Sue and I decided to do an overnight trip up to Belfast, ME. We had passed through there on our 02/03/12: Photography Adventure To Mt. Desert Island, ME and have wanted to go back and explore. So, to celebrate our 4th anniversary first date, off we went early Friday morning!
We left around 9:00am in search of coffee, which we found at a store along Rt. 4 on the way out of Dover. Our route was 4, 9 in North Berwick, ME, 109, and then up onto I-95 north in Wells, ME. We followed that up just north of Augusta, ME to Exit 113, Rt. 3/202 East, and then all the way into Belfast. The drive took about 3 hours as we stopped a couple of times along the way.
We walked around Belfast for awhile before grabbing lunch at the Dockside Family Restaurant on Main Street, overlooking the harbor. The food was good, service with a smile, and a great family atmosphere.
Though the temperature was up in the 50s, there was that chill in the air that comes from the brisk breezes blowing off of Penobscot Bay. We'd go into a shop and have to unbutton our coats, but then bundle back up just a little when we'd go back outside.
We met some really nice shopkeepers as we ducked into many of the stores along Main Street. All very friendly, but honest about how tough the winter had been for everyone. Maine winters blowing off the ocean can be really brutal up here. One of the folks we met says that hardly anyone went out during the cold blast during a couple of weeks in March. That's how bad it can get. It's not that it's that cold; it's the penetrating cold from the ocean winds that pierce though the thickest of wool sweaters.
After wandering around town for awhile, we drove just a few minutes north on Rt. 1 to our hotel, The Fireside Inn & Suites. And what a view of Penobscot Bay from our room! I could just move myself right there onto that deck and call it a day.....
After dropping our things in the room, we drove up to Searsport, ME, about 10 minutes from the hotel as I wanted to see the harbor and oil yards. Sue had found out that there was a lighthouse up in Stockton Springs, ME, just about another 10 minutes north, so off we went to investigate.
It's quite a ways out onto the peninsula that forms the east side of Stockton Springs harbor, but the Fort Point Lighthouse is one of those things I'm so glad Sue found as it would have been a shame to miss it. What a great area; we walked all around the grounds, and down onto the rocky beach as it was low tide at the time. There were some fairly large ice flows marooned on the beach, which shows that Spring may have come to Maine, but the winter had yet to fully let go.
On the way back to the hotel, we took a short side-step off onto Sears Island. We had hoped to follow the road out to the ocean, but it was closed for the season. So, we just went back to the hotel room, played backgammon for awhile, and then changed up for dinner.
We had decided to eat at the hotel's restaurant, Ocean's Edge, and we're glad that we did. It was a small, intimate setting with expansive views of Penobscot Bay. We had a very nice but inexpensive bottle of Spanish Tempranillo that beautifully complimented both of our meals. Sue had pork chops in some kind of wonderful soft apple cider herb sauce that was just unbelievable. I had such a marvelous chicken dish in a brandy, bashamel sauce, with cherry tomatoesthat I asked the chef to give me a clue as to some of the ingredients. He was so nice to do so, that I bought him a beer! Now, I've just got to try this one out at home!
After breakfast Saturday morning, we jumped in the car and headed south on Route 1 for a leisurely drive down the coast for home. We stopped in Camden for lucnch and then I just had to take us way down the peninsula to Friendship, ME, home of the famous Friendship Sloop, my favorite style sailboat of all time.
On a sailing trip in 2002 with my friend Dan Craig, we had sailed into Friendship Harbor where I caught about a minute of VHS video of a Friendship Sloop heading out of the harbor and unfurrling its sails. I could have spent the rest of my life in joy after seeing that. The on land vist was especially significant for me for that reason.
Long day, but arrived home in good spirits around 3:30pm. Great trip!