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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Indian Summer

As September, and the summer, comes to an end I decided to try to capture a few images of the Belfast harbor.  I wanted a late afternoon sun and a high tide.  I drove down to the pedestrian bridge across the Passagassawaukeag River.  Pronounce it with the accent on the "sag".  The platoon of seagulls are perched on the old cannery.  At one time there were hopes that it would become condos.  Now it has become an ugly battle between the town and the developer.  The second shot is taken up-river.  The third shot shows a cormorant on a mooring and a couple of gulls.  The last is a wide-angle view of the Belfast harbor. 
     The temperature today approached 80 degrees.  The title of the blog today is "Indian Summer".  It really isn't.  By definition an Indian Summer is a warm spell after the first frost of the season.  We haven't had a frost; therefore we haven't had an Indian Summer.  Everyone was back in shorts, however.  We were all set to resume outside happy hours, but as the sun went down, we moved inside and watched the Braves with Jeri.  Rick and Judy Feyler will be driving up from Owl's Head to join us for lunch tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Life on the edge

     Sunday was another new experience. South of us on the coast between Lincolnville Beach and Camden is a high end inn called "The Inn at Ocean's Edge" or the Edge for short.  Separate from the inn is a restaurant that is reached by a hundred yard walk through the woods downhill toward the shore.  On Sundays they set up for gourmet pizza.  They have a large, wood-fired brick oven.  The format is like some Brazilian barbeque (churrasco) restaurants.  They will bring food to your table as long as you want them to.  The night we were there they had about eight different varieties.  As a pizza came out of the oven, the waitress came around offering slices to whomever wanted one.  There was a Margherita pizza, then a pepperoni, then lobster and garlic bread, then a chili and cheese.  There was a broccoli, bread crumbs and parmesan pizza, followed by a BLT pizza, and an antipasto pizza.  There was a family style Caesar salad to augment the pizza.  There were five of us.  The Branns drove home from the Edge so as to go to work Monday.  Jeri and the Cloutiers drove back to the Moorings.  It is a place that we plan to visit again next year when the weather will permit us to dine on the deck.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Schoodic Point

     Tuesday was a busy day.  I accompanied Phil Andrews on another one of his surveying days.  This time we were in the Ellsworth area.  While we were gone, Durelle and Carole played cards and did a picture puzzle outside on a pleasant late summer day.  Jeri, on the other hand, spent the day at Schoodic of her very favorite spots.  The remaining effects of hurricane Igor were reaching some of the eastern Maine promontories.  The picture is hers.  She took over 200 and saved about 10%.  That's about right for that sort of photography where one is trying to capture a crashing wave at its most scenic point.
     Although the number of campers is down somewhat, the campground is very well populated for this date.  Overnight lows have not yet dipped into the 30s, but they have come close.  We have less than three weeks left in Maine and are making a list of those things we still need to do.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Away From the Coast

Today we went inland.  No sailboats or crashing surf in these pictures.  Our group was alerted to these destinations by Walt Wagner, our lobster supplier.  The Roths and the Dunns and Jeri Johnson visited last week.  Today Phil and Jeri and I went.  Carole and Durelle stayed here.  The first stop was an Amish store.  That's Jeri out front admiring the pumpkins.  The pumpkins were as big as 150 pounds.  The 50 to 60 pound pumpkins were going for $10, and there were 40 pound pumpkins for $5.  The next stop was the Bryant Stove Works.  That's Phil in a four door, convertible Model A Ford...a most unusual variant.  In addition to the many dozens of restored stoves of all vintages, some over 150 years old, there was a museum of unusual cars, toys of all kinds, calliopes, Hurdy Gurdys, player pianos and numerous century old household tools and appliances.  Stoves are their business, but the museum is their passion.  For lunch we went to the Ridge Top Restaurant which offered the epitome of home style cooking where all of the entres were under $10!  We returned to the Moorings for a Happy Hour in the Cloutier rig at 4:30.  We are moving inside and starting earlier.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Late Season Activities

The sands of time are moving through the hour glass until the leaves are in full color.  I took this picture on the 14th, but it didn't fit with any blog.  So I saved it for when I didn't have any pictures.  That's today.  The weather is cooling off.  How cool is it?  Well, we are down to one drink happy hours!  The overnight low was 43 degrees.  Today Durelle put a beef stew in the slow cooker, I did some reading and she played cards for a couple hours with Carole Andrews.  And, of course, we watched some football.  Army beat a weakened North Texas team, but these days we'll take any win we can get.  Our two kids' alma maters played today and Air Force put on a great show to lose by a field goal to top ranked Oklahoma.
     The stew was great and we are enjoying a cozy evening monitoring the traffic on Penobscot Bay and watching the Red Sox just in case.  In a surprise to everyone the campground is almost full and it is two weeks after Labor Day.  Last night seven of us went up to Papa J's for supper.  I had a half dozen Damariscotta oysters and a slab of wild caught Alaskan king salmon with cucumber-dill sauce!  It was a nice meal.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Build a model ship

     Today was a quiet, uneventful day.  At this point in our lives that's not all bad.  There was a spot in Searsport, about five miles north, that I have always wanted to visit; but I knew that Durelle would not be interested.  It's a store that caters to the serious model ship builder.  So I spent an hour there before I went for some groceries.  It is like a maritime museum with large (two to three feet) models of dozens of classic sailing vessels.  There is the Constitution, the America, which started the America's cup, and several other classic ships, large and small.  If you want to build a Friendship sloop or a four-masted schooner, they have a kit for you.  The kits run from $250 to $500.  If you want a completed model, just add a zero.  And that does not include the display case.  For those who want to start from scratch they have all the tools, fittings, wood, and everything you need including advice.  Even if you are not a model builder, you have to appreciate the craftsmanship.
     There's a touch of fall in the air.  The overnight low was 47 degrees, but the day was sunny and pleasant. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hail and Farewell

     This week has been a time for seasonal changes; not only the weather and amount of sunlight but also in the complement of campers.  Sunday the Roths left.  The first picture shows that event.  The second picture shows Bernie reaching for the door handle as the Dunns left today.  They both plan to return on 1 August next year.  Seven of us made our way up to Papa J's at the top of the hill last evening for a very nice going away supper.  The third picture captures the now relatively empty nature of the campground this morning.  It also shows the relationship between our bus and Penobscot Bay.  Of course the pups are still here and enjoying life.
     The departures are somewhat offset by the arrival of Arnie and Carol Brewer who used to be seasonal campers here and are starting their migration southward.  The Andrews will bring their rig down from Lincoln on Friday, and it will be good to see them again, too.  We have several more small trips planned.  The fall foliage photo ops will soon be upon us.  We are beginning to look into a trip to a Tiffin (the bus manufacturer) dealer in Auburn, Maine for a couple of relatively minor repairs.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Seabasket

     Today was a special day with Estelle Anderson and her daughter, Karen.  They drove up from their campsite in Wells, and we drove down from Belfast.  Durelle and Estelle have been close since Estelle carried her into the house when Durelle came home from being born.  Estelle made our wedding cake and made a replica for our fiftieth anniversary.  In the picture of the three of them, they are looking at the wedding album.  We had a very pleasant visit.  We did not have lobster.  I had calimari and Durelle had scallops.  The Andersons had seafood as well.  What else would you do at the Seabasket?  I also bought a couple of frozen tubs of lobster stew for us and one for Jeri.  (Just add milk and warm up with a pat of butter on top.) 
     As we headed back to Belfast, I took a shot out the window at Red's Eats in Wiscasset and the line of folks waiting for one of his lobster rolls at the south end of the Wiscasset bridge. It's an iconic (but perhaps overrated spot).  The last picture is of a small homesite with some Christmas trees under cultivation.  It was a nice picture, but I should have taken it on the way down.  The light was much better.
     When we got back to the Moorings, guess what?  We had a lobster feed...very simple, lobsters, corn and potato chips.  Life is good.

Friday, September 10, 2010


     Something new today.  One of the iconic spots in Maine is Morse's deli in Waldoboro.  According to Yankee Magazine, two of the four classic places to eat in Maine are in Waldoboro.  The other is Moody's Diner.  Our little group has been planning a trip to Morse's for a couple of years.  We tried last year only to arrive and find that it is closed on Wednesdays!  Today we were successful.  The place has been in business for almost a century (1918).  It started out with classic, old school sauerkraut and has been supplying great quantities ever since.  Now their small facility is a really exceptional deli and a small restaurant that seats about twenty in booths.  As you can imagine, we (Cloutiers, Dunns, Roths and Jeri) focused on schnitzel, sausage, Reubens, red cabbage, pickles and kraut.  We also partook of their astounding deli.  Our upcoming happy hours will have some nice goodies.
     From there we continued south on 220 to route 1 and headed north to Rockland and Dorman's ice cream stand.  A number of our crew have serious withdrawal symptoms in the absence of Dorman's ice cream.  After that fix, we continued north via the back road to Camden.  Along the way we enjoyed the views of many handsome homes, a field of belted Galloway cattle and an almost hidden path to the Curtis Island lighthouse in the Camden harbor.  We took the short walk to the viewing point for the lighthouse and took some nice pictures.  Speaking of pictures; there is one of the crew, less the photographer, in front of Morse's, one of Bernie relishing a Dorman's banana split, and a shot of the lighthouse.  When we got back, we fed and walked the dogs and adjourned to the Dunn's rig for an indoor happy hour.  It is starting to get cool.  All in all, it was a very pleasant day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today we drove down to Lewiston, ME to have lunch with a couple of Durelle's cousins.  We rendezvoused with them and Mart (Durelle's brother) and Ann at the Gridiron Club in Lewiston.  Mart and Ann were heading from Lynn, MA to their campsite in Tamworth, NH.  We asked them to stop at the NH liquor store to replenish our supply which they were happy to do.  We had a nice lunch and a good visit.  Yesterday we made another trip up to the "Lookout" for a light meal and a heavy view.  The first two pictures are taken from the restaurant, and the last shows Ann, Mart and Durelle (left to right) at the Gridiron.  We got back to the Moorings just before four.  The post-Labor Day campground is starting to thin out.  Nonetheless, the stalwarts of the Dunns, the Roths, Jeri Johnson and we had a very pleasant happy hour discussing how we spent our days.  They found a spot that Durelle and I (and the Andrews) are going to have to visit.  Soon the flavor of the place will change completely.  We'll be here with few others.  Jeri will be here, but the others will have left.  I'm sure we will find some new things to do.  We hope to get some great pictures of the fall foliage before we head back.

Monday, September 6, 2010

After the Storm

Well, Earl didn't live up to expectations, but I didn't hear anyone complaining.  I read that the tourism industries failed to achieve their anticipated summer grand finale over the Labor Day weekend. Storm damage was absolutely minimal.  The rain was heavy during the night Saturday morning, but the winds were inconsequential.  Even better, a cold front followed it in which greatly clarified the air and reduced the humidity.  The bay turned from a sullen gray to a sparkling blue.  Sunday seven of us went down to Lincolnville Beach for an early supper at "The Whale's Tooth".  The picture shows the multicolored lobster boats in the Lincolnville harbor.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricane (?) Earl

Greetings from the Maine coast!  A great deal of time today was spent monitoring the status of hurricane Earl.  Over the past couple of days we all examined possible inland sites where we might go should it be necessary.  Fortunately the storm has weakened and moved eastward, so we are staying put.  We did, however, pull in all the awnings, store the lawn furniture and bring our hanging plants inside.  As a matter of fact, we made a trip for lunch to the Bagaduce diner.  This picture has shown up on earlier blogs, but it's worth showing again.  The second picture shows the reversing falls.  The tide is coming in from left to right while the Bagaduce river is moving strongly from right to left.  The result is the turmoil shown in the picture.  The third picture shows that the girls were having entirely too much fun. Lunch consisted of lobster rolls, crab rolls, and haddock sandwiches along with the lightest, most delicate onion rings you have ever had.  The last shot was taken of a monster mushroom we found back at the campground.  There is a large oak leaf in the picture to give you some sense of scale  Perhaps there is a reader out there who can identify it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Meal with a View

Today was a different sort of day at the Moorings.  The weather is strange.  We are all keeping one (or more) eyes on Hurricane Earl.  The air has been still and unusually warm.  I think the high today in Belfast was 98 degrees.  As a result, everyone has been staying inside with the A/C on...not our usual style.  Tonight we got together to visit a place called "The Summit".  It is a special event center about twenty miles south of here with an unequaled view.  It is not a restaurant, but they do serve an excellent assortment of "hors d'ouerves".  You can see from the pictures that the view is spectacular.  We got back to the Moorings and sat outside for another hour or so and watched an assortment of satellites, aircraft and meteors passing overhead.  We will continue to monitor Earl and evacuate if it makes sense.