Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Maine that Is

If this photo doesn't look like much, it's because the Tidal Bore at Monckton,
New Brunswick wasn't much that morning. Louise was disappointed.
On this day the Tidal Bore was a total bore.
(Fuji X-Pro1,
XC 50-230mm f4.8-6.3 OIS lens)

Leaving Halifax, we traveled as far as Monckton, New Brunswick. where we parked our travel trailer in a Wal-Mart parking lot for the night -- a practice RVers call "boondocking," and got up early the next morning because Louise wanted to see the Tidal Bore.

This area has the highest tides in the world. In fact, the tide actually pushes the current in the Petitcodiac River backward more than 17 miles from the sea. This wall of water pushing upstream against the current is called the Tidal Bore. Sometimes it is several feet high and a few adventurous people surf it, but on this morning it was only about a foot high and Louise was disappointed.

Crossing back into the U.S. at Calais, we decided that since we had never been farther north along the Maine coast than Rockland, we would travel U.S. Hwy.1, which ran closest to the coast. I was hoping to make some good pictures of harbors and fishing villages, but the weather was overcast and rainy.

Arriving at Mt. Desert Island under clearing skies, we found a nice campground and stayed for three days, touring the island and Acadia National Park, a truly beautiful park. I especially enjoyed the trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern U.S. seaboard at 1532 feet. We drove through the town of Bar Harbor, about which we had heard much over the years, but the place was jammed, there was no place to park, and nothing there we wanted to see anyway, so we drove on around the island.

Bar Harbor from the top of Cadillac Mountain.
1532 feet up. A bit of haze in the air.
(Fuji X-T20, XC 50-230mm f4.8-6.3 OIS lens)

I didn't make many photographs at Acadia National Park. It was quickly obvious to me that the park was a subject that would require time and proximity at all seasons to do it justice, and since I had neither, I bought a book of photographs by Bob Thayer titled, appropriately, Acadia National Park at the gift shop. His photos are truly lovely. I'm envious.

Higgins Beach, where Louise's aunt had a beach house for many
years. Even this relatively obscure beach is jammed on July 1st, 2019.
(Fuji X-T20, XF 27mm f2.8 lens)

Moving on down the coast, we parked our trailer in a campground at Cape Neddick and set out to visit some of the places we had enjoyed on previous trips. We had gone to Maine three times in the '80s, one of them on a magazine assignment, and found it all enchanting. But now? Not so much. Things have changed, and not for the better from our viewpoint. Southeastern Maine is eaten up with tourists and development and is no longer at all enchanting to us. Dock Square in Kennebunkport, where I discovered the photography of B.A. "Tony" King at the Book Port bookstore in 1982 (I wrote about it here), was so jammed that we didn't even attempt to stop.

Louise selects her lobster. (To my shame, I must
confess that this photo was made with my iPhone.)

But it wasn't all bad. We had lobster five days in a row and Louise, whose absolute favorite food is lobster, says that that, at least, is still great!

I have a large file of Maine photographs from the '80s, so I didn't attempt to take many on this trip. To be honest, I no longer find Maine inspirational. But this is the Maine that is.

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(Photographs copyright David B. Jenkins 2020)

Soli Gloria Deo

To the glory of God alone

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