Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Life, The Universe and Everything.

Venus, located in Presque Isle

'Mostly Harmless' is the sole description of Earth given in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 'Mostly Fun' is what this Earth-bound tour of the Universe is. If you're heading 'up north' this summer (Houlton and beyond on Rt 1) you'll want to keep a lookout for the largest 3 dimensional, scale model depiction of the Universe in, well, the Universe.

You can start with Pluto in Houlton at the Visitor Information Center. Yes, according to the good folks in Maine, Pluto is still a planet! (See our take on Pluto-as-planet.) If you're more of a sun-centric tourist, start at the University of Maine at Presque Isle where the whole project began.

The entire interplanetary tour will take you 40 miles along Rt 1 in Aroostock County. The majority of the planets are visible from the car. The exception being Pluto which is inside the info center in Houlton. (Who knew it was THAT small!) The sun is inside Folsom Hall at the university.

The route passes through several Maine towns and if you stop in Houlton first, you'll be able to get information as to the best places to stop and eat, stay and play. If you were planning to just go through Houlton into Canada, this is an easy, fun side trip even if you only see a couple of the planets! When friends and family ask what you did on vacation, you can casually comment that you had lunch under the rings of Saturn.

For more information on how the solar system model was built, check out the Maine Solar System Model page at the University of Maine at Presque Isle website.

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

No comments: