On Wednesday, August 14th, we returned to the USA from St. Andrews, NB. We drove 233 miles to Boothbay, ME where we spent five nights at Shore Hills Campground. When we went through Customs to re-enter the U.S., the Border Guard asked Phil if he had any fruits or vegetables on board. When Phil replied that we only had some that we’d brought into Canada with us, the Border Guard asked to inspect the inside of the fifth wheel. Once inside, he only looked inside the refrigerator and confiscated two lemons that we had bought in the US. Apparently citrus fruits can’t be brought into the US from Canada, even if they originated in the US. The rest of the drive was uneventful but was quite slow, taking over five hours. We passed through a number of small towns including Camden, ME, where the traffic was bumper-to-bumper for quite a while. Our campsite in Boothbay was quite long and we had a lot more space between us and our neighbors than we had had at our last two campgrounds. For dinner, we got takeout seafood from Karen’s Hideaway.
Thursday was spent addressing a number of domestic needs. We drove to Augusta, Maine’s state capital, to get some routine maintenance on the Mazda. We took advantage of being in a big town by stocking up on groceries at Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart and Shaw’s. On our return trip, we drove to Bath, ME to pick up a prescription at Walgreens.
We spent Friday in Camden, ME, an hour’s drive from Boothbay. Camden is an affluent coastal village on Penobscot Bay, in Maine’s MidCoast region. We had intended to begin the day with a hike in the Camden Hills State Park but, since it was raining, we spent the first couple of hours exploring downtown Camden instead. We parked at the Visitors’ Center by the picturesque harbor, visited a number of stores along Main Street, and then walked along the High Street Historic District where there are many 19th-century homes that have been beautifully maintained. At noon, we began our hike on the Mt. Megunticook Trail. The hike was a 5-mile out-and-back trek to Zeke’s Overlook. It was of moderate difficulty and included an elevation rise of over 1,000’. It was a good workout but was somewhat disappointing in the limited number of scenic viewpoints. By the completion of our hike, our legs were exhausted. We returned to Karen’s Hideaway for takeout seafood again, as we were too tired to cook dinner.
On Saturday we visited two nearby seaport towns, Bath and Wiscasset. Both have long histories, dating back to their exploration by Samuel de Champlain in 1605. Both towns have been long-time centers for shipbuilding and lumber. Tourists are attracted to these towns by their large collections of 19th-century architecture. We visited Bath first and strolled along the historic shopping district on Front Street, just a block from the Kennebec River. We had a late lunch at Bruno’s Pizza. Then, while Jan did some shopping, Phil visited the Linwood E. Temple Waterfront Park. As we left Bath, we passed a giant lobster on the roof of the Taste of Maine restaurant. We next did a quick visit to Wiscasset, which proclaims itself as the “Prettiest Village in Maine.” We drove by a large number of beautifully-restored homes from the 1800s.
On Sunday we visited Boothbay Harbor, at the end of the peninsula. Boothbay Harbor was just another fishing village until it was discovered by wealthy city folks who built imposing seaside homes there. Since then, it has emerged as a premiere tourist destination. A popular attraction is the long, narrow footbridge across the harbor, built in 1901. We wandered around on the piers, stopped for ice cream, and visited a few of the many souvenir shops.