Happy Summer Everyone!
Even though I have moved away from writing for the time being and focusing on more intensive healing, I decided to share a little on our recent vacation. I know many of you enjoy the post vacation articles and photos so since the website remains live for the remainder of this year I figured I would stop in and share some of the experience. 🙂
We just returned from our northern Maine vacation of a week. Took about 8 days and headed as far north on the Maine coast as you can go, which is about a 9 hour drive from here. The town where we stayed is called Lubec and is right across the border of New Brunswick in Campobello Island where Franklin Roosevelt and his family had a mansion “cottage” and spent their summers. The cottage was build before Franklin was even born so just a show of the family money generations before he got into politics. Yes we did tour it and it is quite nice!
We took a whale cruise out of Eastport, which was a great little boat with a real nice crew. We didn’t see any whales because they typically don’t arrive into the Bay of Fundy until July. We did see porpoise, eagles, an eagles nest and many seals though! The boat also takes you right through the Sow’s Head whirlpool and plays around a bit. Great fun! We saw bald eagles every day we were there. I only managed to get one photo though.
The region has 5 major lighthouses that can be visited. One, the Quoddy Head lighthouse is claimed the most photographed lighthouse in Maine. I will be including many photos. I took about 420 photos so will not be including all of them!
We stayed at the Inn on the Wharf which was an old sardine factory that was bought by a couple some years ago and turned into an inn and restaurant. Needless to say it sets right on the water, you look out the bedroom window and the ocean is right there. The first 5 days we were there it was perfect coastal Maine weather, dense fog and rain. Our first room’s ceiling leaked one night, directly over our heads in bed nevertheless! They moved us quickly to a new room the next morning.
Even though the first 5 days were very foggy and rainy we had a great time hiking through the state forests along the rocky wave pounding shorelines, deep forests and boglands. Sure it was wet, wet, but it just adds that much more to a north Maine coast trip. It was plenty warm enough so being wet wasn’t bad, just wet!
Some of the areas we explored:
· Campobello Island New Brunswick
· Quoddy Head State Park
· Shackford State Park
· Klondike Mountain
· West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
· Lubec Channel Lighthouse (“The Sparkplug”)
· Harborhead (East Quoddy Light Station)
· Mulholland Point Lighthouse
· Little River Lighthouse
· Wolves Island Lighthouse (saw from the boat)
Our favorite spots were by far the Quoddy Head State Park and Campobello Island! You do need to cross the border stations on the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge that goes from the States to Canada but it was quite laid back both going and returning.
Lubec has some great little restaurants so you don’t need to go far for good food. You can easily walk to them from the center of town. It is a place filled with artists and fisherman.
The water was only 44 degrees and the local fisherman say the warmest it gets in the high of summer is 55 degrees. So obviously it doesn’t warm up much up there. Even though it was only 44 degrees my son and I got in one day sunny on Campobello Island. I just can’t go to the Maine coast and not get in the ocean! My son walked out to his waist, kneeled down quickly, got up and walked out as fast as he could, but he did get in! I went in 3 times and floated around a little each time before getting out 😉
You need to be careful were you decided to get in the water because the tides in the Bay of Fundy are extreme and the currents are swift and unpredictable. People have been swept away by the tides up there. The Harborhead Lighthouse sets on a little spit of land that is separated from the mainland at high tide by a channel of water that empties out at low tide. They have warning signs up. (photo included in the lighthouses – it is white with a huge red cross on it) Two years ago a couple from South Carolina went out to the lighthouse at low tide. They waited too long to return and the channel had started filling with water. In only 18 inches of water the man was swept off his feet and sucked out to sea and drown.
Like the mountains, you don’t mess with the ocean.
Paula and I would not mind living in the Lubec area and perhaps one day will. We will certainly be going back. If you are into shopping and the nightlife, best not go because you will find none. If you are into the land, the ocean, the sites and exploring the outdoors then it might be worth your time to visit! It’s quite the magical place and has that old time feel you just can’t find in most parts of this country anymore.
This first set of photos is of the Harbor Head Lighthouse which is the one I mentioned above with the access only by low tide.
This next set is of the other lighthouses in the area we visited.
The Roosevelt “Cottage” on Campobello Island in New Brunswick. It belonged to the Franklin Roosevelt family long before he ever got into politics and became president. We toured the inside. Quite the place!
Some of the ocean shots I got during the 5 days of classic northern coast fog and rain as well as some of the more sunny days near the end of our vacation. Most of these were either taken while hiking the wet coast line cliff and beach trails or from a boat.
Here are some shots of the wildlife we saw along our walks or on the boat we took deep into the Bay of Fundy.
Here are some of the bog shots and flowers I got. This bog sets in the middle of the Quoddy Head State Park which was one of our favorite places! The bog is a true arctic bog and the only one as far south, even though it is in north Maine. Some of the plants can only be found in the arctic so walking through on the boardwalk was quite special!
We stayed on the shores of the Bay of Fundy which claims some of the highest tides in the world at the average 20 feet. The northern section of the bay claims a massive 50 foot tide!! It also contains the largest whirlpool in the western hemisphere called the Sow’s Head, because of the sucking sounds it tends to make when vortexes form. Three massive currents converge in the bay at that point with a depth of around 360 feet. The result – a huge mass of whirling waters that spin many small visible whirlpool vortexes at the surface and torrents of currents below. The Sow’s Head sets right off the coast of Eastport. These shots are all from the Sow’s Head Whirlpool. I used red and yellow lines on some images to show you where the water is forming vortexes and one shows the outer rim of the whirlpool and with that one we are in the center. Sea kayaks have gotten stranded in the whirlpool before and had to be rescued by fisherman. Even the powerful motor boats like we were in get thrown around and spun in circles. The captain has to continually re-navigate to pull through. Whales however have been seen jumping out of the whirlpool so they must have fun in those wicked currents underneath!
Here are some shots of Eastport and Lubec, mostly Lubec. Lubec is the most eastern town in the United States and claims the very first sunrise every day. It is also the closest geographical point in America to the continent of Africa! A very small quintessential Maine coastal town and very removed from the modern world – our kind of place! It sets on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. Eastport is slightly larger than Lubec and is situated due north across a small bay. It claims the eastern most “city”, but it is by far a city. The only reason they term it a city is because it is an ocean port where as Lubec is not. Eastport claims the deepest port in America. Eastport is OK, but we liked Lubec much better. Lubec has a nice home feel to it; laid back and very friendly people. Eastport is a bit more run down feeling and with the dock/port has a bit of a dirtier feel to it. Still it is a worthwhile place to visit and has a great little bakery!
Some great sunsets!
Well there you have it! A great time in a quintessential area of the far north Maine coast! Yes with my continued health struggles I had my good days and my not so good ones. On those not so good ones I just walked a lot slower, gasped for a lot more air, rested a lot more and didn’t say too much, but I was on vacation so I wasn’t going to sit around on those days doing nothing! Hope you enjoy the photos and perhaps, if you have not already, you too will make it there for a visit 🙂 Feel free to chat below if you feel so inclined.