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Downeast Vacation

In November 2010, we took a week vacation to Downeast Maine. This is the section of coast between Ellsworth and the Canadian border.

The weather to start was not the most cooperative. No sun all day Sunday (11/8/2010), not even a stray ray of sunshine! So we had to make the best of it. This is our room when we arrived on Saturday evening at Pleasant Bay Bed and Breakfast and Llama Farm. .

We had a wonderful breakfast Sunday morning. Started with a plate of fresh fruit: grapes, kiwi, tangerine, banana, and apple. Our B&B hostess made pumpkin muffins, and blueberry stuffed French toast (she cut a thick slice of bread, and sliced it into the middle and stuffed it with blueberries. Said that is how she got her kids to eat their breakfast). Plenty of coffee, tea and blueberry pomegranate juice. We were stuffed as you can guess.

I like this shot I took of a large bale of hay, unlikely to be used because she no longer raises red tail deer; just llamas now.

We went down to Petit Manan, which is a peninsula jutting out into the ocean, and is mostly a wildlife sanctuary. We first did a 1.5 mile walk through the woods down to the ocean. Despite having no sunshine we were able to take some pictures off the tripod. It was a real nice hike, with a rugged trail.

seaweed & lichen, and a tree knot at Petite Manan coastline:

Then we came back for a 4 mile round trip hike just up the road. This hike had a much smoother walking surface. At our furthest point, 2 miles in and aside the ocean, it started to sprinkle. We were in a light rain, that progressively got heavier on the journey out. Fortunately we got less wet from the rain than from sweating. The temperature was in the low 40's, so it was rather raw. On our drive back we warmed up, and quite unfortunately we got back to the B&B in time to see the end of the Pat's game - yuck!! And to make matters worse, we had to endure watching the Jets come from behind 20-10 and win 23 - 20 in OT - double yuck!!!!

Suppers can be difficult for vegetarians in Downeast ME, particularly in November. Saturday we found a nice pizza place called American Pie. Definitely recommended, right on Rte 1. Sunday we ate at an 'interesting' restaurant called Scoville's Millside Dining; the food was fine, though.

In the evening at the B&B we sat in the library, fireplace going, and hot tea in front of us. There was a driving rain outside with temperatures in the mid 30's. We are feeling warm and comfortable.

Monday (November 8th) was more of a driving drizzle, so we decided to tour around and find the spots that we wanted to hike and take pictures. We have yet to see even a single ray of sunshine on this vacation; we aren't certain the sun shines in Downeast Maine. (How do those blueberries ripen?) The Blueberry Barrens, as they call these fields, can be a bright or more subdued red.

Blueberries are a major crop here. We could not believe this wonderfully kitschy and tacky Wild Blueberry Land (closed for the season). Note the 'mini' blueberries surrounding the main building. This place is even better (tackier) in person.

We found all the spots we were looking for on our rainy day drive. We drove out to Quoddy Head State Park and stood in the eastern most point of the United States. Then we headed to downtown Lubec Maine, where the bridge to Campobello Island is, but we did not venture a border crossing.

From there we went to Eastport. Lubec and Eastport are 1 mile apart - if you are an eagle. However, it is a 38 mile drive. Notice Lubec is the eastern most town, and Eastport is the eastern most city, according to their signs. Eastport is basically a quaint shipping port on the harbor between the US and Canada. (click here for the story behind the fisherman)

We toured Raye's Mustard Museum here. Raye's mustard was started in the early 1900's to support the sardine business. It almost closed when the sardine business collapsed, only to have the granddaughter resurrect the business. It was a nice experience for us and we even picked up some of their cold ground mustards for home.

Update: We continue to use Raye's Mustards. If you can find them, they are worth getting.

We were able to take a few sunset shots in Eastport.

We took a quick detour up to the 45th parallel (1/2 way to the pole!).

At this point it was dusk, and we drove back through the blueberry barrens (which we really couldn't see because it was dark). For dinner we at the famous Helen's Restaurant in Machias. We had garden burgers with a garden salad, and of course some blueberry pie. The blueberry pie was good, but Jennifer doesn't have anything to worry about: it was not nearly as good as the one she made when we visited Sebago.


Updated July 2020