Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back in the USA

After seven enjoyable weeks exploring Maritime Canada we returned to the US at Calais, Maine on the day of the Navy Yard shooting in Washington. Other than after trans-Atlantic flights this was the longest time we’ve spent at border control. We were in a long line which wound its way through the little town of St Stephen in New Brunswick for in excess of an hour. When we eventually reached the top of the line the border guard surprised us by coming on board where he checked the bathroom and the bedroom; most unusual as they rarely leave their booth, every vehicle was similarly checked. When we heard the news later that afternoon we understood the delay and caution.

Our first RV stop was in the small town of Harrington on a lovely part of the Maine coast while there we had a delicious home cooked dinner in a restaurant called "The Fisherman’s Wife" in Milbridge a nearby town. We stayed in Harrington for two nights during which the harvest moon was so bright it was almost like dusk all night.

From Harrington we traveled through Ellsworth on our way to Boothbay – Tom wanted to revisit LL Bean! On our arrival at LL Bean Tom, as is usual, checked the car on the tow dolly to discover that the hook of the ratchet on one of the straps had broken; a safety chain had stopped the car from falling off the dolly. We asked people in the car park where the nearest auto shop was and a local couple gave Tom a ride to O’Reilly’s where he purchased a stop-gap solution and then walked the mile and a half back. One of the men we chatted to in the car park was from Australia who was no help but gave us a chuckle when as he walked away saying "No Worries Mate" - we thought we had lots of worries! We jerry-rigged the temporary strap securing the car on the dolly and checking the reversing camera (our rear view mirror) frequently, we hoped we could make it to Boothbay; in fact we made it all the way to the Barth’s in Winthrop!

In Boothbay we stayed in Shore Hills a lovely RV park surrounded by enormous RV’s (45 to 50 feet long); most of them on an organized "Fall Leaves tour of New England " starting from Boothbay. On our second day Eileen and Carl came down from Winthrop to stay for two days; we walked around the lovely town of Boothbay, did a little shopping and then Eileen and Carl checked in their B&B a beautifully decorated house right on the edge of town. From there Carl drove us to Ocean Point and Southport Island and on returning to Boothbay we went to Ports of Italy restaurant where we celebrated Adele's birthday in style; it was good to share the celebration with friends!  

Some of you may remember from our August 20 blog that Adele was very annoyed that her Canon camera had broken and asserted that she would not purchase another Canon camera! Well, she did not; instead she wrote a letter of complaint to the President of Canon and within a few days received a phone call and a follow up email confirming that Canon would replace her camera. Adele had it delivered to Eileen and Carl’s who carried it to Boothbay for her – the new camera is quite an upgrade from her previous one. So, a birthday present from Canon! Adele is thrilled with the multiplicity of features – better zoom, panoramic ability and even GPS – the photos taken so far are vastly superior to her previous camera. All she needs now is for a moose or bear to appear to capture them up close! And, of course we’re both looking forward to capturing some spectacular fall foliage photos. Thanks Canon.

Day two of the Barth’s visit continued with great weather, in fact a bit too hot for this time of year. Carl chauffeured us around once again; he took us to Bath a nice town which we walked around and had coffee. Bath remains a big ship and missile building town. From there we went on to Fort Popham, yet another stone fort (never completed) meant to protect the mouth of the Kennebec River and Bath further up river. We continued down the peninsula to Georgetown Island which is on the Sheepscot River. Returning to Boothbay we sat on the deck at the Lobster Dock restaurant enjoying the sunset and…guess what we had for dinner.

This is a lovely part of the Maine Coast busy with tourists well into October as they have an extended season thanks to the autumn leaves. All the towns we visited look prosperous and all the buildings elegantly restored and well kept. In addition to lobster fishing, tourism is the big industry all along the Maine coast which boasts the longest coastline of any state in the US.

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