Ellsworth was today’s first stop, for breakfast at the Riverside Cafe, on our way to the Schoodic Peninsula. Schoodic was once privately owned land that was donated to the county. The main towns are Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro and there are several small harbors including Birch and Prospect Harbors and Corea. Joseph and I rented a cottage in Prospect Harbor for a few years. It was right on the ocean with amazing scenery. We could watch the lobster boats on the horizon, just going out for the day. They would pass in front of the rising sun which came up on one side of the backyard. We could even watch it though the front picture window, though we seldom did. It was much more exciting (and romantic1) to watch the day begin while sitting on the rocks at the end of the backyard. At night Joseph would fire up the pot belly stove and open the doors so we could hear the waves crash against those rocks. The peacefulness of it was spectacular.
Until a few years ago, the US Navy had a base there. There was even base housing. The small white clapboard singles sat in a horseshoe on a small hill near the town of Winter Harbor. Their location lent itself to great ocean views. When the Navy moved, the little houses were going to go up for sale at a price Joseph and I could afford. We thought about buying one.
Then Mr. Dixon (former owner of the 76ers and a longtime summer resident of Winter Harbor) bought all the houses. With a great philanthropic gesture, he turned the houses over to the town so they could sell them. When they finally went up for sale, the price nearly doubled; Joseph and I changed our minds.
Actually, I’m glad we didn’t buy one. The main town consists of about 6 buildings that are either restaurants or art places…and one tiny 5&10. The whole Schoodic area is incredibly beautiful but is also very secluded. The hikes are in mostly wild sequestered places. Probably because I read and watch so many mysteries, I often didn’t feel safe in the woods. But the trade-off to those feelings was the beauty that was everywhere – raw and bold.
The main attraction for visitors is the Schoodic portion of Acadia National Park. There is a six-mile road that loops around the prettiest parts of the peninsula. It includes a few hiking trails (you can find a thrill on Blueberry Hill!), Frazer Point (a picnic area), and Schoodic Point, a great expanse of rock and very popular for it’s beauty and also because it’s one of the few places where you can get cell service. One year we even witnessed a wedding on one of the side sections.
This year we found out that the park service has expanded! Now there is a campground within walking distance to Frazer Point and some new trails and a causeway.
Joseph and I walked around there and then went to Frazer Point and watched sailboats. Then we drove to the point. From there we walked a few miles down past Blueberry Hill and back. Then we sat on the rocks and read books.
As it started to get cold, and with over an hour until sunset, we drove to Birch Harbor where Joseph and I each had a drink and we split an appetizer. Then we drove back to the point and watch the sunset over Cadillac. The beauty of it, and the stillness, brought on a peacefulness that was almost prayerful.
Joseph and I would have stayed longer but the cold out on the rocks got to us. We left, drove around Winter Harbor (which takes about 3 minutes!) and headed back to Mt. Desert and our Town Hill cottage.
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Every year, for the last 19 years, I trek to Maine. Find out what keeps me returning year after year in The Maine Diaries.