Saturday, July 23, 2011

Revisiting America

It was hard to cook and fix for Shirley and Marge because Shirley wanted to go out and eat seafood, which we did.  We did miss a few places but I'll mention Lobsterman's Wharf, Lobster Dock, Ocean Point Inn, Barnacle's on Monhegan Island. the Carousel Dinner Theater, as well as Schell's Kitchen which featured a "ham and egg" pie made especially for us sisters because our mother was the only person I've ever known to make one.  And, it was our Daddy's favorite.  They all agreed that it was very, very good,( I added an extra "very") and I value Marge's opinion because she is an excellent cook.  We absolutely couldn't make any more restaurants, there are so many, and our time was so limited.
Our day trip, on Saturday, to Monhegan Island was another one of those perfect weather, outing, boat trips.  The Balmy Days 11 left Pier 8 at 9:30  a.m., and weren't home until around 4:00 in the afternoon.
The trip takes one and a half hours, the island is twelve miles from Boothbay, and there are no vehicles allowed on the island or ferry.  Monhegan isn't an amusement park.  All property belongs to the local Monhegan Associates Land Trust and people do live and work on the island.  Several pick-up trips are used to cart luggage to and from the ferry landing and these trucks do have the right-of-way, so you are the one that has to move over and let them pass. There is no camping, you're responsible for your own trash, finding lodging can be very difficult in the busy summer months, reservations are necessary to stay over night, dogs must be on a leash at all times, better be back to the wharf at the appointed time or you will be left to take another ferry and probably left at a different place than where you started.  Only two toliet facilities, and two public telephones are on the island.  A light jacket is recommended because the Island is out in open Atlantic.
The Lighthouse and Museum is a popular place for visitors, and I was the only one able to walk up the steep gravel road and see it.  (That really says something about my daily walking.  Shirley's knees give her problems and Janie and Marge each use a cane, so I was the designated walker).  The view from the top took my breath away.  One young man we talked to lives on the island year-round, his family being a sixth generation family to live there.  Only about 32 people live there during the winter months, but about 200 summer residents own their own homes and thousands are day-trippers.  There are inns, a hotel and cottages that can be rented.  Some inns serve meals, and others have kitchen facilities.  Most are open from mid-May through early October but one or two have rooms available for those who want to experience the island during the off-season. Seventeen miles of hiking trails encircle the island, there's a well established artist's colony with studios, the lighthouse and museum, about 120 buildings in the village, a post office, a couple of stores, a school and a library. 
But the only way there is ferry. 
The Island is slightly more than a mile and half long and about seven tenths of a mile wide.  About seventy percent of the island is protected wild land. 
   Monhegan is a very special and unique, but its care is entrusted to those who are visitors.
Another interesting part of the sail was going all the way around the island to see the cliffs on the other side of our wharf.  The highest cliff was around 175 feet with the water 400 feet deep at that point.  We did see some seals as we went around.  It was a good day but we were all a little weary, not used to spending the entire day outside.

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