Monhegan Island

We made it to Monhegan Island. To get here one has to take a small passenger ferry. The scenery is gorgeous. The boat trip can be an adventure.

Monhegan Island is truly a special place. The vistas are spectacular; the village is like stepping back a hundred years in time. Few autos and no paved roads. I do, however get an impression that the locals would just as soon you send in your money and not show up on the island. Lots of artists here. When we arrived two art classes were in progress at the place we were staying. The landscape is reminesant of Ireland but, without the sheep droppings.

There is a small brewpub on the island, one of the few businesses. There is a lot of concern about a water shortage; which makes me curious as to why a brewery can operate.

One of the great things about doing this blog is that I can write about anything I choose. This morning I am thinking about Jonathan, Tina’s cousin’s son. Jonathan is going in for a scheduled operation today, he is getting a cochlear implant. The age we live in is truly amazing to me. That we have technology to do such wonderful things. Jonathan is one of the fellows that I correspond with regarding investments. He is in the finance business and is quite knowledgeable and insightful. I am confident that Jonathan will come though the procedure with no issues. He is young, healthy and has a fabulous family and extended family for support. He will certainly not lack for prayers. I am hoping for a quick recovery because I am thinking about changing my position in gold. (Tongue in cheek comment, I am not quite that intrusive, at least I hope I am not)

Higgins Beach and Camden

What a gem! We are staying at a small inn on Higgins Beach, Maine. The beach is relatively small compared to other beaches in the area but the cottages are very well kept, it is very family oriented (read family oriented to mean no rowdy parties few motor cycles and no low life bars) and the place is low key. The inn is recently remodeled but has kept an old place character.

Higgins Beach even has a shipwreck. The Howard Middletown, a three masted sloop, ran into a submerged obstruction in 1897. During a storm later it drifted to Higgins Beach where it remains. The ship was transporting coal from Philadelphia to Portland when it got into trouble during an intense fog. It is said that one can still find coal on the beach.

Made it to Camden, Maine. At a beautiful and what appears to be fun B+B for a couple days. Tina and I met a delightful couple from southern Connecticut and spent the evening in a truly civilized conversation with them. The couple, originally from Great Britain, were on their way to Mohegan Island. Sounds like a great trip.

We did some exploring around Camden. We drove to the top of Mt Barrie, a great view.

Then we did a hike up Beech Hill preserve. This is a large field of native blueberries. These blueberries are small and close to the ground. They must be a challenge to pick.

One more update in Camden. I do not usually plug particular places but the inn (B+B) we are at is exceptional, the Timbercliffe. The place is beautiful, authentic colonial. The owners great. Had a huge lobster dinner brought in last night. The owners set us up in the dining room, supplied all plates and utensils. They made sure there was a fire in the parlor fireplace for us in the evening. Had conversations with them into the night. Delightful place, delightful people delightful family.

Well, we will be going to Monhegan Island tomorrow. I first heard about Monhegan Island while on a business trip to Bangor. I was seated next to a professional mime on a commuter flight. He extolled the virtues of the place and I have been curious about it ever since. It is a remote artists destination with few amenities other than quiet.

Second Try At Maine

This is the second Maine posting. I discarded the first one, it was terrible.  For some reason I was not into it at all. I can come up with a bunch of reasons why: I am still bummed about Sam, It has been a long time since I last posted, it has been a long time since I last traveled, COVID-19. Whatever. Then I met “Wine Guy”, changed my outlook. More about him later.

The world is full of really interesting people. I have met and remet so many so far on this trip. I had, I believe, lost sight of this and taken them for granted. I didn’t take photos of these great people so some of the memory is lost.

Our first evening on the road we spent with Tina’s brother, wife and son. Also attending were his in-laws, in their 90’s. They are from the Pittsburgh area. We spent much of the evening recalling landmark eating places and food. The Original, a hot dog place where, if you order a large fries, it comes on a serving tray piled high (no longer in business). Vincent’s Pizza, nothing more needs to be said, those that have been there know. Prantl’s bakery in Squirrel Hill, great Jewish bakery. The Pleasure Bar in East Liberty, don’t let the name give you any evil ideas, it is a great Italian restaurant. That is where I had the best polenta and sausage I have ever had. The Tin Angel and La Mont (the best creme brulee in the world). We also reminisced about unique Pittsburgh dishes: fried jumbo (jumbo is bologna) and fish sandwiches that have so much fish that it looks like a piece of house siding in a bun.

Yesterday we made a pilgrimage to L L Bean in Freeport. Nothing exciting there but stopped in, what was supposed to be foody, Portland. Had an expensive but disappointing snack at an interesting place near the harbor. My inner “Rufus” came out. At places you need to leave a name for food delivery, I leave Rufus. Rufus gets better service than Bill and his order is never mixed up. This was the case here. Here you had to retrieve your drink order at one station and food at another when your name is called. Well, Rufus had his drinks delivered to the table, not like all the others at the place. There was almost a mixup on the food order, but quickly corrected for Rufus. I also make it a point to have a resolute dimeanor when responding, no one ever comments on the unique name.

“Wine Guy”. On the way back to the car we stopped at what appeared to be a high end wine store. Starting a conversation with the proprietor revealed that, due to COVID-19, he was able to get great deals on great wine and passed along the deals to his customers. He had quite a history of running convert operations Central America and had worked for Colin Powell. Also an Air Force vet, so we had a lot of stories to share. We bought a nice wine and some great snacks at the deli across the street. Back at the Inn we heald court on the veranda having a great light meal and wonderful pinot while talking with people entering the lobby. Had a great conversation with a couple that were Naturopaths from Montpelier, VT. Needless to say, we will be visiting “Wine Guy” to get a case on our way home.

Not one of us