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Jake & Denise: 48 hours in Maine

11/19/2013
Jake and Denise pose at sunset on Schoodic Point, Acadia National Park

Jake and Denise pose at sunset on Schoodic Point, Acadia National Park

One of the glossy, monthly magazines here is called “maine.” In a regular feature, reporters spend two days visiting a local city or small town then write about their adventures. The feature is called “48 hours.”

Earlier this month Jake and Denise Koller traveled from the Twin Cities and did their own version of 48 hours…. except their visit covered most of Maine.

Here are the highlights:

The plane lands just before noon. Twenty minutes later Jake and Denise are checked into the NickMoore Hotel

The Kollers pose at the iron gate outside Stephen King’s West Broadway mansion then  stop at the historic Bangor Library. At the library, we meet veteran Etna, Maine artist Ken Massar while he hangs his new show. We admire his surreal paintings of Philodendron and sun flower and discuss art education.

We’re headed up to Orono for burgers and polish sausage at the Family Dog. We pick up Professor Moore and head for Acadia National Park, just 60 minutes away.

It’s a race with daylight as we head for Schoodic Point, arriving just 10 minutes before sunset. Lean into the wind, yell over the crashing waves and watch that big orange sun disappear behind Cadillac Mountain. Amazing.

Dinner time. We stop at Ruth & Wimpy’s Restaurant on Highway 1. It’s a real Maine lobster shack.  The walls are lined with shelves of beer mugs, beer bottles and beer cans. Photos of classic cars are laminated into the table tops. The place is packed with hungry people. Why? The lobster dinner is just $12.99.

Denise lines up dinner at Ruth and Wimpy's in Hancock, Maine

Denise lines up dinner at Ruth and Wimpy’s in Hancock, Maine

In the morning, we head to the University of Maine campus. There’s a farmer’s market in the parking lot. Jen buys beets. I buy peppers and carrots. Jake buys cookies.

It’s a football Saturday at UMaine. We take a quick walk around the beautiful tree-lined quad. We’re not going to the game… and neither are very many other people.

Next stop Portland. It’s a two-and-half hour drive. We check into the Inn at St. John, an old railroad hotel across the street from a train station that was bulldozed in 1970s.

We head for the harbor. Jake spots a seal during lunch at a dockside restaurant.

The ferry leaves for Peaks Island at 4:15. It’s a 30 minute cruise in glorious sunshine. We pass old forts, giant freighters and lighthouses. We take the next boat back and watch the sunset on the city skyline from the top deck.

Jen, Denise and Jake onboard the Peaks Island Ferry

Jen, Denise and Jake onboard the Peaks Island Ferry

The ferry cruises toward Peaks Island in Casco Bay

The ferry cruises toward Peaks Island in Casco Bay

Off to Otto Pizza. We take a seat at a narrow table in the crowded bar. The pizza is fantastic. Brian shows up with Kathleen and Mike and their twin boys. It’s Brian’s birthday tomorrow. We sing “Happy Birthday” to Brian. The bar cheers.

What’s the best way to experience the Maine art scene during the Halloween season? Attend a play based on a Stephen King novel. The University of Southern Maine stages “Carrie…the Musical” in an Eisenhower era arts building somewhere on the outskirts of Portland. That’s right: “Carrie…THE MUSICAL.” Teen bullies. Psychokinesis. A bucket of blood. And songs, lots of wonderful songs.

The next morning it’s bagels and lighthouses. We visit the Portland “bug” light. The bigger, older “head” light..and time runs out.
It’s back up I-95 to Bangor. Jake and Denise are at the airport a little before noon. Their 48 hours is up.

Jake tees up the Portland "Bug" light

Jake tees up the Portland “Bug” light

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2 Comments
  1. John permalink

    That’s a great story about their trip! A whirlwind tour of Maine.

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