Monday, August 18, 2014

Travelogue – Along the coast

A shirt I saw in Bar Harbor shops: A flock of sheep and the words “Baa-Haa-Baa.”

I left Acadia and Bar Harbor behind this morning. I drove up to Ellsworth and turned west on US-1 (though the sign said “south” – I could take this road all the way to Key West).

When I read guidebooks in preparation for this trip one book commented on a cool new bridge over the Penobscot River that had an observation area in one of the towers. One little detail – it didn't say where on the river the bridge was. In Bangor? Somewhere else?

As I drove out of the little town of Bucksport I saw a cool new bridge had some glass at the top of one of the towers. I found the bridge with the observation area! So I stopped, bought a ticket (though skipped the included tour of Fort Knox) and went up.

Here's a picture of the bridge:

And one of the view towards the ocean:

There were signs pointing out landscape features that could be seen. I couldn't make out the mountains that were 75 miles away. I could see Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, on which I had been a few days ago.

This new bridge replaces one that had been built in the 1930s. But about 10 years ago the cables inside a casing were found to be corroded too thoroughly to be repaired. The new one was designed and built in a record 3.5 years.

I had lunch in the little town of Lincolnville with a view of the water. Alas, the service was slow and the chili was more beans than beef, rather than the reverse.

I passed through Boothbay and to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens at 3:00. The guidebook suggested I would need 2 hours and I had exactly that. Some of the areas were quite lovely:

Most of the rest of the grounds were for preservation of local species in a natural environment and seemed like more of what I had just seen in Acadia. I finished my wanderings in about 90 minutes.

From there it was less than 15 miles to Wiscasset and my B&B for the night. Strangely, the traffic into town was backed up quite a ways. When I arrived the owner said I was the only guest for the night.

I walked the few blocks into town and decided to try the highly rated restaurant (with mostly high prices too). The grilled pork on a bed of cheesy grits with salsa was tasty, but I was still hungry when I left. That's another complaint I have with pricy restaurants, one I didn't mention yesterday. A salad or veggies would have added another $6.

When I returned to the B&B my host said the pressure on me as guest was off – a second of the three rooms had been rented.

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