Wells, Maine. High: 60. Low: 54. Site: 23
Truck update: If you've been following us, you read about our truck overheating on I-84 thru the hills/mountains of Pennsylvania and New York. We took it to the dealership after limping to Maine, and the verdict was---wait for it---NOTHING WRONG! Thermostat was ok, radiator fine, no fluid leaks. It was a "perfect storm" of extremely high heat, an extremely long incline at one time, and towing a heavy load. We have the capability of towing 30,000 pounds and we only weigh about 16,000 pounds so the weight was not a factor. BUT--everything checked out ok. No codes, nothing we can really do any differently for the next time other than watch the heat index and check the physical demands of the route. But they did reset the fan temperature to a lower degree so the fan will kick on sooner if we are ever again in that awful combo again of high heat, a long steep incline and heavy towing.
We are at the Thousand Trails Moody Beach RV park for three weeks. It's not a large park--203 sites. It certainly is convenient to everything. There are THREE post offices within short distances of each other. One is right across the street from the RV park. The Hannaford grocery store is right up the street a few miles from the park, turn left out of the entrance. The RV park DOES accept packages and mail there which a lot of Thousand Trails parks do not. (Uh-oh! that means more craft supplies coming into the rig, moans E.) Uh, well...yeah. He knows Sparky so well! Usually you have to use the local post office general delivery if you need your mail forwarded as full time RVers, so we really appreciate being able to get our latest shipment of mail to the park we are staying in! The RV park is right on Highway 1 in southern Maine and has a deluxe mini golf course in front of it called Wonder Mountain. You pull into Wonder Mountain, and Thousand Trails is right behind it further up the lane. Just about everything you need and want is on that Highway 1. The summer traffic is horrendous, and you can sit at restaurant exits and grocery store exits for a half hour or more before getting out into the main traffic lane. Here's the traffic NOT moving south very well this morning. 8 mph if you are lucky.
Very few intersection lights. It's a challenge to drive anywhere! We hope to figure out the alternative back roads soon....
We have settled in to a nice, shady spot in the wooded section of the park. It's tight, but we managed to get into the back in site. There are a wide variety of sites from heavily wooded to newer gravel sites out in wide open spaces. It was extremely hot when we first got here, but temperatures have dived, so it's more comfortable and Maine-like, but it's been quite rainy. Sparky supposes that is Maine-like as well in the summertime?
We are close to the ocean, you can walk there. It's about 1.4 miles to the beach to the closest access road that gets you on the beach, Bourne Rd. It's not a pedestrian friendly town, that's for sure. There are no sidewalks! And it's not an easy town to park a big truck in, nor is there much parking at many of the local access spots to get to the beach or to the shops or restaurants. Several public accesses to the beach are basically just pedestrian walk throughs between the big summer homes on the ocean. Where you can park a big truck is the big question of the day! (That's a blue sand mat in the photo. It traps the sand as you walk through to the beach!)
New England is older, streets are narrower, and the infrastructure is just different, that's all. Parking is a problem wherever you go in Wells, a small town at the southern tip of Maine, and it's an OLD town established in WHAT? 1643!
It is much for difficult for us to find an ok spot with a big dually truck than it would be for someone driving a car. So we need to walk more! That's a good thing! (Yes, if you don't have bad knees, sighs Eldo.) Kennebunk is about a 15 minute drive away, then Kennebunkport, which was the location of the summer family home of George H.W. Bush, it's just a little bit further north on Walker's Point. Ogunquit is a fabulous little ocean front town with terrific restaurants, shops and inns. Wells is a terrific little ocean front town with cute shops, inns, and restaurants, one of which is a donut shop--Congdon's Doughnuts, that supposedly rivals the "crack" donuts back in Indiana. It's the #1 restaurant on Trip Advisor for Wells. You have to get there at 6:00 AM when it opens and there is already a LONG line! We tried it, the donuts were meh, in our humble opinion. But that's because Mainers haven't experienced REALLY good donuts made by the Amish, lol. We are spoiled by those amazing donuts from Indiana. Sparky should have froze some. Did Sparky mention great restaurants? Sigh....There goes the food budget!
Sparky has been doing the walks to the beach. Locals watch for the walkers along side Bourne Road, one of the streets leading to the ocean, but it's still a little unnerving not to have any shoulder to speak of as you are walking. Traffic is light, so that helps.
Bourne Road also passes through the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, which Sparky plans on exploring on a nicer day. You can see part of the preserve, the saltwater marshes in the photo below. Sparky LOVES wildlife refuges and there are supposedly some nice trails in the preserve to explore later this week.Sparky is not a sunbathing nut like she used to be in her college days on up. Those days are long over, due to sun sensitivities and heat sensitivity. But she sure enjoys walking the beach on a cool day! She loves seeing what the ocean brings in...There are very few shells at the shoreline...maybe that's an Atlantic current thing? But the flotsam and jetsom is still cool.....Nature's artwork is AMAZING! This was just laying on the beach.
Mainers are a tough lot, we all seem to get that impression from their winters and early pioneer heritage.....Here are some gals who are out for exercise and fresh air. That wind was ablowin' STRONG, and here comes a gal pushing an older lady in a specially outfitted wheelchair with fat tires for the sand. The woman in the chair was all bundled up, rosy cheeked and smiling ear to ear as she watched the gulls and piping plovers skitter across the sand....They did over three miles on the beach--Sparky knows because she was following them.
And the weather vane on this one....There's a cool weather vane shop in Wells, Sparky is going to check that out, too.
The area Mainers love their flowers. There are beautiful plantings all over the place, and lots of flower gardens. Lots and lots of fire lilies....There are northern high bush blueberries planted everywhere. It is a wild blueberry but is not part of the commercial wild blueberry industry in Maine.....These high bush blueberries can grow more than 6 feet in hight and are also called the blue huckleberry or swamp huckleberry. These pictured below are in the early stages of blooming...There is another kind of Maine blueberry that's called the Maine lowbush blueberry...It grows in large fields on mountaintops and in glacial outwash plains and in other areas. Blueberries are harvested in a two year cycle....The crop is harvested usually in late July and August, then the plants are pruned to the ground by mowing or burning. The year after harvest is a vegetative year, where the plants recover for a year, then bloom and produce berries in the second year. Maine is the largest wild blueberry producer in the world! The most abundant wild blueberry in Maine is the low bush sweet blueberry. And of course, blueberry pancakes are on the menu everywhere up here!
With that, we will leave you till next time....Restaurants to be discovered, more towns to explore, the Marginal Way scenic walk along the seaside, a Rails-to-Trails bike ride (the Eastern Bike Trail) from Kennebunk to Portland (but Sparky isn't going to go THAT far!), and much more....See you later....