Yesterday we paid a visit to the shores of the Eggemoggin Reach. The Reach is a channel of water that runs between the mainland and Deer Isle and Little Deer Isle. It’s a very popular spot for boaters — especially sailboats — because the waterway runs like a road between two attractive shorelines and includes sights like the Pumpkin Island lighthouse, shown in the picture above, and some beautiful old houses on the shores, like the ones shown in the photo below. On a warm, sunny day with bright blue skies and wispy clouds that seem to stretch into eternity, even gruff old guys in rowboats enjoy their time on the Reach.
We ended our time on the Reach with a visit to Bridge End Park, the imaginatively named park at the foot of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick suspension bridge. (Nobody spends too much time in these parts of Maine coming up with creative names for parks or roads, incidentally — they’d rather just give you factual information, and leave the rhetorical gestures to people with more time on their hands.) At the park you can get some good ice cream, sit at a picnic table, and watch the sailboats on the Reach cruise gracefully by, framed by the sky and the bright green bridge. Name of the park notwithstanding, it’s a pretty little area that could move a person to poetry.
Yesterday we took a bit of fall tour, driving from Stonington over to Castine. It’s a roundabout trip that takes you on winding roads that skirt the bays and coves and inlets of the craggy Maine coast. Along the way you see some beautiful scenery — like the view above of the Eggemoggin Reach in the distance and some colorful trees from the commanding heights of Caterpillar Hill.
Castine is a charming town that is the home of the Maine Maritime Academy. It has a long history that dates back to the 1600s. If you walk away from the downtown area you’ll find streets that look like movie sets, with tidy federal-style homes and white picket fences and trees sporting their blazing fall colors. Many of the houses feature signs in front that tell of the history of the area, and the intermittent clashes between the French, the Dutch, the Mohawks, the British, and finally the Americans who fought over this strategic spot on the shoreline from the 1600s until the War of 1812.
As is always the case with coastal Maine, it all comes down to the water. There aren’t many tourist here in October, which makes it a quiet, peaceful time to visit. You’ll get a chance to experience some beautiful colors, but also the serenity of the solitary sailboat moored on the quiet waters of Penobscot Bay.