Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Maine Trip - Sixth Day - July 9th

I got up at 6:00 and decided to take more of a walk than a photo quest. I walked to the back of the Transue property, then out the road to the point. I turned up the second drive toward the water. This property rises to the top of a granite bluff looking out to the east across Machis Bay. The naval radio antenna array is very visible from this location. I decided to come back to this point at sunrise.
Walking back the point road I noticed some fresh deer tracks in the sandy gravel. When I looked up a Whitetail was looking at me from the side of the road, and she quickly showed me her namesake.
When I got back to the house Bill told me a water line leak had dried up the well and shut the pump down. He fixed it temporarly. After breakfast we made the fix permanent. It looked like a rodent had chewed almost through the pipe and it eventually failed at that point.
I stopped by to say hi to the folks at BBS Lobster. They said things were very slow with the catch only about 50% of what it was at this time last year. I walked through the plant and down to the dock but nothing was going on. I went on to the beaver pond on the property just south of the Transue's, which is shown in today's picture. There I found more deer tracks and much evidence of beaver activity.
Laura & Rowan Donohoe dropped by just before lunch and ended up eating with us. Laura was interested in my photos and I showed her a selection of what I had taken so far on the trip. Her son-in-law is an amateur photographer.
After lunch Bill took Laura to town, and Virginia and I worked in the yard. I fashioned a vegetable garden from the manure pile while Virgina trimed around the plants in the garden. We worked until it started to rain hard enough to matter. At that point I was wet from the rain and sweat and took a shower.
The weather continued to get worse and it got much colder. Bill started a fire in the wood stove after dinner which was much appreciated.

Maine Trip - Day Five - July 8th

Today I decided to really get serious about photographing found objects on the beach. Accordingly, I got up early and tripod over my shoulder, went down to the beach. Using a tripod is definitely more work since it has to be set up and carefully adjusted for each shot. But in situations like this in the early morning on the beach, the results are worth the effort. Afterward I took today's picture of boats moored in Bucks Harbor.
More work in the yard mowing and clearing unwanted growth, a continuous process especially given everything had more time to grow this year because of Bill & Virginia's late arrival.
Mid afternoon, I walked to the entrance to Dickenson's Reach, a 45 minute walk one way. My feet held up but were noticably sore at the end. When I got back we picked up a truck load of trimmings Virginia had produced. It went to a burn pile at the back of the property.
Dinner was excellent. Virginia outdid herself fixing baked haddock, riced potatoes, fresh spinach and fresh local strawberrys. We had a very old bottle of Chardonney from Bill Sr's house which was beyond its prime. The cork crumbled when Bill tried to pull it. After dinner we talked until 10:00 and headed for bed.

Maine Trip - Fourth Day - July 7th

The first full day at Bucks Harbor. This time of year daylight is around 4:30 AM. Since I'm an early riser anyhow, I woke up a little before 5:00. I tried going back to sleep, even read a little, but by 6:00 I was out of bed. Bill & Virginia "sleep in", usually getting up by 8:00, so I went down to the beach with my camera. The local lobster distributor, BBS Lobster, built a new sea wall and filled in part of the beach. They added a truck parking and staging area that they needed badly, but now part of the beach is gone and replaced with an industrial looking seawall. Good for the local business, bad for the local residents.
I went over to the beach on the south side of the harbor where there is nothing from there out to the point. Here the light is fantastic in the early morning. Last year I made several good pictures here, including "Driftwood at Low Tide", which won best of category at a monthly contest at the Orlando Camera Club. I found some excellent subject matter today and feel like it was a productive morning. Today's photo is of driftwood on the beach.
After breakfast, Bill, Virginia and I did some chores, including mowing the grass, something I haven't done for many years. I guess it's like riding a bike, you don't ever forget how to do it and it came back naturally to me. It was actually enjoyable for a while, but I wouldn't want to make it a habit.
Virginia, a neighbor Jane Porter, and Laura & Rowan Donohoe and I had dinner at Bluebird Ranch Restaurant and saw the Machias Downriver Theatre Company presentation of South Pacific at the University of Maine Machias campus auditorium.

Maine Trip - Third Day - July 6th
The stay at the Inn included a very quiet, restful night, and breakfast at the Bagel Hole restaurant next door. I got a cup of coffee as a down payment on the breakfast and walked down to the harbor. Still foggy and not much going on early in the morning. The photo today is of the Camden River from the Riverhouse Footbridge which festooned with flowers.
Since I expected to meet up with Bill Transue at noon in Bangor, I got breakfast, packed up and was on the road by 10:00. Bill called as I was going around Belfast and said not to hurry, that everything was taking much longer than expected. I adjusted the meeting time to 2:00 PM. I stopped in Searsport, spent time at the Penobscot Marine Museum and an antique/junk dealer. I found a candle holder with a finger handle that I had been looking for. Got back on the road around 12:30, ate lunch at Wendy's by the Bangor Airport, and turned in the car at 2:00. A quick taxi ride got me to the hospital where I found Bill just finishing up the first stage of his treatment. Since he still had three more hours to go, I took the grocery list and headed to Hannaford's. I didn't understand the directions so it took me a while to find the store. The good news is that I know Bangor a lot better now.
We finally left the Cancer Center at 5:30. We stopped for gas then headed for Bucks Harbor via the Airline Highway, a fine road through a beautiful, remote area. The principal hazard is an occasional moose which I was assigned watch for.
Virginia greeted us with a dinner of pork chops, new potatoes and green beans. The very full day left us all very ready for bed after drinks and conversation.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Maine Trip - Second Day - July 5th

It was great to be able to sleep in this morning. Nothing to do and no where to be so I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep. The Freeport Hampton Inn is pretty new and very nice and quiet. The breakfast in the lobby was the normal fare. I checked out of the hotel around 10:00 and went into Freeport. First stop was LL Bean where I looked at GPS units. But I don't really need one and resisted the temptation to buy what would just be another toy.
Almost at the north end of the commercial area of Freeport a couple of buildings south of the McDonalds, is a Matthew T Moser furniture store. They have some of the most beautifully designed and built furniture I've ever seen. It's all hand made in New Gloucester, Maine. The prices reflect the quality. A bedroom dresser is $8,500. You can see their products at http://www.mtmoser.com/. Now if I just had the house to put them in.
I had planned to eat lunch in Freeport but the only places that were appealing were expensive and crowded with tourists, so I hit the road north. I ended up stopping in Bath. I went down by the Iron Works looking for a good local restaurant. I found one with a nearly full parking lot, one of the things I look for, and went in. The restaurant was nothing special and there weren't that many customers. The cars in the lot must have been parked there for other reasons. Deceiving. Food was very ordinary, not bad but not noteworthy.
Back on US 1 north, traffic was heavy with long lines forming to go through each tourist town. In Maine, pedestrians in crosswalks have the right-of-way so the tourists cross the highway at will and hold traffic up. Not that it's a bad idea, but some folks don't think before stepping out in front of traffic. I stopped for a while in Wiscasset where I got today's picture of long lines of tourists waiting to buy food at this little walk-up, Bill's, while long lines of cars waited to creep through the town. This town is an antique shopper's heaven. I visited several shops looking for a candle holder with a handle and a reflector that folks used to use to light their way walking in the dark. Still no luck finding one.
Just south of Rockport, I saw a sign for Center for Furniture Craftmanship and Messler Gallery which piqued my courisity. It is a school and workshop for woodworkers and carvers. The Messler Gallery has works made by staff for sale. There are some very beautiful pieces. Check it out at http://www.woodschool.org/. This might be something I can use as a subject for my photo essay class.
I got to the Rockport area around 4:30, and drove around a while before I found where the Maine Photographic Workshop is located. Then I needed to find a hotel. A couple I met at the Messler Gallery had made a couple of suggestions. One was too far to the south, and the other they said was on the water, but a little run down and had been featured in a Stephen King novel. I checked it out and with the fog coming in off the water, I didn't even want to stop to take pictures let alone spend the night there.
I found a very nice inn in the heart of Camden where there are shops and restaurants all around, several on the water. After checking in, I walked down to the waterfront. Ended up eating at the Water Front Restaurant on the bay. I would definitely go back.

Maine trip - first day July 4th

The flight to Boston went well. Got to the airport in plenty of time and got to use the new shoe scanner in the Clear line. Sat next to a nice couple from Palm Coast who were going to Boston to visit her mother on her 88th birthday 7/7/07. The baggage pickup took longer than expected since Airtran has just one small carousel in Boston.
Picked up my Avis rental and got out of Boston and onto I-95 without any trouble. Light rain most of the way. I arrived at the Freeport Hampton Inn a little before 8:00, the Moose above was there to greet me.
The girl at the front desk suggested Gritty's for food and beer. The home brewed beer was excellent, the food unremarkable. I asked two guys next to me at the bar when the fireworks started and was told 9:00 or a little later as was the custom. The barmaid gave me 50% off my quesadillas because I said I didn't like them, so I upped her tip. Went back to the motel, got my hat and rain jacket, and headed for town.
A sign directed me to park in the LL Bean corporate parking lot. The fireworks started as I got out of the car. As I walked toward the center of town, I watched the fireworks on the way. I got there about 15 minutes later just as the finale started.
After the fireworks were over, someone suggested ice cream. That sounded good to me so I went to the Ben & Jerry's and got a waffle cone special with double Cherry Garcia. I sat in front of LL Bean's waterfall fountain with a local couple watching the people walk by and the traffic gridlock. After finishing Cherry Garcia, I walked around a little more. It started raining harder, the sidewalks cleared leaving long lines of cars headed home. I walked back to the parking lot in the rain, thankful for the foresight to get my rain jacket.