Thursday, March 27, 2008

Marshall Point Lighthouse

Marshall Point Light
Part of our trip to Camden this week was a side trip to Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde. You can either turn off Rt 1 onto Rt 131 at Montpelier (General Henry Knox Museum), or turn off Rt 1 and take Rt 73 past the Owl's Head Transportation Museum. Head out toward Port Clyde and follow the 'lighthouse' signs.

It was a clear, brisk day when we were there. But, I do love the smell of the salt air! The skies were brillaint blue, the kind that we get here in spring and early summer. We met up with a couple of teachers who were on vacation from Ohio. (We also saw them again the next day in Camden...small world here in the winter!)

If you are headed up or down Rt 1 between Freeport and Camden, the turnoff for Rt 131 is 58 miles from here. Out to Marshall Point from Rt 1 was another 12 miles. If you hit Port Clyde during lunch there are a couple of somewhat seasonal restaurants right in town. You can also catch the Monhegan Ferry at the dock.
Keeper's House
I'm working on a list of things to do on Rt 1 between Freeport and Camden, stay tuned! I'll include directions and hopefully some great photo op locations, such as this lighthouse keeper's cottage.

Traveling as we do in the quiet season, allows for picture taking that doesn't involve lots of cropping to remove random people!

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tommy Hilfiger opens in Freeport, Maine

The new Tommy Hilfiger store is now open on the corner of Main St and Bow St where Dansk/Lenox used to be.

Wow! They really did some nice renovation work on that space. New wood floors are just a start. The windows are showcasing their summer line-up with lots of sporty stripes in rich colors.

More news around Freeport...a new Jazz Club will be opening around May 1 on Depot St. No other details at this time, but more news as we hear it. In addition to the new club, there will also be a larger music venue when Buck's Naked BBQ opens in its new space near the corner of Desert Rd & Rt 1. Along with LL Bean's Summer Concert Series, the joint will be jumpin' this summer!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Six Stops on Rt 26 in Western Maine

As are six totally different things to do along Route 26, starting in Gray and ending in Paris. Click on the bold names below to go to their websites.

  1. Maine Wildlife Park: open seasonally April to November, give or take. The park operates as a rehabilitation center for injured or abandoned wildlife. From Freeport, take Rt 1 south to Rt 115 in Yarmouth, follow signs to Gray, ME, turn right on Rt 26 and then follow signs to the Wildlife Park, about 30 minutes. $4-$6 admission. Special $50 photographer's pass allows access to behind the scenes areas for the purpose of photographing wildlife.

  2. The Barn on 26 Antiques: 3 1/2 miles north of the village center in Gray. Call for winter hours. Follow directions above from Freeport, about 30 minutes.

  3. Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake, New Gloucester: The only active Shaker Community in existance. Call for visiting hours and classes. Follow directions from Freeport, continue on past Maine Wildlife Park, about 35-30 minutes from Freeport.

  4. Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford: opens in April. Getcher motor running...stock car racing is on tap all summer long! Approx 1 hour from Freeport.

  5. Oxford County Fair, Oxford: September 7-13, 2008 OK, not quite on Rt 26, but close enough! Everything you expect from a county fair and then some! Approx 1 hour from Freeport.

  6. Western Maine Mineral Adventures, Paris: Educational tours, digs and keep what you find adventures! Learn about Maine gemstones such as tourmaline and beryl. Call for hours and to book tours. About 1 1/2 hours from Freeport.

So, there you have it...six completely different family or couples' adventures along Rt 26 from Gray to Paris, Maine. And that is just a start! Stop in each town along the way and sample the local cuisine and hidden treasures. Let us know what you find!

One side trip to take along the way...Once you hit Norway, Maine, hang a left on Rt 118 and head toward Lynchville (14 miles according to the sign). There, at the intersection of Rts 5 and 35, you can take a photo that shows what an international bon vivant you are! And you don't even need a passort to show all your friends just how far you went on your summer vacation.

Bon voyage!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

"Olympia Snow" world's tallest snowwoman, Bethel, Maine

Fondly named 'Olympia Snow' after our senator Olympia Snowe, the world's tallest snowwoman was dedicated at a ceremony on Friday, February 29, 2008. The impressive snowwoman was built with the efforts of the townspeople of Bethel, Maine.

Schoolchildren painted the 8' long 'carrot' nose and helped put together the hat and scarf that adorn Olympia. Her arms are decorated, 27' tall (long at this point) evergreens. Those gorgeous red lips are painted tractor tires. Her stunning black eyes are also tractor tires. Ditto the au courant 'buttons' on her de monde 'dress'.

Towering over the surrounding buildings, Olympia is stunningly decked out with expressive eyelashes made from skis and a charming 6' snowflake pendant. Olympia was predated by 'Angus, King of the Mountain' in 1999. Angus topped out at 112' tall, 10 feet shorter than Olympia.

The folks of Bethel hope the folks of Guinness will open up a category for 'World's Tallest Snowwoman'. In 1999, Angus, King of the Mountain was named 'World's Tallest Snowman'. That record still stands today! With the debut of Olympia, Bethel may lay claim to the tallest family of snowpeople in the world!

It was a great drive out there today, beautiful blue skies and bearable temps around 25. If you haven't been to Maine to ski this year, come soon! There's at least an extra 3' more of snow in Bethel than there is here in Freeport, and we are nowhere near losing our snow cover anytime soon!

There is no fee to stop by and see Olympia (how could they charge, you can see her clear across town!) and the Chamber has a small souvenir stand set up on site. There they have t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and postcards.

From here it was a drive of about 1 hour and 45 minutes. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in Bethel, so come and make a day of it! We took Rt 26 and there are lots of things to do along the way. More on that on another day.