On Friday, September 18th, we left our 2-month home in Trenton, ME and drove 180 miles south to Biddeford, ME, where we spent 10 nights at Homestead on the River Campground. This is the same campground where we began our 2020 stay in Maine, also where we spent 15 nights in 2019.
On Saturday, we hiked the 2.5-mile Clayton Park In-Town Loop in Biddeford. The trail we hiked, although very nice, was rated as moderate by Alltrails but was not nearly as challenging as the moderate trails we hiked near Acadia.
On Sunday, we drove to Kennebunkport and did some shopping at Dock Square. We then attempted to do the Goose Rocks Beach Walk. Unfortunately, the tide was in so we were unable to access the beach at the trailhead. In an attempt to get to the beach, we walked back along Kings Highway, through a neighborhood of expensive beachfront homes. After every few homes, there was a pathway leading to the beach but they were all labeled as Private Property. Finally, after about a mile, we reached a public access entrance to the beach. We spent some time on the beach before returning back down Kings Highway to our car.
On Monday morning, we got ready to drive to Portsmouth, NH. However, as we started to back the car out of our campsite, the rearview camera was not functioning. Then, as we began to drive, the navigation system froze up. We pulled into a parking lot and called our dealer in San Antonio. No service managers were available but they said they would have one call us; no one ever called. We then called the Mazda dealer in Portsmouth to see if we could get in that afternoon while we were in town. They agreed to fit us in at 3 pm. We returned to our trailer and Jan used Google to research our issue. She found that several people had had similar issues and many of them had come up with solutions. When we returned to our car to attempt some of the fixes, everything was working again. We may never know what caused the problem but we were glad the problems were resolved for now.
When we finally arrived in Portsmouth, our first mission was to find a place to eat. Our first choice, as well as others we considered, were closed due to COVID. After doing a loop around downtown, we settled on a Mexican restaurant, La Caretta. After lunch, we continued to stroll through downtown before heading to Prescott Park. On our return, we walked through the neighborhoods near the water where homes from the late-18th and early-19th centuries have been beautifully restored and now serve as either residences or museums.
On Tuesday, we drove to Freeport. We started at the flagship L.L. Bean store, then strolled along Main Street. We had hoped to get a snack at the Whoopie Pie store but it was closed on Tuesday. We finally decided to have a pizza at the Maine Beer Company, where COVID-related safety procedures were taken to a level we had not seen anywhere else.
On Wednesday, we returned to Kennebunkport and hiked a couple of miles out-and-back along Parsons Way. Although not truly a trail, Parsons Way is the sidewalk along Ocean Avenue that runs from Colony Beach to Walker Point, the summer home of George H.W. and Barbara Bush. Henry Parson donated this property in 1944 for the public’s enjoyment. The views of the ocean are spectacular and there are many benches along the way to allow visitors to relax and soak up the scenery.
On Thursday, we hiked 3 miles at Timber Point in Biddeford Pool. Timber Point, now part of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, is a historic summer estate that was developed in the 1930s by architect Charles Ewing for his family. The southernmost tip of the property is Timber Island, which is only accessible by foot near low tide. We timed our arrival so we could cross over to the island, then enjoyed the waves as they crashed on the rocks as we walked the circumference of the island. Upon returning to the mainland, we visited the Ewing estate where the original buildings are still in place. On our drive home, we stopped at the Pool Street Market and picked up a lobster roll that we shared for lunch.
We spent Friday in Cape Elizabeth, ME, just south of Portland. Our first stop was at Two Lights State Park. The park’s name originated from the twin lighthouses, built in 1828, that are located nearby. Although neither lighthouse is visible from within the park, the park does have a wonderful 1.3-mile loop trail through the woods and along the rocky Atlantic Ocean coast. We climbed down the rocks and enjoyed sitting by the crashing waves. We also explored the remains of a U.S. Army battery that protected the harbor during World War I and II.
For lunch, we stopped at the Two Lights Lobster Shack Restaurant. This popular takeout shack sits on a rocky crest above the Atlantic coast and across a small inlet from one of the lighthouses, which is now a private residence. We ate at a picnic table near the cliffs. Phil had a clam boat and Jan had a shrimp boat.
After lunch, we headed to nearby Williams Park. A former fort of the U.S Army, Fort Williams operated from 1872 to 1964. Three artillery batteries were manned there during the two world wars. Portland Head Light is located within the park. This lighthouse, built in 1787 at the direction of George Washington, is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and the most photographed lighthouse in the United States. We hiked the loop trail around the park and climbed down the rocks to get a closer view of a hole in one of the cliffs.
On Saturday, September 26th, we headed to Portland intending to spend some time exploring the shops in Old Port. Finding a parking spot proved to be a major challenge as downtown was very busy. The one spot we finally found had a meter that only took quarters. Our pooled collection of quarters only bought us a little more than an hour of time so we had to rush through a number of stores. We then tried to find a parking spot that took a credit card but, after driving around a while, we gave up and drove to Freeport again. We visited the Whoopie Pie store that had been closed on Tuesday. Jan also purchased a lobster trap buoy she had seen on our previous visit to Freeport.