The weather was gorgeous on our last Sunday in Portland & we wanted to be outside while we enjoyed the city. The Eastern Promenade is a lovely greenway that circuits the harbor on the eastern side of Portland. Apparently, a local favorite. Many peeps, young & old were catching some rays on the grassy hill slopes, playing on the beach, or hiking/biking the trail. Really felt like the perfect way to enjoy a sunny day in Portland. A wonderful food truck provided a delicious lunch & great ice coffee. Fortified & rested we walked up Congress Street to climb the Portland Observatory at the top of Munjoy Hill. A Portland entrepreneur, Captain Lemuel Moody, came up with a great idea in 1807. He built the 86 foot high tower as a way to communicate with incoming ships. Ship owners paid Moody $5 a year to alert them when their ships were 30 miles from the harbor. This communication made the harbor much more efficient & was used until the invention of the 2-way radio in 1923. The Portland Observatory is the only maritime signal tower left in the US. Now, a cool place to get a grand view of the harbor.
The Portland Art Museum is in this area as well so we had to drop in. Lots of wonderful artists were represented. We saw Degas, Cassatt, Monet, Homer, Picasso & many beautiful works of art. BUT, not the first pastel on display. So disappointed.
The Mid Coast of Maine was next on our list. We wanted to explore the area called “Harpswell” which includes Orr’s Island & Bailey’s Island & over 200 other small islands. We had a great hike along the “giant’s stairs” & took lots of pictures to paint. The highlight of our adventure was the Cribstone Bridge. It is the only granite cribstone bridge in the world. (so they say) Built in 1928 to withstand the extreme tidal flowby allowing the water to flow though. The bridge is 1150 feet long, composed of enormous granite bricks laid “cribstone” on each other. The bridge is held together by the weight of the granite blocks & gravity.
The Cribstone Bridge happened to have a seaside lobster house of the same name so we had some lunch. Being tourists certainly seems to make us hungry! On the way back, we stopped at a lovely Maine cottage with “Art Gallery” flags flying. Guess what? A pastelist! What joy! Jan Roberson was so kind. She talked about papers, pastels, & painting for half an hour. Such fun. The day was complete.
Right up the road from our campground was a kayak rental building run by the Audubon Society. Edward had graciously offered earlier in the week to paddle me around the marsh. Well, it was time to pay up! We had a great time, even though he had to fight the current going out & the darn wind coming in. What a sweetheart!
Another spot minutes from the campground was the Holy Donut, Portland’s claim to the best donuts ever. The are potato based & even have a GF version. Never one to pass up an opportunity for a donut & a cup of coffee, we stopped there several times on our way into the city! We will miss them. I bought a Holy Donut apron for art & Edward got the t-shirt!
We left Wild Duck Campground & Portland with sadness in our hearts. Excited about going to Acadia National Park but nervous about dry camping for 12 nights. Portland is our favorite city & we are thinking about renting a cabin in the woods for the summer. We have even found some accessible only by sea plane!!!!! Hermits we might be.