because we didn’t share any photos of the pup from Day 2 of the Castine Cruise, here are a couple favorites from Day 1, that I forgot to include yesterday:

She enjoyed taking a nap using Emily's knee as a pillow


Hey, Watcha doin' up there?