Friday June 7, 2019
Day three route, 195 KM
After a fairly quiet night in the campground and a fantastic sleep I woke up to another clear day. I had decided to spend the day on a short ride along the coast and revisit some favourite Downeast Maine places. I didn’t want to get very much farther south along the coast, though, as things can get pretty crowded and congested the further along you go, it was still early in June but it was Friday and I was anticipating higher volumes of weekend traffic would be coming into the area. I also decided to stay put for another night since I could easily accomplish all this without moving my camp. With little to accomplish for the day I took my time getting the day going.
I made coffee but decided to hold off on breakfast. My first planned stop of the day was going to be Congdon’s Donuts an hour or so down the road in Wells, ME and I would be getting something to eat there. Incidentally I’d found out that National Donut Day is celebrated on this date each year so although I’d have been stopping there anyway, visiting Congdon’s Donuts today took on special importance. I usually don’t get donuts when I’m at Congdon’s, opting instead for the “Honeybun” while isn’t strictly a doughnut, but whatever.
Being in no particular rush, though, I took my coffee mug for a walk around the campground eventually making my way over to the front gate and paid the $27.25 fee for another night. Interestingly as a Maine State Park, the fee is $10. cheaper for Maine residents. Being only 7 miles from Freeport I’m still surprised it’s not busier, though glad it wasn’t.
After another mug of coffee it was about 11:00 and I was suitably prepared to hit the road. It only took me 15 minutes to get to Freeport and a cigar shop I know of and in only 15 more minutes I emerged from their large humidor area with a small bundle of new cigars to try.
Following Rte 1 south was a beautiful ride. The air was clear and warm without being hot. There was little traffic for most of the trip and it’s a very scenic drive that’s really enjoyable when you aren’t in a hurry. Things got noticeably busier and more congested at Portland but was still very good, I thought, for a June Friday.
Eventually I got to Congdon’s around noon.
To my disappointment, they were out of Honeybuns. They were also out of Doughnuts, Donut Holes (we call them Timbits) and all other forms of donutry. “we only do donuts in the morning, even on National Donut Day” and I’d missed my chance. Congdon’s owners are true retail rebels – even though they completely sell out every day, they refuse to make a single donut after 12 noon, turning hopeful donut fans away every afternoon – talk about marching to your own drummer. They did have a few muffins and a few mini Whoopie Pies (think two big cookies made from cake batter with icing sandwiched between) so I bought a couple of those and left. Humbug.
I headed down to the Wells Beach area, which was beautiful as always.
While a few of the more “cottag-ey” smaller places still remain, most have been torn down by now to be replaced with outsized “McCottages” that are wedged onto the tiny lots. Some have been set up with multiple suites for holiday rentals and some are just the usual ostentatious display and enjoyment of wealth. It seems like half of them are for sale as later generations cash in on Grandma and Grandpa’s foresight, casting aside the family cottage tradition for what is likely lots of cash – I have to admit, I’d likely do the same if it were me.
Eventually I pointed my wheels north again to head back to camp. I didn’t want to retrace my steps but there are not too many good options for a direct-ish transit other than Rte 1 or the freeway, Rte 295, unfortunately I opted for the freeway.
Portland traffic was busy and just beyond the main city I saw a sign warning that 295 was closed ahead. I had JUST PASSED an exit for Rte. 1 when I saw the sign and it was only seconds more until I came to a stop in a complete gridlock on 295. I happened to be in the “best” lane which was inching ahead slightly faster than the other lane but it still took me an hour to cover the 2.5 KM of gridlock and ensuing circus that Rte. 1 had become with all 295 traffic getting off in the same spot. Ugh. The Maine State Police were there and traffic coming off 295 was getting preference much to the ire of all those already on Rte. 1. Even though I’d spent so long on 295 in gridlock I think I was better off than if I’d taken Rte. 1 as all that 295 traffic would have been funnelling off ahead of me… small blessings. It turned out they were working on repairs to an overpass above the highway but I’m still scratching my head over how dumb it was to CLOSE the highway on a Friday afternoon in June.
Once I shook free of the traffic it was a nice ride on Rte. 1 and even though I was retracing my tracks from the morning I enjoyed it. I reached Freeport about 5:00pm and decided since I hadn’t eaten anything but a couple of whoopie pies and a cookie all day that I’d splurge on dinner and stop a bit early. Buck’s Naked BBQ is at the South end of Freeport and I stop there from time to time. They use a dry rub on their baby back ribs and though I mostly prefer my ribs wet, these are usually pretty good. I ordered a half rack and brisket combo with an ice cold Sam Adams and it was all great. Beans, salad and cornbread rounded things out. The staff there is efficient, flirtatious and attentive, kitchen service quick.
An hour or so later I was back in camp.
The campground host, Dallas was super friendly and helpful. She lives in the park year-round in the Tiny House shown below and she loves it. The park is open in winter so they plow access from the main road but nobody stays in the park in the winter. Dallas told me she likes the peace and quiet of winter but just about the time she’s feeling too isolated spring comes and there are campers and others passing through to talk to.
After 30 years working as a waitress, Dallas lost her larnyx to throat cancer so she talks with an ElectroLarnyx but it doesn’t seem to impede her friendly chattiness. Her cancer returned and after more treatment she’s in remission again remaining very positive and optimistic in her outlook. She made a big impression on me in a short time.
I spotted this overland rig from somewhere in Europe on one of my walks around the campground but never got to meet the owners or find out anything about their travels.
Below is the group kitchen area, usually these things are very spartan but in this case it was fully equipped.
Dallas supplies bottled water, clean towels and other amenities. There’s a coffee machine all primed to go if you feel like it and the place is kept spotless. Awesome.
I’m really happy I found Bradbury Mountain State Park Campground and will definitely be staying there again.