So as I mentioned in "Part 1", my adventurous spirit to get "off the beaten path" too much, was dampened a bit due to the rope bounty I recently acquired & was hauling in the back of the pickup. We did make our way over to Rockland though & on the way discovered Moose Crossing Garden Center on Route 1 in Waldoboro. I'm a sucker for a garden center with lots of greenhouses & that they had. I left with the most brilliant orange tuberous begonia for just couple dollars. They also had tons of really nice perennials for $6 but no room left in the truck.
Then came the charming town of Thomaston. A gem of a place that happens to be a large historic district featuring lovely architecture almost everywhere you turn. Not too much further & we arrived in Rockland. Oh, and just so you know that it was quite easy finding somewhere to park, even with a large truck. Our mission was food but we were quickly distracted by lots of art galleries & shops.
Harbor Square Gallery on Main Street was especially great. To start, the structure itself is so interesting. What must have been a bank when it was built back in the early 1900s contained old walk in safes & little staircases leading to different levels, lined with artwork. There's even a rooftop garden with plenty of sweet places to sit where you're surrounded by sea sculptures & lush plants. The art exhibited throughout the gallery was tastefully chosen & displayed in just a way where each piece of work was accentuated. There were a few Cabot Lyford pieces who’s sculptures I’ve always admired, a couple other notable artists that I wasn't as familiar with; Nina Scott Hansen for her wonderfully dark & whimsical sculptures of sea birds & Igor Galanin who's paintings will bring you into an intriguing & enchanted world with his use of light & form... just to name a few.
The next stop caught our attention by having the loveliest window boxes I’ve ever seen. fourTWELVE is the name of the boutique & to put it in their own words, "presents a well edited collection of designers, stylish accessories & gifts". Now, I'm not a huge shopper by any means but I could have bought just about everything in this store. Rather than doing so, I chose just one thing; a one of a kind vintage hair accessory, that also happened to be 50% off!
Ok, so finally, our stomachs were eating themselves by now so we put all of our attention on food. It was a bit strange though, as we walked up & down Main Street, most of the restaurants weren't open for dinner yet. It was Sunday, 4:30ish which is early for dinner, but these places we saw had the chairs turned upside down on the tables & everything. Fortunate for us, that lead us to one of the most delectable little (the space is actually quite large) hipster hangouts I've been to in all of Maine called FOG bar & cafe at the beginning of Main Street.
Once inside, I instantly picked up on a playful yet refined vibe with their use of color, the modern furniture, funky lighting & the reggae playing over the speakers (really cute waitors too). We were seated, read over the menu chock full of deliciousness & decided to start with the cornmeal pan fried green tomatoes over chipotle lime aioli topped with whipped goat cheese & brown sugar bacon with microgreens. OH man, it was so good.
For dinner we shared the shaved heirloom beet & arugula salad & the roasted cauliflower mac & cheese. The mac & cheese was definitely the favorite of the two & it took quite a bit of willpower not to hog it all. Their beer selection on tap featured Pretty Things Beer & many others I hadn't heard of or tried before which was nice. I ended up choosing the Magnifico Pale Ale which was a great alternative to some of my favorite local Pale Ales.
Pleasantly full & ready for the next chapter of our mini adventure we paid the bill & hit the bathrooms to prevent having to stop on the way back. I had a feeling the bathroom would be something worth documenting (since the rest of the place was so hip) so I brought the iphone in with me...
So overall, the little time spent in Rockland, although ON the beaten path, was a great time.
Next we decided to make our way back home. Since the weather was so nice & the coast right next to us, we took the long way back along route 73. After driving only about 10 minutes or so, we came upon the sign for Owl's Head & took the detour. I knew there was a lighthouse out there & a working pier & coming from Cape Porpoise with both of those things, I was eager to scope it out.
We didn't have to drive far before we got to the sign for the lighthouse but instead of going that way we headed straight for the pier. It felt a lot like home but much more remote. It's incredibly beautiful there, much less houses than what I'm used to & it's clear that the community is mostly comprised of fishermen & their families.
After walking around the pier & marinating with that sense of home away from home we got back in the truck & took the short ride over to Owl's Head Light which is also a state park. If you've never been out there before, I highly suggest doing so. The park stays open until sundown & has a fairly large parking & picnic area. The walk out to the light house is maybe a 1/4 mile along a gravel path that sits high up off the water with a few side paths that'll take you down to it if you choose. Tons of insanely beautiful vistas, large rocky cliffs (which coming from southern Maine I'm not used to) & fir trees all around. The only drawback are the damn horseflies, so bring bug spray.
The lighthouse grounds are well maintained & there's a flight of steps to take to get up to it. You can't actually go into it, as it's locked, but there's no need. The elevation of the lighthouse is quite high & by the time we got to it's base I was speechless. I was having a hard time absorbing the beauty & reality of what I was experiencing. I couldn't believe, I've lived in Maine for most of my life & had never seen it, in person, this way before.
We sat up there on the steps for a while, watching the lobster boats below us come in after a days work. The sun was just starting to get low in the sky; enough to give the color of everything around us a golden hue.
Each time I get away like this I realize how refreshing & necessary for personal growth it is to experience new places & get out of the daily routine, no matter how much you may be harnessed by it. My goal is to do more of that within Maine because I continue to be amazed at just how much this state has to offer.
What's next you ask?
Tomorrow morning I leave on the tide & this sailboat will be what I call home for a week while going up the coast of Maine. First stop, Jewell Island in Casco Bay. Weather permitting the last stop will be up towards Deer Isle. Lots of island exploring will be done & I look forward to sharing it with you.