Monday, August 16, 2010

Maine Lighthouse Tour
Day 3

With the sleep still in my eyes, I look out at the day. There are puddles in the parking lot outside our lodgings. The surface is polka-doted with dimples in the way that tells you the rain has not yet stopped. I attend to the morning rituals along with packing the bags and by the time that’s complete we can see that the rain is barely a mist. Off we go to the local truck stop, Dysart’s for breakfast with the kiddo and family. Then we set out for our trek across Maine via route 9.

It isn’t long before the drizzle starts in earnest and we slip the rain gear on for good measure. At first we are a bit annoyed at the persistent mist but as time goes on, you become a part of it. It fails to cause any further distraction. Along the way, there are a few places that attract our attention. One of them is the Farm Museum. The museum itself is closed this day, but there are enough items on the outside to keep us busy for a while. I find a fascination with the seats which line both sides of this display. Andy finds his fascination in the flat head engine blocks.

We reach coastal route 1 and know that now we begin in earnest our Lighthouse tour. Our first stop is the Whitlock Mill Lighthouse. While this is not a lighthouse you are able to walk up to, which is my primary interest on this trip, it is significant in that it is the most northerly in the US on the east coast. Privately owned, the lighthouse is visible from the visitors viewing rest spot.

Our next planned stop is St Croix Island International Historic site. This peaceful sight is full of history. The French first tried to colonize this spot in the 1600’s. However after a miserable winter in which many died of scurvy the spot was abandoned. We visit with the park ranger and I get a stamp in my Passport Book for good measure.

On our way to the next lighthouse, we are sidetracked by the 45th parallel. France, Japan, Mongolia are but a few of the places where the parallel passes. Here we stop to stand and imagine what the people are doing around the world all along this parallel. Nearby we find an eclectic shop with the most curious converted van in the lot. The most amusing thing on this van was a slot in a pair of fabricated lips through which a person can make donations for gas and repairs. Now why didn’t I think of that?

The distractions that side tracks us this day have us running a bit late to the next light. The mist becomes drizzle again and we miss the sign for the West Quoddy Lighthouse and end up viewing the Lubec Lighthouse instead. We stop in for coffee to warm up and view the light from a distance. We ask the locals where we went wrong and soon we are on our way again.

The West Quoddy Head light is a bit off the beaten track, and we are diverted from route 1 for more miles than I anticipated. We arrive after 5:00 pm and of course the visitor center is closed and the lighthouse stamp locked up with it. The drizzle here is pelting and cold and for the first time today, my teeth begin to chatter. I don’t let it get the best of me and I make sure to walk the grounds and enjoy the fact that I’m as far east as a person can go in the US and still be on dry land. This lighthouse is picturesque and if the day had been better would have afforded some exceptional photos.

With the day drawing to a close we get ourselves back to US 1 and begin our hunt for lodging. The pickings are slim and the shop keepers know it. In the end, while paying a pretty penny I feel the price worth it in the amenities afforded us. I’m glad to be off the bike as my sciatic nerve is once again aggravated. My own fault really, in that playing four year old games with a not four year old body, something is going to give. The back is paying the price.

1 comment:

Willie aka NomadWillie said...

Did the women ranger talk your ear off at St Croix. She is a great ranger !!! I will be back for my third stamp here sometime next year