Rich and I awoke shortly after 5:00am from our relatively restless sleep. Unsuccessful at trying to get a bit more rest, we were on our way again by 6:00am after a quick cleanup. We arrived at another traditional stop, LL Bean in Freeport, just before 7:30. We spent some time looking around the store, trying on some jeans and having coffee (for Rich) and tea (for me) before continuing on our journey.
At some point last week, I found out that the Bagaduce Lunch had again closed for the season on Labor Day, like last year. I suspect this will be their new schedule going forward, so we might not have a chance to stop there again in the future unless we make another trip to Maine in June, like we used to. Sadly, then, I had to search for somewhere else to eat along the way. The contenders this year were Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast, and Carriers and Crosby’s in Bucksport.
Although somehow Rich wasn’t hungry, I was starving by the time we reached Belfast, so we gave Young’s a try. Pretty wild place—imagine floor to ceiling lobsters! They have outside seating on the pier overlooking Penobscot Bay as well as a “dining room” on the second floor of the building. It was still early for lunch and therefore not very busy when we arrived, but a by the time we left a few more customers had arrived and were making their selections. Rich and I both ordered lobster rolls, served with lettuce on a hamburger bun which is sort of unusual, but very tasty. They were stuffed with meat and more importantly, lots of leg and body meat, which is our favorite!
We poked around the area and took some photos while our sandwiches were being made. As soon as we obtained them and sat down at a picnic table outside, the dark clouds that had been encroaching blocked the sun and the wind started to whip our plates and our food around. We had been expecting a cold front to pass through today—I guess this was it! Drops began to fall and within a minute it was flat-out pouring. We moved to a table beneath the balcony which offered some protection, and we finished our food without getting too wet.
This was the pattern for the rest of our drive: light showers, then heavier rain, and then back to sunshine. We stopped in Searsport so I could photograph a benchmark set in the wall of the old post office building. Fortunately it was an easy and quick find right alongside the road, because it started to pour while I was documenting the mark. I got soaked before I could get back into the car. That was the heaviest rain we experienced, and it followed us into Bar Harbor.
Route 3 is still a mess heading into town. It occurred to me that a few ideas we’d had for activities might be best left for another year, sadly enough. Even for the Gurnee Trail, which I now have a good idea how to access, I had a bad feeling as we were approaching the area. Yes, the old driveway (as we are calling it) from which you can access the trail is now dug up and completely altered by heavy equipment. I did happen to notice that the stone steps are still in place, though. I really hope the equipment doesn’t get too close!
Some time to organize our stuff and a quick nap was all it took to ride out the “storm.” By the time we were up and ready to go for pizza—just before 4:00pm—the rain was long gone. We came across Monika on our way and chatted for a few minutes, browsed around Cadillac Mountain Sports for a few minutes just to let the pizza ovens get nice and hot, and then followed the aroma of pizza to Rosalie’s. As always, it was everything we’d been dreaming about all year! We sent Dad some photos just to get him even more excited about it. We each had 20 ounce beers (so, so good after not having had a beer for a long time) and spent over an hour just eating our pizza, enjoying each other’s company and talking about cactus math and plant evolution, and how we might go about finding the abandoned Van Santvoord Trail at the Triad.
When we were done eating we took our conversation out to the street and headed down to the waterfront, where there is a strange collection of “cute” colorful buildings obviously aimed at tourists. We took some photos and then, I couldn’t believe it, came across a new (2017!) tidal benchmark, 8413320 G. It was so cool to see that they’re still useful enough that a new mark was set as recently as last year! We also remarked about just how lucky the disgruntled surveyor from 9 years ago was to come across us, probably the only two people in the world who could show him where all those marks were—and whether he realized the significance of that!
We searched all around the waterfront for more new benchmarks but didn’t see any. We did see a big Unimog whose owners were being interviewed for ABC 7 News and I think we were in the background of the shot. Parked next to it was a real hippie van. It’s always amazing what you see around here!
On our way back we had to stop at MDI Ice Cream for some sorbet. We bought one plum and one blackberry sorbet, both on sugar cones, to share. Both flavors were amazing! The plum was tart and sweet and somehow the flavor of the fruit came through intensely even though I generally think of plums as very mild. Same with the blackberry. It was like eating handfuls of sweet ripe blackberries, but without the seeds!
We left our usual stop at Hannaford for tomorrow morning, and just went back to the room to relax.