Friday, June 17

One Thing Leads To Another (and a long day)

I hadn't planned anything exciting for today - just a drive from Rockland, where I'd spent the night, over to Freeport, ME. If you're familiar with Maine geography (or like follow my route on the MapShare page) you might say, "but Steve, that's the wrong way" as I'm supposed to be heading to Nova Scotia - my rational (beside the usual Take The Long Way thinking) was that I should really stop by LL Bean, as not doing so would have been akin to skipping Ben & Jerry's when I was in Vermont - couldn't do that! (Hey grammar fanatics - how many stars do I get for that run-on sentence.)

Off I go, and all is well (remember I'm just going straight to Freeport) until I decide to stop at a gallery, because it looked more interesting than what you see every few feet along US1 in Maine.

Didn't buy a thing, but the owners of the Medomak Gallery and I started talking about my van travels (gave them a tour) and suggested that I check out the sauerkraut place nearby (just 7 miles down a background) - so much for direct Freeport!

Morse's Sauerkraut - Established 1918

Back on the road (after buying my Maine Sauerkraut) I'm doing fine (heading toward Freeport) until I'm crossing the bridge at Bath - look left and see this:

That folks is one of the US Navy's new stealth guided missile destroyers

Hadn't realized that the "Bath" I was approaching was the Bath of ship building fame and home to the Bath Iron Works (shipyard) that has been building ships here since 1884. Unfortunately, you can't get a tour of BIW because of security, but I still managed to spend over three hours in town visiting the Maine Maratime Museum, the Build Virginia Project (replica of the first ship built in Maine) and walking downtown.





The Build Virginia Project



Riverside Park


Leaving the Maritime Museum I was walking to the van and a guy says "that your van" - of course a conversation (and tour) ensue, and he said I might enjoy the drive out to Bailey Island. Not much to see, except for the Cribstone Bridge, because the roads ends at the water - which, of course, is my kind of road.

The Bailey Island Bridge (Cribstone Bridge)
No mortar or cement, just heavy blocks of granite
At lands end
Fishermen's Memorial


After the drive back to US1 from Bailey Island I'm finally back on track to Freeport, until - I get caught in a turn only lane and end up taking a little tour Brunswick and find the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge.

It was built in 1892 for workers working at the Cabot Mill in Brunswick, that lived in neighboring Topsham.
The bridge was constructed by John A. Roebling's Sons Company, the engineering firm that designed and built the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City
View from the bridge


And finally, I did make it to Freeport and the flagship store of LL Bean at 11:00pm - but hey, it's open 24hrs a day, so it all worked out.