PrologueWhat we are doing, and why we're doing it!
We crossed back into the United States and drove into Maine. The warm sunny afternoon was a wonderful setting for the drive along Maine's rugged shores and shallow coves. The warm weather greeting us back into the U.S. wasn't destined to last, but we enjoyed it while it was with us.
Having found a campsite at the edge of a low bluff overlooking a shallow bay so typical of Maine's "Down East" coast, we feasted on lobster and watched the tide cover the mud flats.
The following morning crept in through the thick clouds that had showered us throughout the night. The forecast was for rain for the next several days, so we checked out of the campground and trundled southwest along the shore.
The passing miles presented a constant parade of inlets, bays and harbors. The profusion of excellent anchorages provides an alternative to expensive marinas. It seems that most of the locals simply swing on an anchor or mooring. This is almost unheard of on the west coast, given the paucity of sheltered waters.
The inclement weather discouraged side trips and exploration, so we made quick time to Portsmouth just across the state line in New Hampshire.
Portsmouth was our first exposure to the classic New England style town. Much of the downtown area consisted of red brick buildings. The ground floor shops all sported wooden signs lettered with gold leaf engravings. The old village to the east of town was a jumble of well kept cottages hugging the narrow twisting roads.
Portsmouth was also where we made contact with Rob's nephew living in western New Massachusetts, who had just had a son. We decided to head over to meet the new members of our extended family.
Kaidyn, son of Joel and Carla Moodie is a healthy, happy baby. Even at only a week old, he sleeps a lot and seldom cries. Carla and Joel have it easy with this kid! Maybe it's just mother nature's way of suckering them in to having another one. We also got to meet Carla's family, David, Elwanda, and Kay. They are wonderful people.
After having caught up with family, we were off to visit Cape Ann, home to Gloucester and Rockport. The shoreline around Cape Ann has some beautiful areas to walk around. One wonderful spot was the site of an old quary.
Gloucester is still an active fishing town. It's home to Gorton's, maker of frozen fish sticks. Fishing ports don't usually smell good, but the aroma coming from Gorton's was delicious!
Rockport is a tourist trap, abet a cute one. It still retains much of the charm of the traditional fishing village from which it evolved. It's narrow lanes and allies are open to cars, but choked with foot traffic. In a display of poor judgment, we turned on to a narrow lane looking for a lobster pound and found ourselves hemmed in by historic buildings and surrounded by a sea of humanity. Luck favors the bold (and is sympathetic to fools) though, we made it out safely with a pair of cooked lobsters on board.
We've had a taste of the history of the area. Driving past Boston, Concord, Lexington, and Salem hinted at a past that we would soon explore.