Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Scouting the Territory (A Very Long Story, Part Eight)

Day Seven

The rain hunkered down over the coast of Maine on Saturday and would not budge. Monkey and I had been discussing with MuffinMan, our host, the possibilities of finding some property on which we could build (or on which something was already built), that would serve as a sort of summer house for us. Since we had been to Maine in 98, we have entertained the possibility of buying land/a house Down East. The market is full of property, and it seems that, depending on where you look, buyers are relatively scarce. We saw some real bargains while we were there. MuffinMan suggested that we look at the area near Machias, which is northeast of Bar Harbor. We decided that the weather made it a perfect day to do just that.

We scouted the territory and saw that MuffinMan was right. This area, truly Down East, was beautiful, sparsely populated, and far less developed than the more often visited Midland area (Bar Harbor, Rockland, Rockport, and such). We think this might be the place. Of course, first we have to move to Lincoln and buy a primary residence there, but, it is never to early to start on your homework!

We also visited a few spots along the way. First, we stopped in Columbia Falls to see the Ruggles house, a National Historic House originally built in 1815. The Ruggles House has a flying staircase. We didn't know what a flying staircase was, so we stopped to see it. Do you know what a flying staircase is? If you don't, go to the Ruggles House, they'll tell you. But they won't let you take any pictures of it. They will, however, let you use the staff restroom and make you pay five dollars when they are done giving you the tour. Even if you don't want the tour, you just want to ask what a flying staircase is and use the bathroom. Next, we stopped at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, the easternmost point in the US. We also stopped for lunch at the Atlantic House, a little luncheonette in the town of Lubec, just this side of the bridge to Campobello Island. A sign in Lubec proclaimed that FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt once walked the streets of Lubec, talking to the residents. If they did, I hope they held their noses. It smelled a bit fishy, the day we visited. After Lubec, we headed to Prescott (I think), to find the Reversing Falls, a place where the tide runs in and out with such force (we were near the southern part of the world-famous Bay of Fundy) that the water churns and swirls and splashes, and it's supposed to be spectacular. We didn't find it to be spectacular. As a matter of fact, for a while, we didn't think we were going to find it at all. We had to stop at a gas station and ask for directions (and use the bathroom--it happens when you ride around all day in a car, drinking coffee), and we finally found it. Alas, it was near the slack of the low tide, so, it just wasn't much to look at. I mean it was pretty, water features always are, to me, but it was just, sort of, regular-water-feature-looking. Except for the big broken tree. That was cool.

We headed back to Bar Harbor, and, to be honest, all the driving was catching up to me. I started to feel like shit. We decided to have a traditional lobster dinner, so I rallied as Monkey drove to Union River for dinner. Along the way, we spied this sign for a soon-to-be hot dog stand. We were devastated. I mean lobster is great, but we could have had hot dogs. On a picnic table. Damn. We ate copious amounts of cruelly prepared crustaceans and mollusks, but the hot dogs kept invading our thoughts and our conversation. The lobster dinner was spectacular. Ethically, it was a two; gastronomically, it was a nine. The hot dogs, though, they could have been a ten.

The end, however, was near. Tomorrow, we headed home. Each of us sat at our table, beyond sated by the bounty of the sea, watching the rain-swollen Union River dash under the US 1 bridge. Each of us thinking the same thing. Why couldn't we have been here in time for the hot dogs?


Magdalene said...

LOVE the first picture with the lighthouse...so atmospheric.

I feel a bit homesick now....sniffle...

(not there are any lighthouses that look like that in Baltimore...but still...)

Anonymous said...

The lure of figuring out the mysterious flying staircase! Quite a challenge, Reda.

Interesting sight, here: http://www.ruggleshouse.org/photo_tour.html

and that same site has some history about the house.

I must admit that I did not find anything about the flying staircase on wikipedia, but found this on The Rug: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ruggles

And imagine my joy when I discovered this gem! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:HotDog.jpg

Continuing on the food theme, is anyone else reminded of potato chips when you read "Ruggles"? It's like Ruffles and Pringles! I know it ain't no Utz, but still...


ATR said...

Three dollars on the dog!

Ruggles="Video Killed the Radio Star"

Ruffles has ridges. Ruggles has flying staircase.