Monday, December 23, 2013

Golden Road Millinocket Maine

Telos Rd off the Golden Road Millinocket Maine
Telos Rd
No trip to Millinocket is complete without a drive down the Golden Rd. This secondary (toward the end tertiary) road goes from Millinocket to Canada. The border crossing into Canada is limited to logging trucks so don't think you're headed out on a moonshine run! There are innumerable hidden trails along the road. Nothing is marked so you really need to get directions from a local.

The Appalachian Trail crosses the Golden Road near Abol Pond.

Town names along the road are a little different to say the least. The photo above was taken in T3 R11 WELS. Translated: Township 3 Range 11 West of Easterly Line of the State.

Continuing down the road you come to Haymock Lake where you can stay at Macannamac Camps and Lodges for a real outdoors Maine experience. 

River Pond Nature Trail Millinocket
A walk in the woods at River Pond Nature Trail
 One of the trails we found along the Golden Rd. We didn't know it but you can drive your car down this road to a small parking area. We pulled in off the road and parked there. There is NO parking on the Golden Rd. Log trucks have the right of way at all times. You're just a visitor. This is a working logging road.

West Branch gorge
Just below the power house on the West Branch
Next stop was down the Power House Dam Rd. There is parking above the power house and an outhouse which can come in pretty handy after bouncing along on the Golden Rd for an hour! We wandered down a side trail where we found this gorgeous view of the gorge below the dam. Great place for a picnic lunch!

One of the trails leading to the West Branch Falls

The culmination of our drive was the Ripogenus Lake Dam. The Golden Rd continues on after this for another 50 miles or so to Canada. 

Ripogenus Dam
Below the dam

Ripogenus Dam
Gears on the Ripogenus Dam
 Stopped a few more times on the way back to Millinocket. Once to get another shot of Katahdin and again at the River Drivers Pub on Twin Pines Rd. Great ambiance and very friendly servers! We got the scoop on a few more places we have to go next time we're up this way including the bunk house where Rock's dad probably stayed back in the 40's when he worked worked in the area!


Your intrepid innkeepers

Combine this drive with a few days at Baxter State Park and you are well on your way to enjoying a small slice of the Great Maine Woods! It's a 3 hour drive from White Cedar Inn so plan to stay here a couple of days for your 'ocean' time and then head inland for your 'mountain and lakes' time. One state. We've got it all! (The desert is here in Freeport!)

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

Thursday, December 19, 2013

K Is for Katahdin

Katahdin Baxter State Park Millinocket Maine
Katahdin from the Sandy Stream Pond Trail

The most famous mountain in Maine? It's certainly the tallest at just shy of 1 mile (5, 269 ft). Although called 'Mount Katahdin' that's a bit of a redundancy. (Like La Brea Tar Pits which is 'The Tar Tar Pits' in translation!) Katahdin means 'Greatest Mountain' so it turns out we're all saying 'Mount Greatest Mountain'!

Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The last 100 miles of the trail are said to be the hardest with places that are not even trail but just scrambling over and between boulders deposited by the retreating ice when the glaciers melted.

BTW, that is not snow in the photos, it's granite.

Not much else for me to say...just enjoy the photos! Taken from 3 different sides of the mountain. 

Katahdin Baxter State Park Millinocket Maine
Katahdin from our room at the inn

Katahdin Baxter State Park Millinocket Maine
Katahdin from the Sandy Stream Pond Trail

Katahdin South Twin Lake 5 Lakes Lodge
South Twin Lake with Katahdin

Golden Road Katahdin
Katahdin from the Golden Rd

Katahdin Golden Road
Katahdin (no, that is not a moose in the water, but we did stop because we thought it was!)

It's about a 3 hour drive from White Cedar Inn to get to Millinocket. If you decide to head up that way and stay over, we enjoyed the 5 Lakes Lodge in Millinocket. (See photo above for the view from every room at the lodge!) Wonderful innkeepers and great breakfasts. They can get you set up for an early start if you're going to climb Katahdin!

If you'd rather camp in Baxter State Park you must have a reservation for both your camp site and a place to park your car at the trail heads. If you do not reserve in advance you may find yourself out of luck. Parking is minimal, roads are not quite 2 lane. No large vehicles, no motorcycles and no dogs allowed.

This is truly a park for enjoying nature!

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

Saturday, November 23, 2013

S is for Sculpture

Maine is filled with what a lot of folks think are 'quirky' people. It's a state where there are few 'big company' jobs so most people make a living doing a lot of different things. Some people think this is a tragedy. Others like the ability to do a multitude of jobs in a year. Yes, it's tough to make a go of it when you just don't know if there will be enough work at any given time.

When you live in a place like Maine (and there are quite a few places like this around the country and around the world) it's a good thing when you hit upon something you like to do that also earns you a living and makes it worth getting up in the morning. We should all be so lucky.

Sculpture is a tough medium. You're working with nature for the most part, or nature reinvented. Stone, wood, metal, sand, ice. Sometimes your medium is a 'forever' medium and sometimes it's gone with the wind or the rain.

Here are a few places in Maine to see sculpture on a massive scale. Along your travels I suggest stopping into the little out-of-the-way shops to pick up some Maine sculpture of your own. Small pieces abound in craft, jewelry and other hidden shops. Or, if you brought the truck, pick up a couple of these to take home!

Stemwinder Sculpture Gardens
Mushroom sculpture at Stemwinder Sculpture Gardens

After reading an article in the PPH, I took a drive to Warren to see Jay Sawyer's sculpture garden. He had not yet had a chance to get all of his sculptures documented so I was asked to only take pix of the mushroom. There is a gravel path that winds thru the property around a pond and along a shady road. Jay's raw materials line the road and are stacked and stored near the parking area. To see more of his funky artwork check out his own website - Jay Sawyer's Stemwinder Sculpture Gardens - and then take a drive!

Andre the seal - Rockport Harbor

From the book of the same name! Check out the granite sculpture of the famed harbor seal in Rockport.

Gilsland Farm Audubon
Crow sculpture at Gilsland Farm Audubon

Looking for a relaxing walk in the woods, along the shore and through the fields? The Gilsland Farm Audubon Center is only 20 minutes from here, straight down Rt 1.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Crystal ball at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Rebar fox at CMBG

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Buck at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
The rebar sculptures at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens were for sale when we visited so some of these might be gone.

The 'crystal' ball sculpture is along the river trail on the way to the fairy house garden. Sculptures in a variety of media are scattered throughout the gardens. It's easier to see them in the spring before you're distracted by all the flowers! Don't forget to keep an eye out on the drive in. There are animal sculptures keeping watch over the road, looking down from rock outcroppings.

And let's not forget the kitschy sculptures...

LL Bean boot sculpture

Berlin Wall on Long Wharf Portland Maine
Pieces of the Berlin Wall on Long Wharf in Portland

Lobster Kong Long Wharf Portland Maine
Lobster Kong on Long Wharf in Portland

And, some local sculptures from Sebastian Meade.These cool robots are made with recycled whatnot! See if you can pick out the different components... (Follow more Acts of Random Art here.)

For more places to see outdoor sculpture in Maine, check out the article from the Portland Press Herald that got me started! Maine Sculpture Tour Then get in the car and go!

White Cedar Inn
Your intrepid blogger
White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Boothbay Railway Museum

On the road again! We took a short road trip last week to the Boothbay Railway Museum. Totally cool! The museum is about 35 minutes from here. In the summer you can also hit up Red's on Rt 1 in Wiscasset. Anytime of year you can go to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens or take a drive on Ocean Point Dr. Add in a tour around Southport Island and the Maine State Aquarium and you've got more than a day's adventure in store!

Take a look - the model railroad is worth the trip in and of itself!

loading up the coal
Loading up with coal

Boothbay Railway Museum narrow gauge train
Narrow gauge train at Boothbay Railway Museum

Boothbay Railway Museum covered bridge with train
Covered bridge
Boothbay Railway Museum train crossing
At the crossing

Model Railroad - check out the guy fishing in the pond!
Model railroad at Boothbay Railway Museum
Model railroad lighthouse

Need a distributor cap? This old timey gas station has one!

Hey! Look at that - that old watch keeps good time!

It's not a day out if Rock doesn't get into a fun photo!
lobster roll at Red's in Wiscasset
Lobster roll at Red's

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gorgeous Autumn Colors

No purpose to this post other than to show you some fabulous fall foliage from this weekend! But isn't that a good enough reason?

Swamp maples fall foliage
View from upstairs

swamp maple foliage
Gorgeous view from an upstairs window

angel hair milkweed seeds
Angel hair

Damariscotta Lake foliage
Damariscotta Lake

Last pollen of the summer

Along the road

Rt 1 Waldoboro

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Angel Food Trifle with Lime Raspberry

Angel food cake raspberries whipped cream
Angel food with lime raspberries

Some days you just need a little something bright and cheery to top off your day (or, in our case, start your day)!


Angel food cake (make your own or shortcut with a boxed mix or store bought cake)
2 cups raspberries
1 tbsp sugar for raspberries
1/4 c sugar for whipped cream
1 tsp lime zest
A sprinkle more lime zest for the topping
1 c heavy or whipping cream
1/4 c sour cream

How to:

I made the angel food cake in loaf pans. To serve 12 took 1 loaf. For the photo I used a martini glass but we served the trifle in 6 oz dessert cups.

Cut angel food cake into bite-size chunks. (MUCH easier to do this if the angel food cake is frozen.) 

Side note - have you ever tried to cut angel food cake? It's like cutting marshmallows. Yikes! That's why I found it easier the second time to cut the cake while it was frozen. Try not to hold on too tightly while cutting, the cake compresses very easily! Use a gentle, sawing motion with a serrated bread knife.

Mash the raspberries with a fork and toss with 1 tbsp sugar and lime zest. Let sit. (You can also hit the mash with some lime juice.)

Using a cold, metal mixing bowl whip the heavy cream, sour cream, 1/4 c of sugar until soft peaks form. Keep the bowl in the fridge until you are ready to do the mixing.

Distribute the cake among the dessert cups, top with mashed raspberries, add whipped cream and sprinkle lightly with lime zest. (I added blueberries because it's Maine!)

Let your guests know it's not a bowl of white bread but angel food cake. We got a few odd looks until I mentioned it was cake. ;-)

Use the juice from the lime for a margarita!

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Red, White and Blueberries

watermelon gelatin
Red, White and Blueberry

A cool, refreshing summer treat made with vanilla panna cotta, watermelon and blueberries!

Ingredients: 8 medium servings

White layer -
1 pint heavy cream
2 tbsps sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg gelatin

Red layer - 

2 cups pureed seedless watermelon (to set up properly do not run blender on high or overly aerate mixture)
1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 pkg gelatin

Blue layer - 

1 cup blueberries
2 tbsps sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice

How to - Start early in the morning or make up the night before, all the layers need time to set up.

For the white layer - 

Pour 3 tbsps of cold water into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Pour 1 pkg of gelatin on top and let set up. On the stove top, gently heat the heavy cream and sugar. When there is a slight steam coming off the cream it's done. DO NOT BOIL! Add the vanilla, stir gently and then pour into the gelatin.

Stir the mixture to blend the gelatin in. Pour equal amounts into 8 dessert cups. (I used clear glass to see the colors.) Pop in fridge to set up, about 2 hours.(It's easier to do this if you put the cups on a small cookie sheet before pouring the panna cotta in.)

Make the blueberry sauce next. 

Heat blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan until boiling nicely. Boil one minute, remove from heat, add vanilla. Set aside to cool.

When vanilla layer is set up make the red layer. Puree the watermelon a little at a time to keep from frothing. (Plus, watermelon is the hardest thing I've ever tried to puree! It just gets stuck on the blades and sits there!) It takes about 1/2 of a small watermelon to get 2 cups of puree.)

Set the puree aside, add the lemon juice to it. 

Add 3 tbsps of cold water to another 2 cup glass measuring cup. Pour in gelatin, let set up. 

In a pot on the stove top (the same one from earlier, you have washed it by now, right?) boil the sugar and 1/4 c of water until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Cool the sugar mixture until it is just warm, then pour into the gelatin. Stir. Skim any foam off the watermelon puree and pour the puree into the gelatin mix, stir. (If the sugar mix is too hot the gelatin will 'die' and it won't set up properly.)

Pour the watermelon mix on top of the vanilla panna cotta. Let set for another couple of hours.

Add cooled blueberry mixture and serve.

This actually took longer for me to type up than it takes to make other than the setting up times.

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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fort Edgecomb

Fort Edgecomb
Fort Edgecomb

Located just across the bridge from Wiscasset to Edgecomb, Fort Edgecomb was built to protect and defend shipping traffic on the Sheepscot River into Wiscasset Harbor.

Situated right on the river are rolling hills and short trails with scenic views. Plan to bring a picnic lunch to take advantage of summer breezes!

How to get here:

From the inn go north on Rt 1 to Wiscasset. Cross the bridge and turn right on Eddy Rd. Turn right again on Old Fort Rd. Just before you get to the fort, the road becomes very narrow.

Make a day of it and head into Boothbay Harbor. Leaving the fort, turn right on Eddy Rd, continue to Rt 27, go right. Stay on Rt 27 into Boothbay. While in Boothbay, head to Southport Island to check out some lighthouses. Hendricks Head Lighthouse

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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Grilled Blueberry Muffins

grilled blueberry muffin
Grilled blueberry muffin
What a perfect way to start the day! Sure, your average blueberry muffin is good all on its own, but let's kick it up a notch here with a little buttah. 

How to -

Start with your favorite blueberry muffin (also works with cranberry muffins, or pretty much any muffin!) If you have to buy the muffins, that's ok, all is forgiven once this hits the table.

I use my old standby cookbook - Betty Crocker. (Side note, I tried Martha's recipe for blueberry muffins and they did not come out like muffins, more like scones. Which makes sense because the scone recipe came out like muffins.) But use whatever recipe you like.

When the muffins are baked and cooled, slice them from North to South Pole (rather than along the Equator). Put a tbsp of butter in a frying pan, heat until water dropped on the surface spits and place the muffin halves, cut side down, in the pan. Fry until browned, less than 1 minute. Pay attention, it really is less than 1 minute!

Turn out onto a plate, dust with powdered sugar. Voila!

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mackworth Island State Park

Fort Gorges with Portland Head
Fort Gorges with Portland Head Light in the background
Another road trip on a beautiful sunny day! We love to just pick a spot we've never been to, point the car in the right direction and go!

Today's choice? Mackworth Island. Why? Fairy houses! (See the fairy house blog for the photos.) Plus, it's a great walk through dappled sunshine and off shore breezes.

Fairy house on Mackworth
One of the hundreds of fairy houses on the island

We were loaned a small pamphlet at the gatehouse to use on our tour around the island. In it you learn the island is the home of the Baxter School for the Deaf which shares the island with the Mackworth Island State Park and the pet cemetery for Gov Baxter's dogs and one horse. I'm not going to delve into the darker side of the former problems at the school, this is just a story of a walk in the woods.

The Falmouth Town website has a good overview map of the island (see below).
Mackworth Island trail guide from Falmouth Town website

The parking lot is pretty small so don't expect to find a spot on a sunny summer day. This is a great hike in the quieter months. Admission to the park is $3 and is pretty much on the honor system (but you'll note the camera watching you so pay up!)

I was just walking over to check the admission fee when this caught my eye. I totally caught its eye as well but we watched each other on the sly. Believe me, if that fox moved toward me I was so out of there!

fox on Mackworth
The welcoming committee

The trail is very easy to follow, well packed down and it looked to be mostly wheelchair accessible other than the beach access which was pretty rough. Other beach areas have stairs.

Great views of Portland Harbor, Falmouth Foreside and some of the 'Calendar' Islands all the way around the trail.

There were random benches and this one great seat along the trail. Although, seriously, from this angle it looks too much like Moby Dick!

Mackworth Island trail
Huge downed tree

Lots of wild flowers, birds and assorted trees. (The island was completely deforested for fire wood during the Civil War and replanted with non-native species in the 1920's.)

spring flowers
Gorgeous woodland flowers abound
The remains of an old Civil War pier are along the trail. From the end of the pier you can watch sailboats and harbor traffic from Portland. Bring along binoculars as the low lying rocky islands are seasonally packed with seals, cormorants and gulls and other sea birds. (Zooming in with my photo software I can see one lone seal on one of the rocky outcrops just off the shore. It's a tiny speck on the photo just where the V is on the left of the island.)

Portland Harbor
Harbor traffic

 And we can't forget the 'pet sematary' that's about halfway around on the trail. Gov Baxter's 17 pet Irish Setters and one horse named Jerry are buried here. It's set apart from the trail so look for the turnoff.

pet sematary
Pet cemetery

The whole trail is 1.5 miles, easy grade. You could take 30 minutes or spend the day with a picnic lunch sitting on the beach. Pets are allowed but must be leashed and you must clean up after them. Remember, there is a school on the grounds and you saw that fox earlier. Lots of wildlife here, you don't want your dog running off after something (or the reverse!)

On the way out we saw clammers in the Presumpscot River. So strange. There they are in the shadow of Portland.

clammers Presumpscot River

How to get there:
From the inn, go south on Rt 1 to Falmouth approx 15 miles. You'll pass the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center on the right. A little ways after that there is a turning lane in the middle of Rt 1. Just before the turning lane ends is the left turn onto Andrews Ave that takes you across the causeway to the island. There is a large green sign directing you to The Baxter School for the Deaf, this is where you turn left off Rt 1 onto Andrews Ave. (If you reach the Martin's Point Bridge you've gone too far.)

Stop at the gatehouse for directions to the parking area. The parking lot is VERY small, so visitors are limited. Entry fee is $3 for out of state over 12 years old and $2 for in state residents.

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