My good friend Rick has a convertible and a few days ago the weather was outstanding, so he and I went on a road trip to the Schoodic Peninsula, part of Acadia National Park that’s on the mainland a little more than an hour from Searsport. Some of the wave swells came crashing in on the granite point, raising spectacular splashes that went high in the air. Of course, I wasn’t able to capture any of that action, so I had to settle for this nice shot.
From Schoodic we traveled to Bar Harbor, where there were two large cruise ships in port that day! It was quite a surprise to see the two ships, each with their tenders ferrying passengers to and from the wharf in downtown Bar Harbor. As we walked around downtown looking for a place to have lunch, we heard many languages being spoken. And as you might imagine, most of the restaurants were quite full. We ended up at Leary’s Landing Irish Pub, where I had fish & chips and Rick enjoyed his shepherd’s pie. They have a great selection of brews and a full bar.
As I write this, the festivities of the last five days are just wrapping up, with a farewell reception. All week the energy has been palpable. People making new discoveries, sharing their skills and creativity with others, extraordinary objects created. It’s really been fun here! From handmade flutes with Hawk Henries, to felted fantasy masks, to knitting, painting, photography and so much more. Searsport Shores has been vibrant with creativity. I’m sure Astrig, Emma and their amazing team of volunteers will be crunching the numbers in the coming days, but for now it’s safe to say that the 10th anniversary of Fiber College was bigger and better than ever. Be sure to mark your calendar for next year – September 6-10, 2017 – and bookmark the website (FiberCollege.org) so you won’t miss all the fun.
Labor Day weekend is now behind us, so autumn isn’t far off now. It’s been a wonderfully warm and sunny summer, but now it’s time to look ahead to all that fall offers. Most notably, here in New England, is our gloriously colorful fall foliage season. According to a recent article in the Bangor Daily News (CLICK HERE to read the article) this year’s foliage change should be right on the usual schedule, “with peak colors in northern Maine occurring the last week of September into the first week of October. Central Maine and the western mountains see peak conditions around Columbus Day weekend with southern Maine peaking in mid- to late October.” If you’re planning to come to Searsport Shores this fall, or anywhere else in Maine, to check out the colors, here’s the website where you’ll find the latest information on foliage: MaineFoliage.com.
Many people rent kayaks to paddle around in Penobscot Bay. A common question is How long will it take to paddle over to Sears Island from Searsport Shores? Of course this depends mostly on the experience, strength and stamina of the paddler, but a good estimate for someone who is in reasonably good physical condition is 30-45 minutes. The weather and direction of the wind and tide are other factors. If the tide is on the way out, you will be paddling against it on the way to the island, and the current will be with you on your return. As for the wind, it shifts around all the time and you’ll know if you’re paddling with the wind at your back or in your face! Sometimes you’ll be paddling against the wind in both directions.
Obviously, the most direct route to Sears Island is a straight line from the Shores straight across the mouth of Searsport Harbor, and this is the quickest path, a distance of about two miles. If you paddle along the shore, it’s a greater distance, so it will take you a little longer, but this is often the best choice for less experienced kayakers. Along the way you’ll find many buoys or channel markers, including a bell buoy that you might sometimes hear on windy days when there’s choppy water. Here’s what the bell buoy looks like close up. You can see Sears Island in the background, and if you look real close you’ll see a red tugboat heading out to greet an incoming freighter, on it’s way to the cargo port.
And here’s a picture of the reward for paddling over to Sears Island! My wife Lorelei found a wonderful rock to rest on, on the beach at low tide, on the west side of the island. It’s well worth the trip!
Some of the textures we see in nature are fascinating. Yesterday, during a walk on Sears Island, I found this rock and found the striations quite striking. It’s actually quite a large rock, possibly what is called a glacial erratic, a non-native stone deposited on the shore here when the glaciers receded. Imagine the various minerals that must have come together in molten form millions of years ago. Pictures never do justice to things like this, but here it is anyway!
And I found this exquisite feather on the railing at the Searsport town pier early one morning. Notice the tiny droplets of dew!
We’ve had such a stretch of really wonderful weather here in Searsport this summer. Although our lawn is a little parched, the calm mornings have been wonderful for kayaking and other adventures. Have you ever visited the observation tower high above the Penobscot Narrows bridge? Stunning views from more than 400 feet above the river. Worth the 10 mile trip from the Shores!
Of course it never rains here in Maine*, but if you should happen to be camping and it should happen to rain – and you like fine wine – you might consider heading to the Cellardoor wine tasting room in Lincolnville. It’s less than 20 miles from The Shores and it’s a delightful drive no matter which route you choose. Wine samplings and tours are complimentary, and the 200-year-old farm is so picturesque. When my wife and I were there with friends, we were offered a list of wines that were available that day for sampling. As I recall, we each were able to choose five wines to taste and they were presented to us in the appropriate sequence, by a very competent and knowledgeable server, who described each selection
I’m a fan of the drier wines and in the end I purchased a bottle of Pinot Noir in the shop, which also carries a wonderful assortment of home goods and wine-related accessories.